Ahmad Bin Esa1, Nurul Haerani Bt Mohamad2 and Zalina Aishah Bt Hj Abd Aziz3
Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education
University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
1 [email protected], 2 [email protected] and [email protected]
Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) is a very important and
essential part of educational system. In aspect of
education, CCAs prepares the students to be holistic.
Nevertheless more emphasis has generally been given to
the CCAs aspect resulting from the student’s inability to
link the excellence in performance academically to the
active participation in CCAs. Besides, Holistic Student
Development (HSD) through Critical Agenda Project
(CAP) of National Higher Education Strategic Plan
(PSPTN), in line with the government’s efforts to produce
graduates with skills in high-impact technology and would
be absorbed as workers after completing their training at a
particular company including for those who preferred to
be self-employed. This paper will discuss the
methodological approach regarding the dominant factors
and the effects of CCAs among polytechnics’ students in
promoting the progress of the HSD in polytechnic based
on five aspects which is intellectual, emotional, spiritual,
physical and social.
Keywords - Holistic Students Development, Co-curriculum
Activities (CCAs)
Co-Curricular activities (CCAs) are an integral part of
students’ holistic education. Through CCA, students
discover their interests and talents while developing
values and competencies that will prepare them for a
rapidly changing world[1]. ‘Holistic’ in the context of
human capital development, is not only confined to
academic disciplines and enhancing skills, but also
includes aspects of mind, spiritual, character and
ethics[2]. In other words, human capital development is
focused on aspects of “humanity”, which are built
through a philosophy of life, religion and moral support.
With these characteristics, the human capital available is
ready to transform and develop individuals, families,
communities, the country and the world in a more
structured manner.
Polytechnic as one of the education providers are
responsible to educate the students to the demands and
the needs of the nation. As part of its efforts to provide
students with a holistic and well-rounded experience in
the co-curriculum, Ministry of Higher Education have
implementing National Higher Education Strategic Plan
(PSPTN) which now in the Phase 2 Action Plan (20112015[3]. The Holistic Student Development (HSD)
Critical Agenda Project (CAP) focuses on the
development of students’ personality in order to produce
well-balanced graduates or human capital in terms of
appearance, patriotism, discipline and moral values
towards the formation of the nation’s human capital[4].
The updated framework will enable education providers
to better align their co-curriculum to encourage students’
holistic development in terms of life skills, competencies
and values[5].
There is a long history of educational research
questioning whether extra-curricular (CCAs) have any
value at all[6]. Some feel that extra-curricular activities
may serve no more than social function and deemphasize, or even subvert, more kritikal academic
work[7]. Others are concerned about devaluing bright,
committed students who simply are not “joiners”. Still
others believe that out-of-class experience serve a
valuable social and personel growth function but hold no
primacy over coursework, team projects, and
assignments in facilitating the development of
interpersonal skills[8].
In order to develop interpersonal skills or soft
skills among students’ themselves, in Malaysia the
government already implementing holistic student
development through National Higher Education
Strategic Plan (PSPTN). Holistic student development
refer to the ways that institutions help students learn
more about who they are, what they want to do, and who
they want to become. The 4C framework; culture,
curriculum, co-curriculum, and community use to
analyze and describe how colleges can become and
remain holistic and student-centered[9].
The concept of developing purpose is an approach
to thinking broadly about life in ways that encompass
vocational plans and aspirations as well as personal
interests and interpersonal and family commitments. The
college experience can help students grapple with how to
reconcile the personel and the professional and how to
create a good life[10]. A holistic view of student learning
and development that helps students integrate
experiences in and out of the classroom as well as inner
and outer life experiences is key to helping students
develop purpose and meaning[11]. A holistic and
integrated approach to development that recognizes the
mutually reinforcing nature of cognitive, interpersonal,
and intrapersonal development. For students to grow
cognitively and to integrate knowledge in a way that
reflects learning, they also need to grow interpersonally
by considering themselves as part of a larger whole and
intrapersonally by establishing a belief system that acts
as a filter, guiding choices and experiences[12].
