“Keep at it, keep at it and just graduate” –How I continued studying chemistry
This presentation is part of a broader doctoral research concerned with addressing the factors that affect students’ retention at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Specifically, the study attempts to examine the collective influence of career aspiration, self-efficacy and conceptual understanding on the retention of third-year chemistry students from the Extended Degree Programme (EDP) and Mainstream; using a constructivist approach and a qualitative case study design. This presentation focuses on aspects relating to students’ career aspiration and self-efficacy. The convenience sample consisted of students of diverse ethnicity and gender from both EDP and Mainstream who have successfully entered their final year of the chemistry course. Data for the study was accrued from interviews and questionnaires that had open-ended sections on career decisions and self-efficacy; which was subjected to qualitative inductive thematic analysis.