Indicatorsfor First-year Students` Success as they transition to Second YearName
Thetransition that every undergraduate student goes through from theirfirst year to their second year is a crucial step to determiningtheir academic success. First-year undergraduates usually join thehigher institutions of learning with several expectations and drives.Their focus during the initial year is mainly academic performance asthey also try to adjust to the new experience of college life. Thestatistics that are used to measure the success of students whiletransitioning from their freshman to sophomore year are the retentionrates or the return rates of the first years. Many institutions havetried to enhance factors that ensure higher retention rates fromundergraduate students. These factors include improvement of studentsatisfaction, increased participation from the students and creationof various financial programs that can aid in the cost of collegeeducation. This paper looks at the various predictors for the successof first year undergrads as they move to their sophomore year.
Collegeeducation is very costly. Students from low-income families usuallystruggle with the burden of raising the tuition fees. The studentsthat have scholarships or other financial grants are likely tosucceed in their second year of education (Dwyer et al., 2012).Others that apply for students’ loan can still attain the samesuccess although their debt will constantly affect them and possiblytheir performance. Those students that fail to meet the cost of thesecond year of their college education may opt to drop out and resumeonce they get the necessary funds. Thus, the students that cannotmanage to pay for their university learning are usually the least tosucceed in the first year to second year transition (Dwyer et al.,2012).
Cultureplays a vital role towards predicting the success of first-yearstudents as they transition into their sophomore year. Students fromlow-income families and those that are raised by the first generationworking parents are the ones most likely to succeed in the transition(DeAngelo et al., 2011). The reason is that many of these individualsare raised with the mentality that college education is a major stepto the improvement of their economic status. They will, therefore,strive through every challenge for them to excel. Other students thatreceive family support through motivation and encouragement are alsolikely to attain success in the transition (DeAngelo et al., 2011).
Studentsfrom the minority groups such as blacks, Hispanics, and the othersare also expected to succeed as they switch from their first year totheir sophomore year (DeAngelo et al., 2011). The explanation forthis observation is that these students faced many hindrances beforethey could even join college. The few that managed to get such anopportunity are rarely willing to give up even if the studiescontinue to become difficult. Students from the privileged groupsthat did not have to struggle for their position in college are theones most likely to fail as they move to their second year of theirundergraduate education. Such students may become lazy since theytake things for granted (DeAngelo et al., 2011). Universities thathave mixed races also show greater success rates for the minoritygroups compared to universities that only have a large populationthat consists of one ethnicity. An example is the success rate ofblack students in the Historically Black Universities and Colleges islower than that of black students in other colleges that aremultiracial (DeAngelo et al., 2011).
Femalesare more likely than males to attain success in their sophomoreyears. This gender group has been known in the past as the mostdisadvantaged. They are more tenacious than their male counterparts(Alon & Gelbgiser, 2011). The ones that manage to complete theirfirst year of education always resume their second year with the samepassion and drive. The male students consist of the highestpopulation of learners that are not likely to succeed in thetransition. The reason is attributed to the fact that male studentsare more likely to be distracted by some vices like drinking and drugabuse, which, adversely affects their academic performance (Alon &Gelbgiser, 2011).
Thelevel of support and motivation that a particular institutionprovides for their students as they advance to their second year ofstudy is another predictor of success. Colleges that provide forumssuch as re-orientation of new sophomore students and counseling forsuch students are likely to achieve more success from their secondyears (Dwyer et al., 2012). Students that are encouraged to increasetheir participation in various activities within the campus are moreinspired to continue improving their learning experience. Otheruniversities that recognize good performance with awards such asscholarships also generate more success from their students as theytransition to their second year (Dwyer et al., 2012).
Themove that a college undergraduate goes through from their first yearto the second year is a critical step that determines their momentumfor the time they will be in school. Financial factors are one of thekey indicators that determine whether a student can achieve successas they transition to their second year. Other factors such asgender, culture, race and the involvement of the institution havealso been discussed on how they indicate the rate of students thatwill not face problems as they move to their sophomore year. The mainquestion that arose from this research was if there were ways thatthe government is trying to solve the challenges that affect thesuccess of students in this transition.
Alon,S., & Gelbgiser, D. (2011). The female advantage in collegeacademic achievements and horizontal sex segregation. SocialScience Research,40, 107-119.
DeAngelo,L., Franke, R., Hurtado, S., Pryor, J. H., & Tran, S. (2011).Completing college: Assessing graduation rates at four-yearinstitutions. Los Angeles, CA: Higher Education Research Institute,UCLA.
Dwyer,R. E., McCloud, L., & Hodson, R. (2012). Debt and graduation fromAmerican universities. Social Forces, 90(4), 1133-1155.