Unsure first-years seeking help of Student Advice Centre

The DCU Student Advice Centre has been inundated with first year students having second thoughts about their courses, as the deadline for deferrals and withdrawals draws near.

Many first year students are finding difficulty in settling into college life, according to Student Support and Development Director, Dr. Claire Bohan.

Dr. Bohan said that students are coming into the centre “very unhappy, feeling isolated, not having made friends, and just feeling that they really are sick of walking around campus alone and don’t want to be here.”

It is a positive thing that first years are approaching the Advice Centre with questions about transfers, deferring and withdrawing from their course, she added.

“It’s all healthy, it means those who do think of doing those things are actually engaging and really thinking about their programme.

“We love to see students coming through and saying “I’m not sure, how do I make myself sure.”

Friday October 25th is the cut-off date for students to defer or withdraw completely from their course. The transfer date has already passed.

The number of first years with uncertainties this year did not shock the Director, as an estimated 2,400 new students are expected to enrol in DCU. The total number of registered first years will not be known until the cut-off day next Friday. Many students awaiting confirmation of grants from SUSI are delaying registration.

A Higher Education Authority report published in 2010 showed that DCU had the highest first-year drop out rate among Irish universities. In 2007/2008, 11 per cent of students failed to complete first year in their original course. Computer Science had the most fluctuation, with 29 per cent of students leaving the programme.

DCU have since encouraged IT and maths students to avail of free personal tutoring in the Maths Learning Centre and in the School of Computing.

Rachel McLaughlin

Image Credit: Annemarie Kelly

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