Authors: Kwao Edjah1 & Ebenezer Domey 2 & Francis Ankomah3
1Office of the Dean of Students’ Affairs, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
2Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, Australia
3Department of Educational Foundations, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
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
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International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), June 2019, Vol.5, No.4