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External Degree Programme Graduates’ Perception of Students’ Support Services in the Faculty of External Studies, University of Nairobi

JK Kiumi


The first locally organized external Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree
programme in Kenya was started in 1986 in the Faculty of External Studies (FES) of the University of Nairobi. Five components of students’ support services were incorporated in to the programme so as to enhance the teaching- learning process. These were: continuous assessment tests, face-toface tutorials, provision of study materials to the learners, guidance and counselling services and library facilities in the Regional Study Centres. However, students’ performance in the first semester exams was dismal in some subjects which seemed to suggest that the support services had not achieved their intended objectives. This study was, therefore carried out to determine the way the first graduates of the BEd programme perceived the effectiveness of the support services and whether these perceptions were influenced by marital status and the subjects the students had studied in the
BEd course. Using a mailed questionnaire, data were collected from 170
graduates who were selected from a total population of 200 graduates
through simple and systematic random sampling techniques. Data were
analysed through, frequency counts, percentages, t-test and ANOVA. The key findings revealed that marital status and the subjects studied were not significant determinants of graduates’ perception of the effectiveness of the support services. However, on the whole, face-to-face tutorials were rated more favourably by married graduates and those who had studied either mathematics or combinations in which one of the subjects was mathematics Similarly, library facilities were rated more favourably by linguistic graduates compared to their non-linguistic counterparts. However, humanities graduates rated learning materials less favourably compared to their non-humanities counterparts. These findings may give insight to the FES and other distance teaching institutions with a similar support system into those aspects of students’ support services to improve on in order for students to achieve the desired learning outcomes, irrespective of their
marital status and subjects they have registered for.