WHO ARE THE STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN GUIDANCE AND TUTORING PROGRAMME? A CASE STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA
Guidance and tutoring are increasingly important to facilitate transitions and encourage the positive inclusion of freshmen in university courses. Previous studies showed that the knowledge of the characteristics of the recipients and of the contexts of implementation is fundamental to design effective support programs for students. This preliminary step permits to propose to the students interventions designed ad hoc for their training needs. The result is a personalized learning, obtained through the proposal of the most appropriate pedagogical tools for the management of educational transitions and for both academic and professional university guidance.
This paper analyzes the characteristics of the students participating in a Tutoring Program implemented at the university of Padova. In particular, the Formative Tutoring Programme (FTP) has been experimented in Academic Year 2016-2017 in eight First Cycle Degree Courses at the University of Padova to contrast drop-out and empower university students. The Programme has been offered to all first year students of the eight Degree Courses, for a total of about 1770 students (1135 in the Scientific area and 635 in the Humanities area). It has foreseen some training and informative meetings divided in:
(i) Service tutoring: the University Student Services have met the students orienting them to the use of their resources and proposals;
(ii) Tutoring and Peer tutoring: the students, divided into small groups, worked on transversal skills, with the support and coordination of a professor of the Degree Course (Academic Tutor) or of a student enrolled in a year following the first (Student Tutor).
To describe the profile of the different groups of students, both administrative and survey data were used: thanks to the joint and integrated use of both objective and subjective information, differential features characterizing students participating in the FTP has emerged and the factors influencing, in a partially different way according to the two macro scientific-didactic areas, the participation has been identified. Results show that, in general, students participating in FTP are characterized by higher grades in high school. For the Scientific macro area, an important factor for participation is having chosen that university course for cultural or “practical” reasons; instead, for the Humanities macro area, factors determining higher participation are the type of high school (students from technical schools show a lower willingness to participate) and the intention to dedicate time to study and to attend the lectures. Other factors such as the socio-cultural characteristics of the family of origin and work intentions are not influential.