PREVENTION STRATEGIES TO FIGHT AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY ABSENTEEISM IN THE NEW UNIVERSITY DEGREES

With the introduction of the new University Degrees and following the guidelines of the Bologna Process, on-site teaching takes on a fundamental role, enhanced by the need for a competency evaluation that requires direct interaction with the student.
Nonetheless, after two years of experience with the new Degrees, we have found that the participatory presence of students in the classroom is hampered by high absenteeism involving a significant segment of students. The evidence suggests that absenteeism has decreased with respect to the precedent university model and that the Bologna Process does not seem to solve or deal with this reality.

This paper summarizes a Teaching Innovation Project developed by a group of researchers from the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Valladolid. The project proposes actions to understand the university absenteeism triggers in the new context created by the introduction of the new University Degrees derived from the Bologna Process. It also includes the implementation of measures to prevent school absenteeism, measures articulated at three levels:
1. Coaching and mentoring.
2. Group support to students with reconciliation issues.
3. Reinforcement actions for students with educational failure.

Project Objectives:

a) Identify the factors and causes that lead and explain the absenteeism of students in the new University Degree proposed as object of study.
b) Know the effects and consequences that absenteeism has on academic performance of students and test their impact on the possible repetition of subjects, abandonment or desertion of their studies.
c) Design and set different strategies or tools to address positively the involvement of these students in the subjects.

The instruments to be implemented to achieve this will be different:
· We will consider a form of mentoring that involves contact and knowledge of their personal situation.
· We will try to define the demands of these students, collecting a variety of situations and channeling them through the Programa Orienta for teachers involved in the new Degrees to take into account the situations and conditions that determine their absenteeism.
· We will design and propose academic activities that allow to supplement academic tasks performed in the classroom, so they can engage in both seminars and hands-on activities.
· We will propose a monitoring and online communication that will allow to know the background and academic standing of the student and can supply onsite activities in the classroom.

Expected Results:

a) Identification of the factors and causes that lead and explain the absenteeism of students in the new University Degree proposed as object of study.
b) Identification of the effects and consequences that absenteeism has on the academic performance of students.
c) Development of alternative teaching strategies to improve the level of involvement of this group of students.
d) Improvement of the educational achievement of students with problems of reconciling work and college life.
e) Improvement of the rate that relates number of enrolled students and number of evaluated students.