BACKGROUND, PROBLEM AND OBJECTIVE
The transition from the Secondary Education to the University is a complex situation because it implies deep changes that affect students in many ways, such as: the integration into the new academic-social reality, the didactical approach of the subjects, the autonomy and personal safety, as well as the knowledge and use of the university services. All of these factors address the need of a consolidated affective development with the added difficulty that not a few students have left family and friends in their places of origin.
Nowadays there is a growing concern in the University related to the adaptation of the students who begin their university studies, mainly due to the anxiety and uncertainty that, usually, individuals experience to new situations. It is a situation of uncertainty that both the school counsellors as well as the review of the specialized literature and the professional experience of the practicing teachers attribute to the anxiety caused by the unknown and the subsequent stress generated by the fact of facing new and uncertain situations (Días y Sá, 2012; Motoca, Williams y Silverman, 2012).
The need to make decisions -sometimes immediately due to unexpected circumstances- raises the opportunity to open up new horizons or, on the contrary, lead to school failure, in which case the students could even abandon their studies. “The transition to the university is itself, a complex and multifactorial process that requires significant and multiple changes and adaptations in the student (Aguilar Rivera, 2007, p. 2)”. Both free curricular time as well as the development of metacognitive skills and teamwork are the necessary prelude and consequences of a good learning (Pérez Ferra, Quijano López y Ocaña Moral, 2013; Villa y Poblete, 2008).
In order to avoid failure, it is necessary to rethink the orientation of the previous training received in the family and the teacher-student relationship, because both factors are essential for the development of the self-concept and the subsequent decision-making. (Briggs, Clark y Hall, 2012).
The transition to the university is posed by authors such as Lorenzo, Argos, Hernández García y Vera Vila (2014), as a “process that must be focused in the value of the competencies, in the training process and in the adoption of an integral and integrative perspective with regard to the way to understand the university student” (p.17). The situation of the student upon arrival to University is uncertain, even after their attendance of scheduled activities to inform about university degree programs and the attention received in the University through the mentoring.
To talk about the insertion of the student in the University implies reflecting on the interaction and communication with the other members of the university community, especially teachers and students. This insertion begins in the convergence between the student's development and the academic climate of the institution. The students' rooting to their university depends on the academic environment, the intellectual and moral stature of the university community, the quality of the personal treatment (welcome at the university) and the correct choice of their studies (Brindleya y Parker, 2010).
The literature review and the testimonial evidences allow us to consider that the transition from Secondary Education to University is posed in four main areas, namely: Integration in the new academic and social reality; adaptation to the new didactic and curricular processes; personal autonomy and security, as well as the knowledge and use of the university services.
Main objective of the research
- To analyze the students' perception about their difficulties to get integrated into the new university academic-social reality
Aguilar Rivera, M. C. (2007). La transición a la vida universitaria: Éxito, fracaso, cambio y abandono (pp. 1-10). En CEPaU: IV Encuentro Nacional de Docentes Universitarios Católicos (pp. 1-10). Universidad y Nación. Camino al bicentenario: "Realizando la verdad en el amor”. Recuperado de: http://www.enduc.org.ar/enduc4/trabajos/t064-c36.pdf. Briggs, A.R.J., Clark, J. y Hall, I. (2012). Building bridges: understanding student transition to university. Quality in Higher Education, 18 (1), 3-21. DOI:10.1080/13538322.2011.614468. Recuperado de: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/. Brindleya, R. y Parker, A. (2010). Transitioning to the classroom: reflections of second‐career teachers during the induction year. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice,16 (5), 577-594. Dias, D. y Sá, M. J. (2012). From high School to university: students’ competences recycled. Research in Post –Compulsory Education, 17 (3), 277 – 291. DOI:10.1080/13596748.2012.700094. Recuperado de: http://dx.coi.org/ 10.10 80/ 13 596748.2012.700094. Lorenzo, M., Argos, J. Hernández García, J y Vera Vila, J. (2014). El acceso y la entrada del estudiante a la Universidad: Situación y propuestas de mejora facilitadoras del tránsito. Educación XX1, 17 (1), 15-38. Morales Vallejo, P. (2012). Morales Vallejo, P. (2012). Estadística aplicada a las ciencias sociales. Madrid: Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. Motoca, L. M., Williams and Silverman, W. K. (2012). Social Skills as a Mediator Between Anxiety Symptoms and Peer Interactions Among Children and Adolescents, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 41 (3), 329-336. DOI:10.1080/15374416.2012.668843.Recuperado de: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/ 15374416.2012.668843. Pérez Ferra, M.; Quijano López, R. y Ocaña Moral, M. T. (2013). El profesorado universitario ante el Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior: dos años después. Educatio XX1, 31(2), 235 - 254. Villa, A. y Poblete, M. (2008). Aprendizaje basado en competencias: Una propuesta para la evaluación de las competencias genéricas. Bilbao: ICE Universidad de Deusto. Wang, T. R., (2014). Formational Turning Points in the Transition to College: Understanding How Communication Events Shape First-Generation Students' Pedagogical and Interpersonal Relationships With Their College Teachers. Communication Education, 63 (1), 63-82. Recuperado de: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/03634523.2013.841970.
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