The validity of the Situation Specific Evaluation Expert (SPEEX) for predicting academic success of first year mechanical engineering students at the Vaal Triangle Technikon
Kubayi, Rirhandzu Maureen
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Institutions of higher learning are currently faced with the crisis of finding appropriate criteria for undergraduate admission. This concern has been sparked by the fact that matriculation grades are no longer seen as an accurate reflection of students' academic potential. As tertiary education is becoming more expensive, it is therefore becoming more and more important to select only students who have a realistic chance of being successful in their studies. The main aim of this study is to validate the Situation Specific Evaluation Expert (SPEEX) as a predictor of academic success of first year students of Mechanical Engineering at the Vaal Triangle Technikon. The design used in this study is a non-experimental correlational design. This design was selected because the investigation of this study is aimed at determining the presence or absence of the relationship between the independent and dependent variables without specific reference to causality. The sample of this study consisted of a total of 140 mechanical engineering student at the Vaal Triangle Technikon. This sample was the total number of students from the Mechanical Engineering department who enrolled for mechanical engineering courses for the year 2000. The sample consisted of 94% males and females 6% females. Subject matter experts from industry as well as those involved in the training of Mechanical Engineering at the Vaal Triangle Technikon selected competencies, which were hypothesised to be indicative of a potentially successful student. Based on the selected competencies the assessment battery was compiled with the selected indices being considered as predictor variables. A multiple regression analysis was performed on data in order to establish the predictive validity of the assessment battery. SPEEX 2502 (Language proficiency) consistently showed a positive correlation on the prediction of academic success.