A Fun Approach to tackling Early Drop-out Rates among Students
So how do 3rd level institutions tackle college dropout rates among 1st year students? Picture this for a minute:
You are 18 years old, you’ve just moved away from home to a strange city. Bad luck that all your friends got places in other Colleges.
The orientation process was ok, staff seemed nice. Of course everyone seemed to know someone except you. You tried to smile at a few others but they were too excited to notice you. After it was all over you went back to your new apartment alone because everyone is gone home for the weekend. You regret telling your parents to head off thinking you’d be busy settling in at College. The initial excitement of your new independence and being in charge of your own life is beginning to wear off. For the first time since you started secondary school, you are on your own.
Monday morning. Finally. You arrive at your first lecture, surrounded by fellow students all busy laughing and joking or so it seems to you. You’d never admit this, but you’re not feeling very confident. Which surprises you. There may be others like you, but you don’t see them. You sit down alone. This time you don’t attempt to smile or make eye contact with anyone. It’s a long time since you felt so isolated. You can’t wait for Friday when you’re going home for the weekend, but you’re already dreading Sunday evening. You begin to wonder – was coming here a huge mistake?? You don’t know what to do…
Unless students make early connections with the institution and with each other, the risk of dropping out in the first 7 weeks is much greater. Sometimes these connections happen naturally, but sometimes students need some support in getting to know their peers and faculty staff. That’s where our Third Level Bonding Days come in. Broadly speaking, at the end of our on-site Bonding Day, students who might otherwise have struggled with isolation and loneliness will have taken part in a number of exciting activities and worked through a series of fun challenges with their fellow students. It’s almost impossible not to get to know each other and make friends on the day – or so our feedback tells us! Because we’ve done this before, we know how to work with you to tailor the day to suit the needs of your particular institution. The activities can also be structured to break down barriers between staff and students that might have existed in the secondary school environment.