A SCOPING REVIEW OF THE “AT-RISK” STUDENT LITERATURE IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Keywords:Scoping review, “at-risk” student, dropout, stop-out, burn out, failing, data analytics tools, methods, intervention
Higher Education Institutions have a strong desire to meet the goal of producing quality graduates. It is important for them to understand their student population to provide equal opportunities for diverse groups, including "at-risk" students. A scoping review of literature was conducted to understand the concept of "at-risk" students in Higher Education Institutions. The objectives of the study were to identify common categories of "at-risk" students, analyze the methods and variables used to study this topic, and understand the key factors and approaches used in this research. Literature was selected using the PCC framework and the JBI protocol and screened using the PRISMA-ScR framework. A total of 84 articles out of 1961 were eligible and included in the review. The results showed that there is a lack of research on "at-risk" students in Africa, but significant growth in related research in America, Europe, and Asia. Key findings include the importance of academic data and the use of statistical and machine learning methods. The factors that put students at risk are often linked to high school education, and ethnicity, gender, and location also play a role. Higher Education Institutions should implement interventions to address students' psychosocial well-being to create a supportive learning environment. This review is expected to provide insights for addressing similar challenges in the African context.