Factors Affecting First Year College Students' Academic Performance in Potchefstroom College of Agriculture
Mngomezulu, Patricia Ntombizanele
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The purpose of this study was to find out the factors affecting college first year academic performance in Potchefstroom College of Agriculture (PCA). This study covered only 2017 academic year. It sought to determine the effect of inadequate admission and pre-course information on the performance of first year students; to determine the effect of teaching strategies on the performance of first year students; and to determine the effect of academic workload and social integration on the performance of first year students; and to determine the effect of financial and family problems on the performance of first year students. The literature review focused on the concepts, factors that affect students' performance. Thus, it afforded guidelines and laid the background of the study. The study was carried out in a college of agriculture, Potchefstroom; in the J.B. Marks Municipality; Dr Kenneth Kaunda North West Province. It consisted of 87 first year students out of which only 72 were responded. Questionnaires and telephone interviews were used to collect data. Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS 24) was used to compute data analysed and presented in frequency tables, percentages and pie charts. Some of the major findings of the factors that contributed to students' academic performance of PCA were: Admission and pre-course information marketing information to potential students was found to be helpful; the study found that the effect of teaching strategies include academic performance; the respondents' inability to cope with the school workloads; family and financial problems did not have influence on performance; and the average academic support they receive. The recommendations of the study include, the curricular, congested time table and examinations be reviewed and systematic monitoring of students' academic performance be in place to identify students at risk in time and introduce intervention measures. The results of this study will not only add to the literature on student academic performance, but will also provide the management of Potchefstroom College of Agriculture with the necessary material for intervening in the issues that affect student academic performance.