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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.

These workshops offer extended presentation, discussion and interaction on a particular topic or area of interest.

When: February 16, 2019, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Bryce Bunting, Assistant Clinical Professor - Brigham Young University
  • Dallin George Young, Assistant Director for Research, Grants, and Assessment - National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Peer leadership is emerging as a high-impact practice (HIP) with transformative potential for students who serve as peer leaders (PLs).  This workshop will support attendees in designing PL experiences that align with the characteristics of other well-known HIPs (Kuh, 2010) and that facilitate meaningful learning for student leaders.  Participants will be introduced to research on PL learning outcomes, explore relevant theoretical frameworks, evaluate opportunities for strengthening the PL experience on their own campus, and then work collaboratively to develop theory and research- based strategies for improving the high-impact potential of PL experiences on their own campuses.  

When: February 16, 2019, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Michele Brown Kerrigan, Associate Director, Curriculum & Program Support, Academic Services - Babson College
  • Jamie Kendrioski, Director, International Services & Multicultural Education - Babson College

This workshop will focus on the integration on diversity and inclusion integration into the First-Year Seminar classroom, including suggested topics and activities, as well as classroom facilitation skills (particularly in navigating sticky or challenging classroom conversations). Participants will engage in various discussion, simulations, and role plays that will foster a greater sense of awareness and fluency in creating an inclusive First-Year Seminar classroom. This workshop will also provide participants with opportunities to think about at refine their facilitation skills around topics of diversity and inclusion.

When: February 16, 2019, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Catherine Greene, Assistant Director for Campus Partnerships, University 101 Programs – University of South Carolina
  • Kevin Clarke, Assistant Director, First and Second Year Advising - Loyola University Chicago
  • Annie Kelly, Learning Portfolio Program Manager - Loyola University Chicago

Assessing student learning can often be a challenging task, but one that can be significantly improved with high-quality, well-developed, meaningful assignments. Incorporating formative and summative assessments, assignments, and feedback into first-year courses will enhance student learning and engagement and improve student satisfaction. In this interactive workshop, the facilitators will provide frameworks and strategies for creating meaningful and engaging assignments to assess student learning; highlight examples of assignments that have proven successful; explain how effective grading, rubrics, and feedback can enhance student learning; and help participants develop a plan to better integrate assessing student learning into effective first-year course design.

When: February 16, 2019, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Kathryn Wilhite, Academic Program Specialist, Honors College – Kennesaw State University
  • Katherine Hilson, Assistant Director for Student Programs and Communication, Office of Undergraduate Admissions - University of South Carolina
  • Elaine Lewis, Assistant Director of undergraduate Programs, Department of Biological Sciences - Virginia Tech

How many times have you sent an email to a new student and wondered if they opened, let alone read it? Have you ever questioned if they understood the content and call to action of your message? With higher ed jargon and campus department lingo continuing to expand we need to be even more cognizant of our communication, especially with first-year students. This interactive workshop will explore communication theories, best practices, and examine the valuable relationship between admissions and first-year experience offices nationwide. The facilitators will guide participants through activities to evaluate effective communication and discuss how to work collaboratively during the summer and fall term to ease the student transition. Participants will leave the session with new, inventive ways to engage with their institution’s campus partners to enhance communication strategies in order to promote student success.

When: February 16, 2019, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters:

  • Sabrina Mathues, Faculty and Department Chair, College Success - Brookdale Community College
  • Kathryn Suk, Assistant Professor of education and Student Development Coordinator - Raritan Valley Community College 

More than any other course, First-Year Seminars are routinely called upon to reassert their worthiness. While matched-cohort data can demonstrate impact of First-Year Seminars on persistence and academic success, First-Year Seminar faculty and program administrators often observe and intuit a deeper level of impact that is less accessible through standard means of assessment. Through this workshop, participants will harness those observations and intuitions into an actionable programmatic and course-level assessment plan. The use and validity of reflective student feedback and artifact-based tools are emphasized. Participants will also discuss the strategic application of data in program improvement and in the “marketing” of First-Year Seminars. 

When: February 16, 2019, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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? 

