Publisher: U of the Western Cape   (Total: 1 journals)   [Sort by number of followers]

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J. of Student Affairs in Africa     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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Journal of Student Affairs in Africa
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2307-6267
Published by U of the Western Cape Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Student Affairs in a Traumatic Year

    • Authors: Birgit Schreiber, Teboho Moja, Thierry M. Luescher
      Abstract: The year 2020 is a year that we will remember globally in higher education as having been most unusual, indeed, traumatic. If at the beginning of 2020 the year had a hopeful ring with plenty, as it comes to an end it is hard to just try and make sense of the extent that the
      experience of higher education has been changed so incisively within a short time for both staff and students. And the signs are already there that the post-Covid‑19 period will not be short of new challenges either. Challenges like addressing the increased mental health issues
      students suffer due to the crisis, illness, loss of loved ones and more. Moreover, there are many student groups whose ability to learn has been severely impacted by the pandemic and lockdown, including students from poor households, rural students, and students with special needs. As we noted in our last editorial, for these students, the campus environment and the services offered by Student Affairs departments is normally able to level the ‘playing field’ of learning. It will require yet another extra effort by student affairs professionals, academics, administrators, fellow students and the communities and families to ensure that these students can catch up and have access to the same quality and quantity of learning opportunities within supportive contexts over the course of their studies as others who have been less impacted.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4451
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • South Africa’s First-Year Experience: Consolidating and Deepening a
           Culture of National Scholarship

    • Authors: Annsilla Nyar
      Abstract: This special edition of Journal of Student Affairs in Africa (JSAA) represents an important milestone for South Africa’s First-Year Experience movement. This milestone is about reaching a particular stage of maturation in the drive to cultivate national First-Year Experience scholarship. It also shows the importance of the continued development of South Africa’s only dedicated national centre for First-Year Experience, i.e. the South African National Resource Centre for the First-Year Experience (SANRC), in terms of helping grow and nurture scholarship in the field.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4445
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Coping Processes of South African First-Year University Students: An
           Exploratory Study

    • Authors: Liesel Engelbrecht, Karina Mostert, Jacobus Pienaar, Carlien Kahl
      Abstract: South African higher education institutions (HEIs) face significant challenges with high first-year student drop‑out rates due to various stressors students are facing. The current study explores the coping of first-year students studying at a South African university. This qualitative study followed an
      exploratory, descriptive, interpretive strategy to gain a deeper understanding of students’ coping during their first academic year at university. Ten participants were recruited through a trusted gatekeeper using purposive voluntary and later snowball sampling methods. Data were collected using the
      Mmogo method ® and semi-structured individual follow-up interviews. Interactive qualitative and thematic analyses generated three themes: (1) the availability of and access to coping resources for first-year students; (2) coping strategies first-year students rely on to manage stressors at university; and (3) the effectiveness of selected coping strategies. Understanding the coping of first-year students could assist HEIs in intervening and supporting first-year students appropriately, to enhance their
      first-year experience (FYE) and overall student well‑being. Though limited to a small qualitative study, the contribution to FYE literature is through exploring nuanced coping resources, strategies, and the effectiveness thereof for students, which challenges the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach many universities
      may use. However, there are strategies and awareness of resources that could, in general, be helpful.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4443
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Business Education Learners in the Further Education and Training Phase:
           Towards the Development of a South African Readiness Model to Strengthen
           Learners’ Academic Performance

    • Authors: Venicia McGhie, Antoinette Venter, Karen Dos Reis
      Abstract: African and coloured students continue to perform poorly both at public schools and institutions of higher learning. There are two main reasons for their weak performance – a lack of literacy and numeracy skills, and being under-prepared. This article reports on two findings of a study that was
      conducted at two high schools in the Western Cape Province. The one high school was a quintile 1, and the other a quintile 4 school. The study aimed to implement intervention strategies over a three year period for Grade 10 to 12 learners in the business-related subjects, Accounting, Business Studies,
      and Economics. The objective was to develop a readiness model that public schools in South African could use to overcome the challenges so that learners could be equipped with a strong foundation in their primary schooling. The study was situated within a critical education science paradigm and used
      a critical participatory action research design. Two groups of 30 learners formed the main research participants. Interventions strategies were implemented with the learners when they were in Grade 10 in 2017, in Grade 11 in 2018, and in Grade 12 in 2019. The results show that both groups of
      learners did not have an adequate rating of 50% and more subject content knowledge and skills when they arrived in Grade 10 in 2017 in all three subjects, and they did not manage to obtain a 50% or more rating in the three subjects in their final examinations at the end of Grade 12 in 2019. Based on the four key principles of the readiness model, recommendations are proposed that would assist public schools to develop and support the learners during the early childhood and foundation phase so that a
      solid foundation in literacy and numeracy skills could be laid.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4444
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • First-Year Student Transition at the University of the Free State during
           Covid‑19: Challenges and Insights

