Freshmen drop outs at 14 per cent

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By Shirley Lin

For Samadoon Hersi, the most difficult adjustment in university has been the readings.

“The scariest part is reading the textbook, at first,” said the first-year student while flipping through his textbook thas almost two inches thick. “It piles up.”

Hersi eventually adjusted. “You get used to it.”

But some students may be finding a hard time getting used o a new university environment. ABout 14 per ent of first-years drop out of their program, says a report by the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, which researches access to post-secondary education. Heather Lane Vetere, Ryerson’s vice provost student said the number isn’t alarming

“Its not that much higher than it has been in the past,” Vetere said. “Its always been at 10 to 16 per cent for the first-years students. It varies by institution and program.”

But the report, which analyzed data from Statistics Canada Youth in Transition Survey; points out half of these students continue their studies at other institutions putting the number at eight per cent for those droppings out after first year.

The survey followed followed 963,000 students age 18 to 20 in 2000. Its results suggest first-yeasr drop-outs struggled with academic performance.

“I’m not surprised because I know from experience that there are students that don’t  complete their first year”, said Alan Sears, sociology  professor. “They realize they’re not in the right program and its very hard to make an informed choice.”

Margo Houston switched to Ryerson’s social work program from psychology at the University of Waterloo after her second year.

“I wasn’t prepared enough to choose,” said Houston, who is in he last year. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career and I was just worn-out after high school.”

York University is introducing a fall reading week this academic year to give students a break.

“Since the province eliminated Grade 13, students coming in are younger. Its helpful for them to have a week to catch up on things,” said Aloex Bilyk, director of media relations at York.


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