Building on Tinto’s model of engagement and persistence: Experiences from the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation Scholarship Scheme
Background. Major inequalities in staffing levels at rural and urban hospitals contribute to poorer health outcomes in rural areas. Local and international studies have shown that healthcare professionals (HCPs) of rural origin are more likely than those of urban origin to work in and contribute to improved health outcomes in rural areas. However, absent role models, dysfunctional families, schools that perform poorly and inadequate funding make it almost impossible for rural-origin students to gain access to institutions of higher learning (IHLs) to train as HCPs.
Objective. To present the experiences of graduates from the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation Scholarship Scheme, build on Tinto’s model of persistence and engagement, and contribute towards the success rates of rural-origin HCPs.
Methods. This qualitative study used a life-history methodology. Unstructured interviews, photomemory, artefacts and collage development were used to explore the educational experiences of six rural-origin HCPs. Data were coded and categorised and themes identified.
Results. Compulsory academic and peer mentoring promoted academic and social engagement, helped students to recognise their pre-university experiences as generative, and contributed to their success. The generative potential of pre-university experiences and compulsory work-based experiential learning were identified as initiatives that could strengthen Tinto’s model of persistence and engagement.
Conclusion. A number of targeted interventions, if introduced at South African IHLs, could contribute to improved success rates of rural-origin health science students.
Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].
Material submitted for publication in the AJHPE is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The AJHPE does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors. The corresponding author should also indicate if the research forms part of a postgraduate short report, dissertation or thesis.
Previously published imagesIf an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.