We combine concepts of Tinto's theory on student departure and Becher's theory on disciplinary tribes for explaining study progress in universities. We collected data with an online questionnaire distributed among 8.000 freshmen (response 30%). In a general linear structural model, preparation, first year experience and study behaviour explain study progress (N = 1.876). We compared models for the subsamples of Economics, Engineering, Health, and Social Work. Results show that persistence is the overall most important study success factor. Preparation during secondary education affects satisfaction in the first year. However, influences of the variables preparation in active learning, gender, prior education, contact hours and self study hours, on study progress vary across sectors. This conclusion has bearing for further research, and for the improvement of the first year of higher education.

Pedagogische Studien
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Kamphorst, J. C., Hofman, A., Jansen, E. P. W. A., & Terlouw, C. (2012). A generic approach does not work. Disciplinary differences as explanation for study progress in higher professional education. Pedagogische Studien, 89(1), 20–38. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/86993