Domains and predictors of first-year student success: A systematic review
Publication date: February 2018 Source:Educational Research Review, Volume 23 Author(s): Petrie J.A.C. van der Zanden, Eddie Denessen, Antonius H.N. Cillessen, Paulien C. Meijer The predictors of first-year student success received much attention in educational practice and theory. However, first-year student success can be defined in various ways. By studying different theoretical research strands, we developed a conceptual framework consisting of three domains of first-year student success, namely students' academic achievement, critical thinking skills, and social-emotional well-being. The goal of this systematic literature review was to illustrate whether the predictors and their effects are similar and/or different across these three domains of first-year student success. A systematic search yielded 80 articles that were eligible. The results indicated that some predictors contributed to multiple domains of success, namely students’ previous academic performance, study skills, motivation, social relationships, and participation in first-year programs. Further, some predictors were typical for a specific domain. Academic achievement and social-emotional well-being were particularly related to factors within the student, whereas critical thinking skills were more related to the learning environment.