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Why the First Year Matters Dr. Keisha L. Hoerrner Interim Dean, University College Kennesaw State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Why the First Year Matters Dr. Keisha L. Hoerrner Interim Dean, University College Kennesaw State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why the First Year Matters Dr. Keisha L. Hoerrner Interim Dean, University College Kennesaw State University

2 The Evolution “Sink or Swim” was replaced by R-P-G Graduation Progression Retention

3 First-Year Retention First-to-second-year retention generally most critical component to many RPG initiatives Variety of issues impact retention rates including selectivity, admissions standards, student characteristics, institutional characteristics, and more Focus for students and parents should be on intentionality by institution to increase RPG

4 Tinto: Taking Retention Seriously “Students are more likely to persist and graduate in settings that hold high and clear expectations….” – Challenging but explicit classroom expectations – Academic advising that provides the roadmap to degree completion – Quite the opposite of the sense that making the courses easier will lead to success

5 Tinto: Taking Retention Seriously Provide academic and social support – Students may not be prepared for the rigors of university coursework so institutions should provide an array of support structures – Students need “safe havens” as they learn to navigate campuses Counseling Mentoring Connections to peers

6 Tinto: Taking Retention Seriously “Feedback is a condition for student success” – Early alert/intervention programs – Assessments to accurately gauge student learning [not just exams] – Faculty willingness to adjust based on feedback – Timely feedback about performance – Connecting support structures to feedback

7 Tinto: Taking Retention Seriously “Involvement is a condition for student retention” – Academic and social integration opportunities with faculty, peers, and staff members “The more students learn, the more they find value in their learning, the more they persist and graduate” – Build educational communities of learning

8 College Board Pilot Study on Student Retention Comprehensive national survey that looked not only at retention, progression and graduation rates (public v. private, etc) but also provided benchmarks for institutions – Program coordination – Research and assessment – Orientation programs – Early warning systems – Faculty/student interactions – Advising practices

9 High-Impact Practices Grounded in research Increase rates of student retention and student engagement Named HIPs by AAC&U Should be integrated, available to all students, and continually assessed

10 The HIPs First-year seminars and experiences Common intellectual experiences Learning communities Writing-intensive courses Collaborative assignments and projects Undergraduate research Diversity/global learning Service learning/ community-based learning Internships Capstone courses and projects

11 KSU’s First-Year Focus First-year seminars – 30-year history – KC 101 to four distinct seminars KSU 1101 KSU 1111 KSU 1121 KSU 1200 Learning communities – Theme-based cohort of first-semester courses Common reader First-Year Convocation President’s Annual 4.0 Luncheon First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) Mandatory orientation and advising

12 Thrive Idea grew out of the KSU graduation study Developed collaboratively by CSL and FYTS Focus is on HOPE-eligible FTFT students 1 st pilot: ~200 students – Recruited in spring 2011 – Now juniors Results: Very successful

13 Components of Thrive Graduation Coach April registration and advising – Must take MAPT – Working with advisers to design schedules June academic success workshops – Connecting to campus – Focus on foundational success skills July Advance – Follows a special New Student Orientation session – Team building, listening skills, community service projects Summer assignment: Student Leadership Challenge

14 Components of Thrive Fall Semester – KSU 1200 sections All will be in LCs in 2014 – Resource room in UV – Monthly social events – Graduation Coach meetings (required) – Connections to academic advisers – Housing option Spring Semester – Leadership development opportunities (CSL) – Community service projects – Resource room – Quarterly social events – Graduation Coach meetings (optional) – Housing option

15 Retention Results Thrive participants – when compared to academically and demographically matched control groups – earn better grades – progress more rapidly in academic standing – are retained at higher levels – are more likely to retain HOPE eligibility

16 Thrive Results Performance of Thrive Participants vs. Control Group – retained to 2 nd Year MetricCohort 1 (Class of 2015)Cohort 2 (Class of 2016) Control (n=170) Thrive (n=172) Control (n=186) Thrive (n=183) Students retained (n) Students retained (%) Retained students with a GPA >3.0 (%) a Retained students with credit hours >30 by start of 2 nd fall (%) a Based on the GPA at the end of spring semester (checkpoint for maintenance of HOPE support)

17 Thrive Results Performance of Thrive Participants vs. Control Group – retained to 3rd Year a Based on the GPA at the end of spring semester (checkpoint for maintenance of HOPE support) MetricControl (n=170)Thrive (n=172) Students retained (n) Students retained (%) 6471 Retained students with a GPA >3.0 (%) a 5067 Retained students with credit hours >60 hours by start of 3 nd fall (%) 4060

18 Unanticipated Positive Results Performance of Minority Thrive Participants vs. Control Group – retained to 2 nd Year MetricCohort 1Cohort 2 Control (n=38) Thrive (n=34) Control (n=39) Thrive (n=39) Students retained (n) Students retained (%) Retained students with a GPA >3.0 (%) a Retained students with credit hours >30 by start of 2 nd fall (%) a Based on the GPA at the end of spring semester (checkpoint for maintenance of HOPE support)

19 Supplemental Instruction National model launched at KSU in 2006 Optional facilitated weekly sessions Targets and 2000-level courses with historically high D,F, W rates Faculty member selects peer facilitator Very successful results

20 Current Status of SI Spring ‘06: 2 sections Fall ‘13: 57 sections Fall 2013 Data – 20 courses served by 31 facilitators – 1581 students participated at least once – 7485 total contact hours

21 SI Results Data gathered on students who participate vs. those who do not within the same sections Qualitative data collected each semester as part of program assessment – Faculty – Facilitators – Student attendees

22 SI Results Fall 2013: – Mean SI Grade: 2.53 vs. Mean Non-SI Grade: 2.18

23 U.S. News and World Report “America’s Best Colleges” 2014 Ranks 16 institutions for exemplary First-Year Experiences – Alverno College (WI) – Appalachian State (NC) – Ball State U (IN) – Bowling Green State (OH) – Elon University (NC) – Evergreen State College (WA) – Indiana U – Bloomington – IUPUI – Kennesaw State U (GA) – Ohio State University – Stanford University – U of Maryland – College Park – U of North Carolina – Chapel Hill – U of South Carolina – Wagner College (NY) – Washington U in St. Louis

24 Questions and Contact Information Dr. Keisha L. Hoerrner – Interim Dean, University College – – –


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