When: February 16, 2019, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Registration Fee: $250
Presenters:

  • Dan Friedman, Director, University 101 Programs - University of South Carolina

Aimed at individuals who are designing new first-year seminar courses or re-envisioning existing courses, this pre-conference workshop will provide a foundation for understanding what makes a successful first-year seminar. Specifically, the workshop will begin by contextualizing first-year seminars through an overview of the national picture of these courses, as well as a review of principles and characteristics of effective first-year year seminars. Participants will also explore ways in which the first-year seminar can be designed to increase success and while engaging students in a high-impact learning experience. Key questions; words of wisdom; methods to evaluate the effectiveness of first-year seminars; and strategies to ensure the relevance, excellence, and sustainability of these courses will also be explored during this pre-conference workshop.

When: February 16, 2019, 1 - 5 p.m.
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters:

  • Christine Harrington, Executive Director - New Jersey Center for Student Success
  • Sabrina Mathues, Faculty and Department Chair, College Success - Brookdale Community College

To increase success rates for all students, the Guided Pathways movement calls for institutions to develop strategic, proactive strategies to help students choose and stay on a career path. This highly interactive session will utilize a backward design framework to help participants re-imagine first-year seminars and advising as intentional learning activities that facilitate career exploration and planning. Participants will walk away with an action plan to engage faculty and staff in re-designing institutional practices to better support students on their career journey and increase student completion.

When: February 16, 2019, 1 - 5 p.m.
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters:

  • Deborah Blanchard, Assistant Director, First-Year Seminar and Academic Advisor for University Studies - Montana State University
  • Margaret Konkel, Director, First-Year Seminar - Montana State University;
  • Ryan Korstange, Assistant Professor, University Studies - Middle Tennessee State University

First-Year Experience/Seminar programs serve increasingly important functions in higher education, shown to directly improve student experiences and increase student persistence and learning. Models for First-Year Experience/Seminar courses encourage active-learning and in-class discussion, yet research suggests many faculty enter their seminar classrooms with little training in effective college-level teaching. This workshop focuses on preparing effective development plans to support faculty with challenging classroom interactions, from discussions on neodiversity and social justice, to managing diverse personalities in the classroom, to one-on-one conversations around academic misconduct, behavior, etc. Program administrators who want to develop their First-Year Experience/Seminar faculty effectively will experience a theory-grounded, hands-on, collaborative workshop.

When: February 16, 2019, 1 - 5 p.m.
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters:

  • Julie McLaughlin, Professor and Department Chair for First-Year Courses - Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
  • Joe Cuseo, Professor Emeritus - Marymount College

Because they serve such a diverse student population, two-year colleges face difficult decisions about what topics to cover in a first-year experience course and how the course should be delivered, both administratively and pedagogically. This session will supply practical, research-based strategies for making key decisions about course administration (credit hours, class size, course standardization, etc.), instructor training, course content, course assignments, and course assessment. The session will be interactive and responsive to the needs of campuses building a First-Year Experience course from scratch as well as campuses seeking to upgrade their course to increase its impact on student success.

When: February 16, 2019, 1 - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

Presenters:

  • Wayne JacksonDirector of Multicultural Academic and Support Services - University of Central Florida
  • Tony Davis, Counselor - Montgomery County Community College 

This workshop will address in particular the first-year experience of African American and Hispanic Males at institutions of higher education. You will have the opportunity to participate in hands on examination of your campus culture and how that affects African American and Hispanic males at your institution. This workshop will also provide you the opportunity to begin the work of designing new programs and initiatives to implement during the first-year experience that will address the retention of African American and Hispanic males on your campus.

When: February 16, 2019, 1 - 5 pm

Registration Fee: $150

  • Jennifer Coplea, Coordinator, CNAS (College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences) Scholars - University of California

Riverside Generation Z is reshaping higher education. They are influenced by social media, technology, and peers. Accommodating student needs and success is a top priority for colleges and universities. Students in this generation can greatly benefit from high impact practices (HIP) to help them succeed (Kuh, 2015). Emphasis in things like first-year seminars, learning communities, research opportunities, and peer mentoring are successful ways to engage, retain, and graduate Generation Z. Participants will assess their own current support initiatives and develop strategies to improve and/or continue integrating HIPs into their students' experience during their time on campus.