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Course Dates:
July 13 - August 8, 2015

Registration Deadline:
July 1, 2015
Fee: $425.00

Course limited to the first 40 registrants























Course Dates:
September 14 -
October 9, 2015

Registration Deadline:
September 2, 2015
Fee: $425.00

Course limited to the first 25 registrants






















Our Invitation to You

The National Resource Center is pleased to now offer online courses on current topics related to the first-year experience and students in transition. Online courses are designed to come as close as possible to providing students with the same course content and opportunities for interaction with classmates and with the instructor as traditional or classroom-based courses as well as take advantage of pedagogy and teaching techniques that are not possible or uncommon in a traditional format. Our online courses will take place during a four-week period with the majority of instruction occurring in an asynchronous environment. Asynchronous instruction is neither timebound nor place-bound and does not require the simultaneous participation of all students and instructors. It utilizes toolssuch as email, threaded discussions/forums, listservs, and blog.

Fostering First-Year Student Success

Stephanie M. Foote, Ph.D.
Director, Master of Science in First-Year Studies
Associate Professor of Education
Department of First-Year and Transition Studies
Kennesaw State University


Stephanie M. Foote
Stephanie M. Foote is the Director of the Master of Science in First-Year Studies and an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies at Kennesaw State University. Prior to this, she was the administrator for academic success and the first-year experience at the University of South Carolina Aiken. Foote has published and presented on her research on the role of first-year seminars and experiential pedagogy on student engagement in the early college experience, college students in transition, self-authorship development in transfer students, and student engagement in online learning environments. She is a past recipient of the NODA Outstanding Research Award for her dissertation study of the perceived effects of first-year seminar participation on the experience of students in their first semester of college, and she is the recipient of the McGraw-Hill Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminars award. Additionally, Foote is a guest co-editor the Spring 2015 special "Fostering Success for Students in Transition" issue of the Journal of College and Student University Housing, she currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP), and is the editor for the Journal of College Orientation and Transition (JCOT).



This course is designed to engage participants in an exploration of the fundamental aspects of first-year student success. Drawing from multiple perspectives, participants in the course will be challenged to: a) move beyond generational characteristics to fully understand who first year students are and what issues potentially impact their success; b) apply the information generated through readings, reflective assignments, and discussion to innovate practices aimed at fostering first-year student success; and c) develop a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods that can be used to measure first-year student success.


As a result of completing in this course, participants will

1. Participants will identify issues that impact the success of first-year students on their campus.
2. Participants will develop strategies and transform existing practices to encourage first-year student success.
3. Participants will understand how to use qualitative and quantitative methods to measure first-year student success.

Required Textbook and Additional Readings

The following book is required for this course.

Upcraft, M. L., Gardner, J. N., & Barefoot, B. O. (2005). Challenging & supporting the
first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Articles and excerpts from journals, including several from the Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and other web-based resources will be provided in WebStudy. Additionally, optional readings have been identified and will be posted in each module for participants who wish to further explore concepts discussed in the context of this class.

Applying Student Development Theory to College Transition Programs

Tracy L. Skipper, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Publications
National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
University of South Carolina


Tracy L. Skipper

Tracy L. Skipper is assistant director for publications for the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. An accomplished editor and writer, Skipper edited (with Roxanne Argo) Involvement in Campus Activities and the Retention of First-Year College Students (2003), wrote Student Development in the First College Year: A Primer for College Educators (2005), and served as managing editor of the five-volume series, The First-Year Seminar: Designing, Implementing, and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success (2011-2012). Most recently, she co-authored the volume Writing in the Senior Capstone: Theory and Practice with Lea Masiello. She holds degrees in psychology, higher education, American literature, and rhetoric and composition. In addition to her writing and editorial work, she has served as a student affairs administrator, taught writing at the college level, and presented writing workshops for higher education professionals. She has presented on the application of student development theory to curricular and cocurricular contexts and what national datasets suggest about the organization and administration of high-impact educational practices. Her research interests include the application of cognitive-structural development to composition pedagogy and the use of writing in first-year seminars and senior capstone courses.


Since the 1970s, theories of student development have provided a useful framework for identifying student needs, designing educational practice, and assessing learning and developmental outcomes. With the ever-increasing diversity of college students in the United States, researchers and educators have questioned the relevance of many of these theories. Despite these challenges, student development theory remains an important body of knowledge informing the work of educators throughout the academy as they design classroom experiences, programs, and interventions for college students in transition. This online course will introduce key student development theories and explore current research and practice related to them. Participants will evaluate the usefulness of these theories for creating developmentally appropriate educational practices on their own campuses and consider strategies for assessing developmental outcomes.


As a result of completing this course, participants will be able to use selected theories to

  1. support their understanding and identify potential needs of students with whom they work,
  2. set goals and identify developmentally appropriate outcomes for students in transition,
  3. design programs or pedagogies to help students meet identified outcomes, and
  4. create an assessment plan for measuring specific developmental outcomes.

Competency Areas:

  • Student Learning and Development
  • Programming and Pedagogy

Participants will earn 1.5 continuing education units.