Enabling parents, partners and friends to collaborate in student transition and success

  • Helen Johnston University of South Australia
  • Diana Collett University of South Australia
  • Ben Kooyman University of South Australia
Keywords: widening participation, university transition, first year experience, first in family, parents, enculturation, academic language and learning development, cultural adaptability

Abstract

When students are the first in their family to enrol at university, enculturation into university life is an essential element of academic language and learning development. Now, with the widening participation agenda creating more flexible entry points to Australian universities, not only is there an increasingly more diverse student population and greater numbers of “first generation at university” students, but many students are more dependant for longer on their parents, partners and friends for everyday support. The capacity of family members to understand how they might provide their students with appropriate support may be limited, especially if they have no prior experience of university. This paper argues for an updated view of enculturation in which academic language and learning staff broaden their scope to educate and enable other stakeholders in students’ lives to help create conditions necessary for their academic success. The paper outlines a collaborative transition initiative at the University of South Australia driven jointly by an academic language and learning coordinator and counsellor in the Learning and Teaching Unit and involving three independent services units. This project uses a multi-modal approach to encourage parents, partners and friends to see themselves as active participants in the university experience.

Author Biographies

Helen Johnston, University of South Australia
Language and Learning Coordinator (Widening Participation) Learning and Teaching Unit: City West Campus, University of South Australia
Diana Collett, University of South Australia
Counsellor, Learning and Teaching Unit:City West Campus, University of South Australia
Ben Kooyman, University of South Australia
Language and Learning Adviser (Widening Participation), Learning and Teaching Unit:City West Campus, University of South Australia
Published
2013-11-28
How to Cite
Johnston, H., Collett, D., & Kooyman, B. (2013). Enabling parents, partners and friends to collaborate in student transition and success. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 7(2), A50-A61. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/275