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Thursday, December 10 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Helping Science Students with the High School-to-University Transition (Poster)

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This project aims to further understand and alleviate the problems caused by the mismatch between the expectations of high school students about university and the academic realities of first year in science. This project builds upon surveys administered during the last academic year (2014/2015) that focused on the transition of students into first year.   The previous surveys will be adapted to create new surveys suitable for both the current grade 12 high-school students and first-year undergraduate students.  Using the collected survey data to inform follow-up questions, we will develop focus groups for high-school students facilitated by upper-year science mentors.  Results from all surveys and focus groups will translate into the creation of a resource guide that will eventually be distributed to the greater community - high-school students, undergraduate students, and instructors.  This presentation will describe the results from the 2014/2015 data, provide further details of the instruments being developed, and discuss our larger goals to support existing McMaster transition programs and ultimately facilitate more communication between high schools and universities.


Bone, E. K., & Reid, R. J. (2011). Prior learning in biology at high school does not predict performance in the first year at university.Higher Education Research & Development30(6), 709–724. http://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2010.539599

Briggs, A. R. J., Clark, J., & Hall, I. (2012). Building bridges: Understanding student transition to university. Quality in Higher Education18(1), 3–21. http://doi.org/10.1080/13538322.2011.614468

Pancer, S. M., Hunsberger, B., Pratt, M. W., & Alisat, S. (2000). Cognitive complexity of expectations and adjustment to university in the First year. Journal of Adolescent Research15(1), 38–57. http://doi.org/10.1177/0743558400151003


Chelsea Bodoe

McMaster University

Robert Cockcroft

McMaster University
avatar for Patricia Kousoulas

Patricia Kousoulas

McMaster University

Thursday December 10, 2015 3:00pm - 3:50pm EST
McMaster Innovation Park Atrium