    • Authors: Herkulaas M.v.E. Combrink, Lauren L. Oosthuizen
      Abstract: First-year seminars and university induction programmes are embedded with academic and social skills
      required by students to transition into their first year of study. The first-year seminar at the University
      of the Free State is a credit-bearing module called UFS101, and is a prerequisite for degree completion.
      Students are assessed through summative assessment opportunities throughout the year. In 2020, the
      UFS101 module embarked on new territory by condensing the contact time for the first semester into
      a week-long summer school. Furthermore, the summer school was presented a week prior to the start of university, with repeat sessions during the first week of class, and during the March holiday. However, due to national lockdown regulations as a result of Covid‑19, a part of the cohort had to self-study the content via an interactive online study guide. This created four distinct groups of students: those who attended face-to-face classes, some face-to-face classes and some self-study, self-study only, and students who could not access the content. In order to measure their transition into university, a questionnaire was distributed to the students, and the results were stratified according to one of the aforementioned categories. Unique similarities and differences were observed in the findings. The results depict that effective content design is at the heartbeat of student transition, but that other factors such as face-to-face interaction with students, and access to resources assist with the transition into university. This study highlighted the need to explore the challenges students experience within their first six months at university, and substantiates that this type of exploration should be routinely conducted to assist with the understanding and implementation of first-year student support.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4446
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Investigating the Appropriateness and Validity of the Academic Motivation
           Scale-College Version for South African First-Year University Students

    • Authors: Adéle Kapp, Karina Mostert, Leon de Beer
      Abstract: South African universities have one of the lowest graduation rates in the world, especially amongst
      first-year university students. South Africa’s first-year university students are taxed with tremendous
      challenges. One of the most important amongst these challenges is considered to be academic
      motivation, which is strongly related to students’ academic success. Despite this, to date, little work has
      been undertaken to source and validate a reliable instrument to measure students’ academic motivation.
      This article is based on the proposition that there is a pressing need for a valid and reliable instrument
      that measures academic motivation and its effect on students’ academic success. The psychometric
      properties of the Academic Motivation Scale-College version were examined for first-year university
      students. The findings are promising for using this scale to measure academic motivation of first-year
      university students.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4447
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Effective Institutional Intervention Where It Makes the Biggest Difference
           to Student Success: The University of Johannesburg (UJ) Integrated Student
           Success Initiative (ISSI)

    • Authors: André van Zyl, Graham Dampier, Nkosini Ngwenya
      Abstract: Low levels of student success in South Africa have persisted as a seemingly intractable problem. There
      have been some gains in student success over time, but with a participation rate of approximately 18%,
      the current success rates still represent massive financial and human losses to the country. Internationally
      there is a trend to move towards interventions that are more strongly data-informed at every step and
      the available evidence indicates that these interventions are more likely to have the desired effect. This
      article reports back on the first 24 months of implementation of one such intervention, namely the
      Integrated Student Success Initiative (ISSI), at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The ISSI uses
      data to inform every step of the process which includes planning, selection and targeted intervention and
      evaluating possible impacts. The ISSI is showing promise as an effective strategy for improving student
      success and is allowing the institution to focus its limited resources where they have the potential to
      make the biggest difference.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4448
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • The Academic Persistence of First‑Year First‑Generation
           African Students (FYFGAS): A Framework for Higher Education in South

    • Authors: Soraya Motsabi, Boitumelo Diale, André van Zyl
      Abstract: Since the dawn of democracy, South African universities have seen increased access to higher education from African students, the majority being first-generation students (FGS). This increase to access came with challenges of retention and throughput amongst first-year first-generation African students
      (FYFGAS). Despite these challenges, there have also been FYFGAS who have successfully passed their first year and completed their qualifications. This article used a mixed method approach with a sample of 311 FYFGAS who were registered in a standard first-year course in three faculties at a
      university in Gauteng. Quantitative data were collected through a questionnaire and qualitative data were collected from individual semi-structured interviews. Analyses included the use of Structural
      Equation Modelling which provided interesting insights into the inter-relations between various factors. Findings from the data analyses were used to create a framework of persistence for FYFGAS in higher education. The framework focuses on the resilience factors of first-year students and the role of the institution in ensuring that these students are successful. It also provides a guide for institutional interventions aimed at improving the persistence of FYFGAS.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4449
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Towards a Learning Mindset: First-Year University Students’
           Qualitative Perspectives on Gratitude in the Context of Learning Effort

