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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 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Amanda VoigtCourse Manager, Academic Success Programs, Arizona State University
  • Corinne CorteDirector, Academic Success Programs, Arizona State University

Although post-secondary classrooms are wonderfully diverse environments, students from these diverse backgrounds may not feel that the classroom are as inclusive as they could be.  This lack of inclusivity in educational spaces is potentially due to a lower level of cultural competency in faculty and staff. This workshop will explore strategies for assisting faculty and staff with increasing their cultural competency and creating a more inclusive environment. The engaging facilitation will include activities to increase bias awareness, discussion of topics relevant to cultural competency (racism, microaggressions, privilege, etc), and tools to promote an inclusive environment.

When: February 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Brad Garner, Director of Faculty Enrichment, Center for Learning and Innovation, Indiana Wesleyan University; Editor, The Toolbox, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition - University of South Carolina

A critically important variable in the success of a first-year seminar is the level at which faculty are prepared to create an engaging/interactive learning environment. This is a unique skill set that must be developed and practiced. As faculty move along on this journey, it is critically important to equip them with strategies and techniques that promote interaction, reflection, and engagement. This session is designed to provide hands-on experience and a collection of tools that can be easily transported into the first-year seminar. Participants will receive an electronic resource document with directions for implementing all of the presented strategies.

When: February 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Carmen Gonzalez, Counselor & Lookout Scholars Program Director, University of North Carolina
  • Candice Powell, Associate Director for Retention, University of North Carolina
  • Omar Simpson, Counselor & Transition Course Coordinator, University of North Carolina

First-generation college students’ persistence and graduation rates are lower than their continuing generation peers (Supporting FGCS, 2015). First-year seminars can play an integral role in student success and be used as a tool to decrease disparities in graduation equity (Pascarella, E. T., and P. T. Terenzini. 2005). In this workshop, we will review and discuss three examples of curriculum intentionally designed to support first-generation college students (FGCS). From this discussion, participants will consider their own curriculum designed for FGCS and/or consider opportunities to address FGCS needs, experiences, and strengths in a course, lecture, or seminar format.  

When: February 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Mike Dial, Assistant Director, First-Year Advising, University of South Carolina
  • Paige McKeown, Coordinator of First-Year Advising & Academic Intervention, University of South Carolina

This interactive session is designed to provide participants with the historical, theoretical, research, and practical background of early alert programs. Participants will explore and discuss the necessary components to leverage high quality early alert programming at a variety of institutional types and sizes. Facilitators will utilize research, effective practice, and participants’ experiences to discuss how to develop a mission and vision for early alert programs, design and facilitate effective interventions, prepare faculty and staff to monitor and respond to student risk indicators, and evaluate and assess early alert programs.

When: February 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters: 

  • Dan Friedman, Director, University 101 Programs, University of South Carolina
  • Stephanie M. Foote, Assistant Vice President for Teaching, Learning, and Evidence-Based Practices, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education
  • Dottie Weigel, Assistant Professor for Higher Education/School of Graduate Studies, Program Director Higher Education, Messiah College

Aimed at individuals who are designing new first-year seminar courses or re-envisioning existing courses, this preconference 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 and a review of the 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 preconference workshop.

When: February 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters:

  • Darrell King, Senior Associate Director for Multicultural Business Programs, Michigan State University
  • Sherri Henry, Associate Director, Undergraduate Academic Services, Michigan State University

This workshop will walk participants through the process of creating a high-impact and transformative seminar for diverse students. Participants will be introduced to an adaptive model for designing a seminar, which includes interactive lessons that align and utilize, Chickering's Vectors, Kuh’s High-Impact Practices and other student development models. Participants will learn how to create an academic seminar that provides opportunities to support students in developing a sense of identity, belonging, and successful transition.

