An assessment of the extended curriculum programme at a University Of Technology using quality management principles
Academic Development Programmes at higher education institutions in South Africa were implemented and funded in 2004 by the Department of Higher Education and Training as an initiative to address the low throughput rate and low graduation output. An example of the Academic Development Programmes is the Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) where the length of the mainstream course is extended by six months to one year to allow for additional assistance in individual subjects and the offering of courses/programmes to assist students with basic life skills in adapting to tertiary education. The objective of this research was to look at whether ECP’s were effective in improving throughput rates and graduation output and whether there were quality management practices in place to gauge the effectiveness of ECP’s. The ECP in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at a university of technology was used as a sample. Academic histories of the ECP and Mainstream students of the 2007 cohort were analysed to draw comparisons on the throughput rate, graduation output and continuation to postgraduate studies of the two programmes.