Student Involvement Theory
Significant research has been conducted regarding the
involvement of students in Co-Curricular activities
(CCAs) in correlation to success in college. In particular,
student involvement theory links the amount of time and
energy a student spends on the collegiate experience to
persistence[13]. The more involved college students are in
the academic and social aspects of campus life, the more
they benefit in terms of learning and personal
development [14]. The students who devote much more
time and effort to academic pursuits tend to become
isolated from their peers, therefore showing below
average changes in personalities and behaviors[15].
Besides, through interactions in the social and
academic realms, students either reaffirm or reevaluate
their initial goals and commitments[16]. Students who
lack sufficient interaction with others on campus or have
negative experiences may decide to depart the university
as a result of this reevaluation. A primary concern is the
amount of time spent on out-of-class activities and the
effect it has on academics. Some faculty members
believe spending too much time on co-curricular
activities means students do not spend the required time
needed to study and complete homework. However,
based on previous study found a positive relationship
between academic and co-curricular involvement.
Therefore, when involvement in co-curricular activities
increases, there is a corresponding increase in academic
involvement. Some of these co-curricular involvements
included participation in campus-wide activities,
departmental activities, student clubs, serving on
committees, and designing activities for clubs or
Statement of the Problem
There are numerous benefits of participation in cocurricular activities yet there are views that students’
participation in co-curricular activities (CCAs) is a waste
of time and that students should invest their time and
efforts in pursuing the core curriculum. The present
study sought to establish learners’ views on the
significance of their participation in CCAs in developing
Holistic Students Development (HSD).
To think holistically means to attend to the whole
person by addressing issues affecting the mind, the body,
and the spirit and thrives on three critical elements
namely balance, inclusion and connection[17]. While
educational provider always provided a great deal of
attention to the mind and most now operate recreation
and health facilities to attend the needs of the body, the
spirit often receives little or no attention on campus[18].
A primary concern is the amount of time spent on outof-class activities and the effect it has on academics[19].
Previous research study found that spending too much
time on CCAs means students do not spend the required
time needed to study and complete homework[20].
However recent research study found a positive
relationship between academic and co-curricular
involvement[21]. Therefore, when involvement in CCAs
increases, there is a corresponding increase in academic
CCAs helps students gain new knowledge and skills as
well as educating them against developing unhealthy
activities during their leisure time[22]. Prior research has
highlighted that CCAs help students’ reduced academic
stress and tension, helping students become more alert
and productive in their learning[23]. Another research
regarding CCAs was clearly found that the students who
was participated in CCAs was knowledgeable and skill
in managing stress, thus the body activates can cause
decreasing stress and depression[24].
Spiritual development through CCAs can reveal the
person self-confidence to feel and think success and turn
person mind to final victory so it leads to think positive
in any decision he makes[17][25].
In the process of holistic student development, positive
attitudes, fun and healthy lifestyle must be well planned
by the education providers and also students’ themselves
[26].Physical movement is good for changing person
mood and attitudes besides having a healthy body[27].
CCAs has long held intuitive appeal as an element in
well-rounded college education. In social life, the
interpersonal skill are very needed as particularly with
an increased corporate interest in interpersonal skills[28].
The empirical studies indicate that smoking and cocaine
use are lower among athletes than among the general
school population[29]. Previous study revealed that
regarding co-curricular participation as part of further
education, independence of thought and problem solving
skills are identified as outcomes[30]. These contribute to
both economic and non-economic areas of life,
illustrating that there are inter-connections between
economic and non-economic outcomes of learning.
activities (CCAs) based on five aspects which is
intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical and social.
Therefore, this study was undertaken to fulfill below
objectives as a guide to the study:
a. To investigate the dominant factors that
contribute to holistic students’ development
(HSD) through co-curricular activities (CCAs)
in polytechnics.
b. To identify the effects of holistic students’
development (HSD) through co-curricular
activities (CCAs) in polytechnics.
c. To determine the relationship between the
dominant factors that contribute to holistic
students’ development (HSD) with the effects
of holistic students’ development (HSD) through
co-curricular activities (CCAs) in polytechnics.
d. To propose a model of holistic students’
development (HSD) through co-curricular
activities (CCAs).