    • Authors: Henry Mason
      Abstract: Signature strengths, such as gratitude, can assist students in navigating the demanding first-year experience. However, more research is needed to explore the role of gratitude in relation to cognitive benefits for students. This article reports on a constructivist grounded theory study that explored
      South African students’ conceptions and enactments of gratitude with regard to their learning efforts. Qualitative data were collected in individual open-ended interviews (n = 22, age-range = 18‑23) and analysed using three interdependent coding phases (initial coding, focused coding and theoretical coding). The resultant grounded theory was titled ‘Thanks: Gratitude and learning resilience amongst
      first-year university students’. The findings revealed that gratitude could take many forms and has a positive qualitative impact on students’ learning resilience, and that gratitude and learning resilience are emancipatory in nature. Limitations and areas for further research conclude the discussion.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4454
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • “My name is Matshepo … Mother of Hope”: Examining
           Hope amid the First-Year Experience

    • Authors: Henry Mason
      Abstract: Student affairs practitioners have essential roles to play in assisting students in concretising a sense of hope. However, more research is needed to explore the role of hope amongst university students during the first-year experience. This article reports on a mixed methods study that explored hope in the context of the first-year experience. The quantitative phase of the study explored the relationships between hope, flourishing, psychological distress, and academic achievement amongst a sample of 296 first-year South African university students (mean age = 20.70, SD = 1.30, female = 63%).
      Statistical analyses revealed significant relationships between the constructs assessed. Students who reported high scores on hope also obtained higher academic marks compared to participants who reported lower scores on the same construct. The qualitative phase of the study explored differences in
      conceptions of hope between participants (N = 28, age-range 18‑22) who reported high versus low scores on a quantitative measure of hope. Two qualitative themes emerged, namely the trichotomy of hope, and hope-based generalised resistance resources. The findings indicate that students who present with high levels of hope may be more inclined to pursue academic goals and experience a sense of well‑being. Implications for student support are discussed, and the importance of promoting realistic hope amid the first-year experience is highlighted.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4455
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • How to Improve University Orientation: Seven Good Practice Strategies for
           South Africa

    • Authors: Annsilla Nyar
      Abstract: There is a great deal of variability in the practice of orientation across the country at South Africa’s universities, and there is limited knowledge of what exactly constitutes good practice in orientation. Many areas of enquiry remain unexplored, and remain blind spots for South Africa’s higher education sector. The article addresses this central question: What constitutes good practice for orientation programmes in South Africa' The article argues that a structured and informed orientation strategy is critical in terms of matters of student retention and, in fact, may serve as the key linchpin of students’ decision to stay or exit the higher education system. Accordingly, seven strategies to improve national
      orientation practice are proposed in this article.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4456
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Experiential Education Conference at Stellenbosch University, South
           Africa, 10–11 November 2020

    • Authors: Ruth Andrews
      Abstract: Experiential Education as Pedagogy for Social Justice, Praxis and Practice for Shaping 21st‑Century Global Citizen Leaders
      Stellenbosch University’s Division Student Affairs, Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education end Citizenship’s Co-curriculum Office, presented the Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference (SUEEC) from 10 to 11 November 2020. This was Stellenbosch University’s first online conference and a first in South Africa and Africa focusing on experiential education and social justice. This two-day virtual higher
      education conference was designed with experiential educators in civil society, university student affairs practitioners, and academics from across the world.
      The conference theme of ‘Experiential education as pedagogy for social justice: praxis and practice for shaping 21st century global citizen leaders’ emerged even more pertinent at a time of mass global upheaval, uncertainty and humanitarian crises. The intention of the SUEEC was to spotlight emerging trends and transitions in the higher education experiential learning domain and the intersections thereof with social justice and the formation of the global citizen leader. To accomplish the above entailed inviting world renown keynote speakers and subject matter experts, and to call for abstracts, master classes
      and exemplars (examples of best practice in experiential education).
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4453
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Strydom, F., Kuh, G. & Loots, S. (Eds.) (2017). Engaging Students: Using
           Evidence to Promote Student Success. Bloemfontein, South Africa: Sun Media

    • Authors: Birgit Schreiber
      Abstract: This book has been one of my favourites since it was published in 2017, and I have recently taken it out of the shelf again when I was reminded by Prof. George Kuh as keynote speaker during the Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference that indeed we should engage our students at every turn in their academic career at university. George
      Kuh has inspired a generation of Student Affairs practitioners with what now seems intuitive, common sense and obvious: engaged students do better.
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4452
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Author biographies

    • Authors: Thierry Luescher
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4463
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Publications by AFRICAN SUN MeDIA

    • Authors: Thierry Luescher
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4462
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
  • Submissions Guidelines

    • Authors: Thierry Luescher
      PubDate: 2020-12-21
      DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i2.4461
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2020)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762

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