ACADEMIC EXPERIENCES OF COLLEGE STUDENTS IN UNIVERSITIES OF THE SOUTH REGION OF BRAZIL
This study aims to analyze and correlate the academic experiences of Brazilian college students in the middle and final years of their degree program at universities in southern Brazil. Participants include 126 students with a mean age of 23 years old (71.4% male and 54% coming from rural areas), attending courses in Agronomy, Environment Engineering, Agro-Business Technologies and Business Administration. They completed a demographic questionnaire and the reduced version of Academic Experiences Questionnaire (QVA-r) which assesses five dimensions of academic adjustment: personal, interpersonal, career, study-learning, and institutional. Positive correlations were found between career and institutional dimensions and between career and interpersonal dimensions of students’ academic experiences, as well as a negative correlation between study and personal dimensions. Women showed higher satisfaction in the study dimension, with students from rural areas showing higher levels of satisfaction in the personal dimension. Moreover, in general, students seem to be satisfied with their career prospects, and with their vocational preparation and peer relations. Although some students report difficulties in organizing their study or fell unsatisfied with their academic results, they register self-confidence and optimism, and seem to be able to emotionally deal with the changes that occur during their college academic life. This is specially observed for those students coming from rural areas. Finally, students’ academic experiences in the actual semester, and perceived internal and external resources and support, correlate with their intentions of continuing studies in their course and higher institution.