Fig. 1 : Conceptual Framework (Huitt, 1995)
Survey based methodology was used to underlying
philosophy guiding this study and methodological
triangulation as the paradigm in collecting the data.
Methodological triangulation is the type of triangulation
that has been widely used in social sciences.
Methodological triangulation as the use of both
qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and
analysis in studying the same phenomenon. This
approach was well suited to design of this study because
this study use more than one methods in collecting the
data which is quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative
(interview) [32]. For completeness purposes, researchers
use this triangulation method to increase their in-depth
and understanding of the phenomenon under
investigation by combining multiple methods and
In addition to unexplored research phenomenon,
triangulation for completeness purposes is of significant
in studying the complex research phenomenon[34]. Thus,
a researcher can start by employing the within-methods
in the qualitative paradigm to generate more rich data
and getting wider understanding of the phenomenon
under study. After rich data is being generated by
qualitative research method, then a researcher has to
employ the quantitative research methods in the form of
data collection methods and analysis towards having
deeper and more comprehensive picture of the
phenomenon under investigation[35].
This study seeks to explore the concept of holistic
students’ development (HSD) through co-curricular
Population and Sample
Randomization of samples can be achieved in two
levels[36]. In the first level, a randomization is achieved
through the selection of subjects from a homogeneous
population. In the second level, randomization is
achieved by the allocation of subjects into different level
of treatment. In this study the first requirement of
randomization was achieved in the two stages of a
cluster sampling technique. The first stage was the
selection of the polytechnics, followed by selection of
The three institutions chosen are Politeknik Sultan
Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Shah Alam (Selangor),
Politeknik Ungku Omar in Ipoh (Perak) and Politeknik
Johor Baru (Johor). To ensure that quality is upheld, the
premier polytechnics will be benchmarked against
renowned technical institutions in order to carried out
this study as this three polytechnics involve in Critical
Agenda Project (CAP) of National Higher Education
Based on the Department of Polytechnic Education
Malaysia (2013) estimated the number of engineering
students (civil engineering, electrical engineering, and
mechanical engineering) in the polytechnic diploma
reach 2362 students. Based on the sample size table
Krejcie and Morgan (1976), the total sample for this
study are 335 students.
Scope / Limitation of Study
The limitation of this study are:
Only polytechnic premier involved (Politeknik
Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Shah
Alam (Selangor), Politeknik Ungku Omar in
Ipoh (Perak) and Politeknik Johor Baru (Johor).
Only co-curricular credit program involved (240
Only diploma engineering students involved
(civil engineering, electrical engineering, and
mechanical engineering).
First, the study employed a semi-structured
questionnaire to collect quantitative data and comments
by participants on the open-ended questions on the
questionnaire provided qualitative data. Comments on
responses provided a rich layer of information which
could not be gathered through a highly structured
questionnaire. Second, semi-structured interview were
used to collect variety of data, which is essential and
allows for an in-depth understanding of social
phenomena studied.
Reliability and Validity
The main statistical measure to determine reliability of
the questionnaire was the use of Chronbach’s alpha
coefficient. A pilot study was used to ensure validity of
the questionnaire.
Data Analysis
Data collected was coded and analysed through a blend
of both descriptive and inferential statistics. Quantitative
data were analysed with the aid of the SPSS statistical
software package version 21 and presented through a
blend of both descriptive and inferential statistics.
Qualitative data were analysed using content analysis
method and presented through verbatim quotations of
the respondents.
Based on this study, researchers hopes that students’
involvement in co-curricular activities (CCAs) will
positively develop a holistic students development of
students’ personality in order to produce well-balanced
graduates or human capital as well as beneficial as it had
ripple effects on academic achievement through its
impartation of skills and values necessary in students’
academic pursuits.
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