Enhancing Participation of First-year Education Students: Focusing on Life Circumstances


This paper reports on a participatory action research study that investigated the life circumstance associated with first-year education students who displayed limited participation with their study activities within a regional university. The life circumstance presented in this paper include first in family, age, socio-economic status, living away from home and work commitments. Research data include a business analytics program of the students’ records, research literature, and the experiences of the College Student Support Officer (CSSO). The four-phase analysis reflected on the prevalence of the life circumstances with the students who displayed limited participation and who received support from the CSSO. The paper discusses the support strategies employed by the CSSO and others support structures that may be required. The study concluded that the life circumstances associated with most first-year students who displayed limited participation can overlap and compound negatively to affect the students’ ability to complete their studies successfully.