Effects of University Preparation and Engagement on Achievement
This study comprised an investigation of the longitudinal achievement of New Zealand first-year undergraduate students (n=967) who transitioned to their degrees through the Certificate of University Preparation (CUP) programme at Victoria University of Wellington between 2008 and 2012 and the role of preparation and engagement on their achievement. Certain student behaviours, development of study skills, importance of academic challenge, and emphasis on academic support were all correlated with later university achievement. Although engagement is a highly acclaimed concept, its links to achievement were unsubstantiated. Using linear regressions, students' academic perseverance and their achievement in CUP each uniquely predicted first-year university degree programme achievement. CUP students' university achievement was higher than mainstream students with similar secondary school achievement, based on a statistical model of achievement that accounted for the relative difficulty of achieving each result. These findings indicate that the CUP programme was effective in preparing learners to access and achieve in university.