Selection criteria for a radiography programme in South Africa: Predictors for academic success in the first year of study
Background: Selection criteria used to admit students to a radiography programme at the Central University of Technology (CUT) included academic criteria, as well as the General Scholastic Aptitude Test (GSAT) and Self-directed Search (SDS) Questionnaire.
Aims and objectives: The aim of the study was to identify which selection criteria were predictors of academic success in the first year of study. As a four year Bachelor's degree in Radiography (480 credits) was to replace the three year National Diploma (NDip) in Radiography (360 credits), selection criteria would come under review.
Design and method: Data from 130 students were gathered in a retrospective quantitative study. Data were edited, categorised and summarised. A statistical analysis was undertaken to identify which selection criteria predicted academic success in the first year of study.
Results: Statistics showed that the matriculation Admission Points Score (National Senior Certificate/NCS APS) and corematriculation subject results in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and English were adequate predictors for first-year academic success, and the subjects Life Sciences for theNSCandBiology for the SeniorCertificate (SC), showedstrong predictivevalues for first-year academic success. According to the statistical analysis, the GSAT and SDS Questionnaire did not contribute any significant information which could predict academic success.
Conclusion: Matriculation marks and NSC APS were adequate predictors for academic success, with a focus on Life Sciences or Biology marks as the strongest predictor. The usefulness of the GSAT and SDS Questionnaire could be questioned, and a recommendation was made to replace these tests with alternative student selection methods.
Keywords: Selection criteria, Radiography, Predictors, Academic success