Authors: Kwao Edjah & Ebenezer Domey & Francis Ankomah
Abstract: Life at university for the first year can be exciting and challenging. University life becomes exciting when students are able to deal effectively and adapt with their newly found environment. Conversely, life at university becomes catastrophizing when students are not able to successfully go through the adaptation process. Employing the descriptive survey design, 400 first year undergraduate students were selected using the stratified and convenient sampling methods. The study aimed at identifying the transitional challenges students face in their first year of university education, and also determining differences in the transitional challenges students face in their first year of university education with respect to demographic characteristics (gender, age, previous level of education before entry to university, place of dwelling). A questionnaire with a Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient of .64 was used to gather information from the students. Independent samples t-test, one-way ANOVA were used to analyse the data. It was found that among the challenges that first year university students go through, movement on campus, separation from family, registration of courses, switching between lecture theatres, adjusting to lecture method of teaching, making new friends, and coping with roommates were the prominent ones. It was also found that female students experience more challenges compared with their male counterparts, students from self-contained houses experienced more challenges than those from compound houses. It was further found that experiences of first year students did not vary with respect age. The study concluded that first year students generally are faced with academic and social-related challenges during their first year in the university. It was also concluded that gender, place of dwelling, and previous level of education have influence on students’ experiences during their first year in the university, age however have no influence. Academic staff of the students’ affairs and counsellors in the university are encouraged to intensify academic and social support for first year students.
Keywords: Transition, Tertiary, Challenges, SSS/SHS
Download the PDF Document from here.
Abdallah, M. C., Elias, H., Muhyddin, R., & Uli, J. (2009). Adjustment among First Year Students in a Malaysian University. European Journal of Social Science, 8(3), 47-56.
Allen, D. F., & Nelson, J. M. (1989). Tinto’s model of college withdrawal applied to women in two institutions (Electronic version). Journal of Research and Development in Education, 22(3), 1-11.
Amponsah, M., & Owolabi, H. O. (2011). Perceived stress levels of fresh university students in Ghana: A case study. British Journal of Educational Research, 1(2), 153-169.
Azila-Gbettor, E. M., Atatsi, E. A., Danku, L. S., & Soglo, N. Y. (2015). Stress and academic achievement: Empirical evidence of business students in a Ghanaian polytechnic. International Journal of Research in Business Studies and Management, 2(4), 78-98.
Berger, J. B. (1997). Students’ sense of community in residence halls, social integration, and first-year Persistence (Electronic version). Journal of College Student Development, 38, 441-452.
Berger, J. B., & Milem, J. F. (1999). The role of student involvement and perceptions on integration in a causal model of student persistence (Electronic version). Research in Higher Education, 40(6), 641-664.
Bernier, A., Larose, S., & Whipple, N. (2005). Leaving home for college: A potentially stressful event for adolescents with preoccupied attachment patterns. Attachment and Human Development, 7(2), 171−185.
Birnie-Lefcovitch, S. (2000). Student perceptions of the transition from high school to university: Implications for preventative programming. (Electronic version). Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, 12, 61-88.
Braxton, J. M., Vesper, N., & Hossler, D. (1995). Expectations of college and student persistence (Electronic version). Research in Higher Education, 36 (5), 595-612.
Enochs, W. C., & Roland, C. B. (2006). Social adjustment of college freshmen: the importance of gender and living environment. College Student Journal, 4(2), 32-41.
Fisher, S., & Hood, B. (1987). The stress of the transition to university: A longitudinal study of psychological disturbance, absent-mindedness and vulnerability to homesickness (Electronic version). British Journal of Psychology, 17(1&2), 35-56.
Grebennikov, L., & Skaines, I. (2009). University of Western Sydney students at risk: Profile and opportunities for change. Journal of Institutional Research, 14, 58-70.
Habibah, E., Noordin, N., & Mahyuddin, R. H. (2010). Achievement motivation and self- efficay in relation to adjustment among university students. Journal of Social Sciences, 6(3), 333-339.
Hazel, M., Catherine, E., & Marvella, A. (2006). Perceived racial discrimination, social support, and psychological adjustment among African American College Students. Journal of Black Psychology 32(4) 442-454.
Jemal, J. (2012). Assessing major adjustment problems of freshman students in Jimma University. Ethiopian Journal of Education & Science, 7(2), 1-14.
Keup, J. R., & Stozenberg, E. B. (2004). The 2003 Your First College Year (YFCY) Survey: Exploring the academic and personal experiences of first- year students (Monograph No. 40), Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Centre for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Retrieved March 2017, from http://www.freepatentsononlin.com
Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining sampling size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30, 607-610.
McInnis, C. (2001). Researching the first year experience: Where in from here? Higher Education Research and Development 20(2), 105-114.
Mudhovozi, F. (2012). Social and academic adjustment of first-year university students. Journal of Social Science, 33(2), 251-259.
Owusu, G. A., Tawiah, M. A., Sena-Kpeglo, C., & Onyame, J. T. (2014). Orientation impact on performance of undergraduate students in University of Cape Coast (Ghana). International Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Studies, 6(7), 131-140.
Perry, C., & Allard, A. (2003). Making the connections: Transition experiences for first-year education students. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 4 (2), 74-89.
Sanoff, A. P. (2006). A perception gap over students’ preparation. Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(27), 9-14.
Students Records Management and Information System of UCC (SRMIS, 2017). Students’ population. Cape Coast: Author.
Tao, S., Dong, Q., Pratt, M., Hunsberger W, & Pancer, S. (2000). Social support: Relations to coping and adjustment during the transition to university in the People’s Republic of China. Journal of Adolescent Research, 15, 123-144.
Upcraft, M. L., & Famsworth, W. E. (1984). Orientation programs and activities. In M. L. Upcraft (Ed.), New directors for student services: Orienting students to college (pp. 27-37). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wangeri, T., Kimani, E., & Mutweleli, S. M. (2012). Transitional challenges facing university first year students in Kenyan public universities: A case of Kenyatta University. Interdisciplinary Review of Economics and Management 2(1), 41-50.
International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), June 2019, Vol.5, No.4