Longitudinal study of the success rates of a cohort of New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil) domestic students
Chai, Ted; Leaver, Jonathan
Citation:Chai, E., and Leaver, J. (2014, Longitudinal study of the success rates of a cohort of New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Civil) domestic students. Proceedings of the 2014 AAEE (Ed.)
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3175
BACKGROUND Low success rates in the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering - Civil (NZDE) in 2011 were a cause for concern. The average success rate of the eight compulsory courses in the first year of study in the NZDE was low at 44%. From the records of student applications, about 30% of the domestic students had not met the entry criteria of NCEA Level 2. This study examines the performance of those students along with domestic students who met the academic entry criteria and special admission students aged 20 and above with prior study or relevant work experience. PURPOSE The purpose of this study is firstly to find out if the admission of students who did not meet the entry criteria significantly affected the success rate of certain courses in NZDE. Secondly, to determine if the present National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) Level 2 entry requirement an adequate entry criterion for NZDE programme to produce quality graduates as Engineering Technicians. Finally, to evaluate if prior study and work experience have effect on the students’ success rate. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY Three categories of domestic students were identified and their success rates in courses through the NZDE analysed. They are: (A) students meeting entry criteria, (B) students not meeting entry criteria, and (C) special admission students aged 20 and above with prior study or relevant work experience. These three categories of students were analysed over three years to establish their average semester success rates and first attempt success rates for eight Year One compulsory courses RESULTS The study found that the success rate of Category A and C students consistently higher than the success rate of Category B students. Both Category A and B students showed a similar increase in success rate with time but the success rate of Category C students was hovering within a narrow range although they have the highest success rate among the three categories of students in the beginning. CONCLUSIONS The findings confirm the effect of students’ high school academic results on their first year university academic performance. However, the longitudinal study found that the students who stayed on the course continued to improve academically irrespective of their academic performances at the beginning of their study. The study also showed that prior study and work experience have a positive impact on the students’ performance in general.