Date: Monday 1 July 2024
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm AEST
Venue: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Cost: Please see Registration page

Student Success in first year transition – what works and how can we work better together?

The new Higher Education Support Act, which links the HES (2021) domain 1 Student Participation and Attainment, requires us to demonstrate how we support all students to be successful in their learning and achieve their potential. Alongside this, the HE Accord challenges universities to deliver on higher education participation targets for students from equity groups to achieve parity by 2035.

Egea and Melvold, 2022, draw from the literature to identify key practices that support student transition success. In their 2022 UTS LX blog on first year transition, they write:

“Students thrive when the learning process is authentic, engaging, purposeful, explicit, relational and inclusive. The first-year curriculum, when designed intentionally, plays an integral part in assisting students’ development, belonging and engagement. It needs to:

  • be foundational
  • foster student identity and sense of belonging through involvement and connection in the university and its people (peers, educators and wider community)
  • facilitate the delivery of just-in-time, just-for-me tailored support, unpacking the ‘hidden’ rules and expectations of the learning process”

Successful Transition is everybody’s business.

How can we best work together across the curricular, co-curricular and extra curricular to enhance student successful transition? What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

To stimulate the discussion, the Charles Sturt Retention Team will explain their national award-winning best practice work (see abstract below) to support students to succeed in first year,

Please join us for another fabulous FYE network meeting

Kathy, Kelly, Neil, Sarah and Noelia


Retention @ Charles Sturt: Collaborating to Build a Retention Culture

The Charles Sturt Retention Team have built, tested, evaluated, and refined a whole of institution Retention Model and has been successful in breaking down Faculty and Divisional silos to introduce new ways of working, facilitate meaningful data sharing, and establish a ‘retention culture’ across the university. The work of the Retention Team incorporates three main parts; (i) embedding best-practice transition pedagogy with intentional design of first year units (ii) pre-census outreach support for disengaged students who do not submit an early assessment item and (iii) embedded tutor support in key first-year subjects.This work has impacted student learning with increases in student progress rates and retention when disengaged students have dialogue with the Outreach Team or meet with an embedded tutor. Every aspect of this work supports student equity groups, which are over-represented at our regional University. The Retention Team have received widespread recognition internally, nationally, and internationally. Their work has been shared through publications, conference presentations, and directly through invitational presentations at multiple universities.

This project won the 2022 AAUT Program Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.


Dr Kathy Egea
Senior Lecturer and First &Further Year Experience (FFYE) Coordinator
Institute for Interactive Media and Learning(IML)
University of Technology Sydney

Kathy’s passion is to connect, link, draw on practice, build communities of those passionate about the student transition experience, in both curricular and co-curricular spaces. This is a key part of her role in the UTS Teaching and Learning team. The FFYE program (formerly FYE) engages a huge community of academics, professional staff and some students to share, learn and connect through grants and forums to support. She is a STARS Fellow, for her practice, and was a finalist in 2021 CAULLT Global Good Practice Award. In 2023, She co-authored the inaugural module on First Year Transition for Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching (CAUT) MOOC.

Associate Professor Kelly Linden
Sub Dean Student Retention
Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic
Charles Sturt University

Over the last 7 years, Kelly has developed and led retention work across Charles Sturt which has resulted in a number of publications and awards. Her research interests are student engagement, success, retention and feedforward which have informed the new Charles Sturt University Retention Strategy.

Dr Sarah Teakel
Manager, Embedded Study Support
Division of Student Success
Charles Sturt University

Sarah is the Manager of the Embedded Tutor Program, embedding tutors into key first-year undergraduate subjects to increase student engagement. Her research interests include feedforward, initiatives in learning and teaching in higher education, student retention and student success.

Mr Neil van der Ploeg
Academic Lead, Retention Team
Division of Student Success
Charles Sturt University

Neil has been in the Retention Team for the past 5 years. As part of the Team Neil has been seeking to understand and research student transition and success at Charles Sturt, simultaneously developing and implementing practical interventions to improve student outcomes.

Dr Noelia Roman
Academic Lead, Retention Team
Division of Student Success
Charles Sturt University

Noelia joined the Retention Team in 2022 after over a decade teaching first-year Medical Science. Her Research Interests include early assessment design, first year subject design and delivery, and student transition, success and retention.