Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Achieving the kind of balance that encourages all children to learn, work, and contribute to their fullest potential has been a continuing challenge as the world grows more complex and our communities enveloped with various challenges of socio-political and economic disintegration. With rapid changes in technology and global competition in all facets of human endeavour, it is more crucial than ever that adolescents are fully equipped to compete for knowledge and technology based jobs. When students are not well prepared for the challenges ahead most especially from the secondary school stage of education, the cost to individuals and the implication to the society can better be imagined. For example, the transition from high school to university is very stressful for most individuals (McLaughlin, Brozovsky & McLaughlin, 1998; Perry, Hladkyj, Pekrum & Pelletier, 2001; Pratt et al, 2000). The majority of high school students who go on to post-secondary institutions withdraw before graduation (Gerdes & Mallinckrodt, 1994; Pancer, Hunsberger, Pratt & Alisat, 2000). First-year university students face a variety of stressors: making new relationships, modifying existing relationships with parents and family (e.g. living apart), and learning to cope with the new academic environment. Furthermore, they must learn to function as independent adults (e.g. budgeting time and money). Failure to master these familiar tasks appears to be the most common reason for undergraduate students withdrawing from university (Blanc, DeBuhr & Martin, 1983).