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An empirical investigation of the early university entrance programme in CTYI

Woods, Cathy (2024) An empirical investigation of the early university entrance programme in CTYI. Master of Arts thesis, Dublin City University.

This study focuses on the student’s experiences in the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland (CTYI) Early University Entrance (EUE) programme and whether this impacts their transition to first-year university. EUE is a dual enrolment programme that allows high- ability Transition Year students to attend CTYI’s home university, Dublin City University, one day a week while still attending school. These students complete two university modules over one or two semesters. This dissertation examines the experience of current participants and former students (senior cycle at secondary school and first year university students). The study implemented a mixed-methods, case study approach to help gain a broader view of the EUE programme. Quantitative measures included the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - 21 Items (DASS-21), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Student Adjustment to College Questionnaire (SACQ), and The Distance Education Learning Environments Survey (DELES). Qualitative methods included interviews and a questionnaire. Through a reflexive thematic analysis, five key themes were identified: Love of Learning explored the passion for learning throughout their participation in the programme; Adapting to Online Learning explored their perceptions of online learning academically and socially; Personal Growth examined individual growth and self-fulfilment from participation; and School: Steppingstone to True Interests, explored their perceptions of secondary school with a majority reporting feelings of boredom and not being adequately challenged. The final theme, Making the Most of It: Students Transition to University, examined how the university cohort perceived their experience entering first year of university. The quantitative data concluded that past students reported higher levels of depression than current participants. This may be due to transitioning from an optimum academic environment on the DCU campus to distance learning in their senior cycle of school (COVID-era). Current students in the EUE programme reported higher levels of instructor support than first-year university students. This is perhaps due to smaller class sizes for the EUE students and engaging in a preferred learning environment in a subject that interests them compared to secondary school. No other statistical significance was found across the three cohorts in the other quantitative scales. The study presents a snapshot of these high-ability students at secondary school and first-year university students during a global pandemic and how this impacted them academically, emotionally, and socially. Overall, no single cohort was affected more than another, and the current EUE students engaged in a university experience that was true of its time.
Item Type:Thesis (Master of Arts)
Date of Award:July 2024
Supervisor(s):Ledwith, Catriona and O'Hara, Joe
Uncontrolled Keywords:Early University Entrance, dual enrolment, gifted and talented, transition year, adjustment to university
Subjects:Social Sciences > Distance education
Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Institute of Education > School of Policy & Practice
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License. View License
Funders:Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland
ID Code:29385
Deposited On:22 Mar 2024 12:20 by Catriona Ledwith . Last Modified 22 Mar 2024 12:20

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Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0


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