n Education as Change - Small victories over time : the impact of an academic development intervention at Stellenbosch University

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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Extended Degree Programmes (EDPs) were introduced at Stellenbosch University in 1995, with a focus on broadening access and improving the success rates of under-prepared first-year students. During the ten years since inception, the programme has assisted over 1, 000 students across six faculties. At the start of 2005, staff at the Centre for Teaching and Learning commenced with an in-depth study to determine the impact that the programmes had had on student success in this period. The investigation provided both quantitative and qualitative data from cohort analyses and personal interviews respectively. In a time when national and institutional imperatives have placed the issue of the first-year experience at the top of many higher education agendas, it was felt that such a study should not only be reflective, but should also provide guidelines and directives for restructuring the programmes to meet current challenges. This paper reports on the study, which confirmed the potential of the EDPs to enhance student success, and highlighted the different strengths and weaknesses of the programme. It concludes with a number of recommendations for future practice.

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