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Creating an Effective First Year: Moving from Analysis to Improvement Betsy Barefoot, EdD Presentation Conference on the First Year of Study at Stirling.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating an Effective First Year: Moving from Analysis to Improvement Betsy Barefoot, EdD Presentation Conference on the First Year of Study at Stirling."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating an Effective First Year: Moving from Analysis to Improvement Betsy Barefoot, EdD Presentation Conference on the First Year of Study at Stirling April 21, 2006

2 Where the Policy Center is located BREVARD, NC

3 The Bargain of Low Expectations Dont expect too much of us (the institution), and we wont expect too much of you (the students). Does this bargain operate at Stirling?

4 Innovations on the Margins Discrete, peripheral programs Help campuses avoid fundamental changes First-year programs: Necessary but not sufficient

5 The First-Year Experience Everything that happens to new students The common components – what are they? Everyones responsibility

6 Foundations of Excellence ® in the First College Year Nine principles (Foundational Dimensions ® ) Broad, non-prescriptive Purpose/philosophyAll Students OrganizationDiversity LearningRoles & Purposes TransitionImprovement Faculty Link with retention?

7 #1. Purpose/philosophy Is there a collective sense of purpose or a philosophy for the first year?

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11 #2. Organization How is the first year organized? Does it work well? Does it need to be improved?

12 #3. Learning Learning outcomes for first-year students? Institution-wide or program-specific? How are first-year classes being taught? Do methods of teaching and testing result in OUs articulated learning goals?

13 Possible Learning Goals Engagement Relationship to perceived relevance Critical thinking What does it mean to faculty? What does it mean to students? Staging learning goals for the first year Role of student support

14 #4. Facilitating Student Transitions When does the transition to college begin? How does it involve secondary schools, families, other support groups? What about those helicopter parents?

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16 Expectations Communication to students and families Academic expectations Expectations about working off campus Out-of-class expectations – what are they? Whats too much involvement?

17 #5. Encouraging a Culture of Instructor Responsibility The importance of out-of-class interaction between instructors and students A need for understanding Instructor rewards

18 #6. Serving All Admitted Students The best and brightest? Academically challenged? Learning disabled? Students whose first language is not English? And – the average student Meeting students needs for physical and psychological safety

19 #7. Diversity in and Beyond the College Environment Appreciation of diversity What does diversity mean in your context? Beyond racial and ethnic diversity to diversity of religion, politics, socioeconomic status, world view, etc.

20 #8. Addressing Higher Educations Roles and Purposes More than to get a job Knowledge acquisition Leadership development Citizenship

21 #9. Continuous Improvement The essential first step to informed change We cant get better unless we subject ourselves to periodic review and evaluation!

22 Applying this Model Beyond the First Year Undergraduate education Faculties and other units

23 What We Have Learned Many admirable first-year bits and pieces Ideally we would start with the vision Realistically we start where we are Reconsidering what to add, what to retain, what to scrap

24 The Payoff Greater ability to increase student learning More efficiencies More collaboration and coherence Better communication More clarity of purpose Maybe even transformation to a more engaging campus Improved retention ???

25 Taking Risks, Changing, Transforming What we ask our students to do – we must also be willing to do ourselves.

26 Contact Information Betsy Barefoot, EdD Co-Director & Senior Scholar Policy Center on the First Year of College Copyright, Artwork by Steve Tansley – Scottsdale, Arizona


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