Dropout at a psychology course: a qualitative analysis

The aim of this study was to describe aspects of the academic experience that may be associated with dropout at a psychology course. In addition, it aimed to analyze if literature-based categories could provide a basis for the analysis of academic experience in qualitative studies of dropout. Participants were six former students, young adults, who were enrolled between 2 and 5 semesters before attrition. Individual interviews were conducted and subsequently submitted to content analysis. Results showed that dropout was related to individual factors (low motivation, difficulty in relationships, low exploratory behavior) as well as institutional ones (cold relationship with faculty, curriculum focused on specific areas; conflicts between different views of psychology, leading to internal disagreements within course functioning). It is concluded that interventions have to be offered in order to help students who are planning to enroll higher education courses in order to make better decisions, as well as career counseling for those who face doubts and difficulties in their academic trajectories.

Dropout; Psychology; Higher education


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