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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Preconference Workshops

Enhance your time at the upcoming Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience by attending one or more of our learning workshops.

Register Now!

Registration Deadline: January 13, 2023

 

These workshops offer extended presentation, discussion and interaction on a particular topic or area of interest. Workshops are available for in-person attendees only.

2-Day Workshop

First-Year Student Success in the Community College

Dates: February 2 - 3, 2023 | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Registration Fee:
  $450

With enrollments in community colleges on the decline, the quality of the first-year experience for students is critical to their success, whether they wish to obtain a certificate, earn an associate degree, or transfer to a four-year institution. The First-Year Student Success in Community College Workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to discuss the current role of the community college in higher education and develop an action plan for creating or enhancing pathways to community college student success. Interactive sessions are designed with practical application in mind so that participants will be ready to implement strategic initiatives when they return to campus.

 

Full-Day Workshop

Best Practice in the First College Year: Defining What Works and Why

Date: February 3, 2023 | 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Registration Fee:
 $250

Presenters:

  • John N. Gardner, President, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education;
    Senior Fellow, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition - University of South Carolina
  • Betsy O. Barefoot, Senior Scholar, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education;
    Fellow, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition - University of South Carolina

For more than three decades, a significant investment has been made by many colleges and universities to improve the first year. But funds spent have often not yielded expected returns in student learning and retention. In this workshop, the presenters will explore the questions, "What works in first-year programs and why... or why not?" They will draw from recent research findings and provide a variety of examples of best practice. Participants will be challenged to reflect on the first year at their own campuses-what initiatives have made a positive difference in the first year and what challenges remain? 

Half-Day Workshops

Date: February 3, 2023 | 8:00 am - 12:00 noon
Registration Fee:
 $150
Presenters: 

  • Amy Baldwin, Senior Lecturer of Writing, Literacy, and Academic Success in Student Transitions - University of Central Arkansas
  • Bryce Bunting, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Education - Brigham Young University

Beginning college has always been challenging, but this is particularly true for today’s students as they face the double-transition of starting college while also adjusting to the “new normal” of post-pandemic learning.  Consequently, fostering belonging, positive mindsets, and resilience among students in transition has never been more critical.  In this workshop, we will explore relevant literature and then offer practical strategies that support belonging, growth mindset, and resilience in and outside of the classroom, particularly for underrepresented students.  In fact, we boldly claim that supporting students in developing learning mindsets is the most important outcome for the first-year experience. 

Date: February 3, 2023 | 8:00 am - 12:00 noon
Registration Fee:
 $150
Presenters: 

  • Brad Harmon, Assistant Dean for the First-Year & Second-Year Experience - Furman University
  • Annie Kelly, Assistant Professor - University of Cincinnati 
  • Emma Reabold, Assistant Director for Peer Leadership - University of South Carolina

The most recent National Survey of First-Year Experiences revealed that over 60% of institutions offering a first-year seminar reported using undergraduate students in some capacity to assist in seminar instruction (Young & Skidmore, 2017). The purpose of the workshop is for attendees to engage in critical reflection, discussion, and actionable steps with campus experts on three areas within peer educator learning and engagement: recruitment and selection, training, and assessment. Participants will identify recruitment and selection processes to enhance student learning; develop training curriculum outcomes; articulate assessment metrics; and create an action plan to maximize peer educator learning and engagement.

Date: February 3, 2023 | 8:00 am - 12:00 noon
Registration Fee:
$150

  • Dottie Weigel, Assistant Professor of Higher Education/Program Director - Messiah University
  • James Winfield, Associate Dean of First Year Experience, General Education and Retention Strategies - Southern New Hampshire University, Global Campus

A quick glance at headlines from the Chronicle of Higher Education show student disconnection is problematic. As educators, we know student engagement is critical for student success. Unfortunately, it can seem like an insurmountable task in a digital age where reaching students is challenging. Workshop participants will gain strategies to engage students in a variety of classroom and beyond-the-classroom contexts, including first-year seminars. Participants will be able to enhance curriculum or first-year programming and consider ways to assess effectiveness. Special attention will be given to engaging first-generation students. Participants will be better equipped to engage students in a powerful way.

Date: February 3, 2023 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Registration Fee: 
$150

Presenters:

  • Sandra Greene, Assistant Director for Communications - University 101 Programs, University of South Carolina
  • Heather Harrison, Director of First-Year Experience - Johnson & Wales University
  • Katie Hopkins, Assistant Director for Faculty Development - University 101 Programs, University of South Carolina

There is a foundation of research and scholarship on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and on the impact of first-year seminars. However, there is a need for additional conversations about DEI in first-year seminars. In this interactive workshop, presenters will share and demonstrate strategies that can be used to effectively build inclusive communities where students are able to reflect on their identities and worldviews and develop a greater understanding of issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Date: February 3, 2023 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Registration Fee: 
$150

  • Richie Gebauer, Assistant Dean, Retention and Student Success - Cabrini University
  • Jean Henscheid, Fellow, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition - University of South Carolina
  • Julia Metzker, Director, Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education - The Evergreen State College
  • Rita Sperry, Learning Community Coordinator and Senior Professional Professor - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

When done well, learning communities (LCs) are a proven practice for strengthening first-year student belonging, satisfaction, and retention. Faculty members and departments are critical partners in the design and implementation of successful LCs. Yet, the tasks of recruiting, inspiring, and training faculty frequently fall to student affairs (SA) professionals - staff with varying degrees of social capital on campus and/or experience collaborating with faculty. This workshop offers a comprehensive toolbox of strategies to engage and excite faculty by leveraging the strengths that faculty and staff each bring to the learning community experience.

Date: February 3, 2023 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Registration Fee: 
$150

  • Josh Downing, Director of Recreation and Wellness - Butler University
  • Frank Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs - Butler University
  • Bridget Yuhas, Director of Student Affairs Assessment and Strategy - Butler University

Attendees will learn how to meaningfully integrate well-being across the first-year, and how to obtain buy-in from the highest levels of campus administration to center well-being in the student experience. Practical strategies for linking well-being to divisional and institutional priorities and for using assessment data to drive action will be discussed. Using results from the 2021-2022 administration of the Student Well-being Institutional Support Survey (SWISS), which yielded more than 12,000 student responses, attendees will learn what first-year students need from their institutions to support their well-being. Finally, attendees will receive tools to take back to campus to continue planning. 

Date: February 3, 2023 | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Registration Fee: 
$150

  • Ryan Bronkema, Associate Dean of University College - University of West Georgia
  • Jenna Harte, Assistant Director of Academic Transition Programs - University of West Georgia
  • Celia Senerman, Graduate Student - University of West Georgia

This workshop will encourage a meta-awareness for how to design instructor/faculty professional development workshops at one’s own institution, while also exposing participants to a sampling of professional development topics we have already developed for other academic professionals. As a result of participating in this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to create preliminary annual professional development plans for their own teaching faculty, and develop workshop outlines that align with their needs.


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