Room C – TUESDAY 16:15-17:15
Garry N. Dyck
Dr. Rod Lastra
Student Affairs (English Language Centre), and Extended Education (Access Programs)
University of Manitoba
Garry N Dyck is the Director of the English Language Centre focusing on English for Academic Purposes for students preparing for and in degree study.
Rod Lastra is head of the Access Math and Science program with the aim of ensuring success for non-traditional students.
Based on a database of 70,251 students, this study compares secondary school grades used for entrance with first year grade point averages. The number of at-risk Chinese students at the end of year one is lower for students who have completed a presessional English for Academic Purposes course.
In this study, we compare secondary school grades used for entrance requirements with university first year grade point averages (GPAs) ranging from 0 to 4.5. The study, based on a database of 70,251 students admitted from 1997 to 2013, compares four cohorts: Canadian students (CA), English speaking international students (ES), international students who completed a fourteen-week presessional course to meet the language requirement (L5), and international students who met the language requirement without the presessional course (IN). Students in each of the four cohorts are grouped according to half-bands of first year GPA. Averages of secondary school grades are calculated for each half-band range. Patterns for CA, ES, and IN are similar; however, L5 students have a significantly lower range in high school averages from the 4.0 to 4.5 GPA cohort to the less than 1.0 cohort. In addition, the percentage of students in each GPA cohort is similar among the four student types with the exception of a high percentage of IN students below a GPA of 1.0; that is, with D or F grades. This also remains true when Chinese students, the largest group of international students, are isolated in the IN and L5 cohorts. Results from this study provide evidence in support that Chinese students who complete the presessional English for Academic Purposes course do better in their first year of degree study than other Chinese students. Furthermore, the number of at-risk Chinese students at the end of year one is lower for students who have completed a presessional English for Academic Purposes course. Reasons for patterns are discussed.