Why do Speech and Language Therapy students withdraw from the course? An investigation using hermeneutic methods and analysis
Cassidy, Siwan Mair
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The rate of student attrition, in which students enter a university course and leave before completion remains high. Vocational courses have a higher rate of student attrition however there is little research into the reasons for student withdrawal, particularly in Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) courses. The high rate of student attrition has been partly attributed to the increase in people who enter university and have characteristics associated with “non-traditional” students. These students often provide external reasons for leaving. The most common entrants to university are students who enter from school and are under the age of 24, they commonly withdraw as they select courses incorrectly and are unprepared for university. A questionnaire was sent to students who withdrew from an SLT course at one institution to gather background information and some preliminary information about their reason for withdrawal. A large amount of questionnaire participants reported withdrawing as they did not want to be Speech and Language Therapists. Due to this an open interview design using hermeneutic methods and analysis was used to gain an in-depth view of data from a selection of these participants. The interview and questionnaire results indicate a lack of preparation for many aspects of the SLT course.
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