Conferences and Continuing Education













Our Invitation to You

* Registration Now Open

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 or five-week period with the majority of instruction occurring in an asynchronous environment. Asynchronous instruction is neither time bound nor place-bound and does not require the simultaneous participation of all students and instructors. It utilizes tools such as email, threaded discussions/forums, listservs, and blog.

Participants will earn 1.5 continuing education units.

Maximizing Digital Tool Use in the First-Year Seminar:Helping Students to Become Digital Learners

Brad Garner

Director of Faculty Enrichment
in the Center for Learning and
Brad Garner Brad Garner serves as Director of Faculty Enrichment in the Center for Learning and Innovation at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). Brad has been actively involved for several years in directing and teaching the first-year seminar on his campus. Currently, he leads faculty enrichment efforts across the entire university. One of his greatest passions is helping faculty learn new and creative ways to teach and engage students.

Prior to moving into higher education, his career was focused on program and faculty development in K-12 public school settings where he worked as a classroom teacher, school psychologist, and administrator. Garner is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops in the US and Europe and has authored and coauthor several publications, including A Brief Guide to Teaching Adult Learners (2009) and A Brief Guide to Millennial Learners (2007), and Teaching the First-Year Seminar (2012). His book Getting Employed, Staying Employed was recognized and honored as a Book of the Year by the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. Most recently, Garner has been working with groups of teachers in Bosnia as part of an Educational Leadership Institute designed to empower teachers to be change agents in their own communities and schools. He also works with men in a faith and character-based initiative at Indiana's largest correctional facility.

Registration Deadline
Course Capacity
Mar 26-April 20, 2018 March 12, 2018 25 Registrants $425.00


We are living in an age where digital technology is ubiquitous ... apps, mobile devices, ebooks, MOOCS, Open Educational Resources, the Cloud. For students in higher education, the rapidly changing digital landscape will be a way of life throughout their college careers and into the workplace. In their lives, being digitally savvy and maintaining an openness to lifelong digital learning will increasingly become a prerequisite for success. The creation of these opportunities also, however, depends upon faculty who are willing and able to adapt their courses to include digital learning requirements and experiences.

This course will focus on the ways in which the first-year seminar, through intentionally designed teaching and assessment strategies, can help first-year students acquire the competencies necessary to engage with digital technology and become more effective and active digital learners.

Our time together in this course will expose participants to a variety of digital tools with hands-on application.


As a result of this online course, students will:
  • To understand the intersection of digital tools and course design.
  • To acquire skill in using a variety of digital tools for the purposes of instruction and assessment.
  • To thoughtfully select digital tool for use in the first-year seminar experience

Common Readings: Creating Community

Catherine F. Andersen

Associate Provost for Academic Affairs University of Baltimore
Catherine Andersen is presently the associate provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Baltimore where, among her many roles, she is responsible for curriculum, accreditation, and assessment.  Prior to this position, she enjoyed a long career at Gallaudet University, serving as chief enrollment and marketing officer, associate provost, dean of Enrollment and General Studies, director of the First-Year Experience, and chairperson of the Communication and Developmental Studies Department. Anderson served on the national advisory board of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, currently serves on the national advisory board for Teagle Assessment Scholars, and is a fellow with The Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. In 1994, Anderson was awarded the honor of Gallaudet's Distinguished Faculty of the Year, and 1997, she was named one of the nation's Outstanding First-Year Advocates.

Registration Deadline
Course Capacity
April 30 - May 25, 2018 April 24, 2018 25 Registrants $425.00


Common reading programs, defined for the purpose of this course, occur when groups of incoming first-year students read the same book(s) and participate in activities that create a common intellectual experience. These programs are becoming an important component of first-year experience initiatives and are most frequently designed to provide new students an introduction to the intellectual expectations of college in formal and informal gatherings. High-impact programs go beyond book discussion groups and include students, faculty, staff, and the larger community in an array of social, intellectual, and civic activities. Individuals in this course will discuss the benefits and goals of a program; learn about the various types of programs; and explore how programs differ in scope, impact, and cost. Participants will design a comprehensive plan for their own campus that includes goals and outcomes, an assessment plan, a budget, book selection criteria, and curricular and cocurricular programming.


As a result of this online course, students will:
  • Participants will identify the rationale and characteristic of common reading programs.

  • Participants will identify the variety of programming opportunities for common reading programs.

  • Participants will develop a common reading program plan specific to their institution that includes program goals, book selection criteria, event promotion strategies, curricular and cocurricular opportunities, a budget, and an assessment plan.

    Textbook (required)
    Laufgraben, J. L. (2006). Common reading programs: Going beyond the book (Monograph No. 44). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.