When: February 21, 2020, 8 a.m. - Noon
Registration Fee: $150
Presenters:

  • Jazz Jackson, Associate Dean, First Year Experience and Retention Programs, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Jamie Holcomb, Associate Dean of Education & First Year Experience, Southern New Hampshire University

Higher education is changing quickly to meet the increasing demands of industry, and many solutions to complex problems/issues are being generated by exploring spaces outside of higher education. First-year student success and persistence is no exception. Industry has embraced holistic onboarding practices to integrate and prepare new employees for long-term success. Emphasis on sense of belonging, skill development, mentorship, cultural integration, and long-term goals have been explored and delivered through an extended onboarding program rather than single “new employee” orientation. In this presentation, we will explore industry best practices that can help inform supporting online first-year students in higher education.

When: February 21, 2020, 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 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

Presenters:

  • Christine Metzo, Director, Academic Collegiate Excellence Program, St. Cloud State University

Closing the achievement gap has become a critical charge to institutions of higher education in the United States. As we provide access, we must also find ways to provide support to ground and sustain the success and belonging of promising students who may be underprepared for university study. This session features the high-touch, high-impact structure of a program for conditionally-admitted students that has proven results in supporting and sustaining their success and increasing retention and persistence among these students. Using interactive pedagogy, participants will explore the program from admission to program completion and identify opportunities for their home campuses. 

When: February 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

  • Amy Baldwin, Director, University College, University of Central Arkansas
  • Bryce BuntingAssistant Clinical Professor, Brigham Young University
  • Latoya Hardman, Director of Academic Initiatives and Partnerships, Lone Star College-Tomball

Research and public conversation about belonging, growth mindset, and resilience have proliferated in the last few years, but many student success professionals are uncertain how best to incorporate these concepts into their courses and programs. Participants in this workshop will receive an up-to-date briefing on the latest theory and practice about learning mindsets and their impact on student outcomes. Then, participants will engage in interactive activities to learn how to design curricular and co-curricular strategies in their student success course and FYE program that can enhance learning mindsets that lead to a measurable impact on student success.

When: February 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

  • Christine HarringtonAssociate Professor, New Jersey City University
  • Melissa Thomas, Partner Success Specialist, University of Texas

Are you using the syllabus as a motivational tool?  Come discover what the research says about the syllabus.  We’ll focus on how tone, visual tools, and length can motivate and engage students.  Bring your syllabus and laptop and you’ll walk away with a revised syllabus that is sure to increase motivation and learning.  You’ll be amazed at how simple but powerful changes can make a world of difference and set your students up for success. A syllabus checklist and fresh ideas to engage students with the syllabus on the first day of class and throughout the semester will be shared. 

When: February 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

  • Dustin Roberts, Assistant Director, First Year Experience, College of Charleston
  • Sandy Greene, Assistant Director  for Communications,  University 101 Programs, University of South Carolina
  • Katie Hopkins, Assistant Director for Faculty Development, University 101 Programs, University of South Carolina

Creating an inclusive classroom community that promotes sense of belonging has the power to positively impact student learning, success, and persistence to the second year and beyond. Community building should not be an after-thought. It should be integrated intentionally into the course from the first-day to the last. In this interactive workshop, presenters will share and demonstrate strategies that can be used to effectively build community through group work, meaningful assignments, active learning strategies, activities in and beyond the classroom, and through leveraging the power of peer facilitators.

When: February 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

  • Kathryn Wilhite, Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Clemson University
  • Katherine Hilson, Assistant Director for Student Programs and Communication, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, University of South Carolina
  • Elaine Lewis, Director of the First Year Center, Utah Valley University

How often have you sent an email to a new student and wondered if they read it or if they understood the message content? Higher education jargon and campus lingo continue to expand calling for communication consciousness, especially with incoming students. This interactive workshop uses theory and practice to examine the communication relationship between admissions and departments that serve first-year students. Facilitators will guide participants through activities to evaluate communication and discuss partnerships to ease student transitions to college. Participants will leave the session with inventive ways to engage with their campus partners to enhance communication strategies for student success.

When: February 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

  • Jenny Bloom, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology, Florida Atlantic University 
  • Amanda Propst Cuevas, Director, Office of Appreciative Education, Florida Atlantic University
  • Annie Kelly, Associate Director, Tutoring Center, Loyola University Chicago

Appreciative Advising is the intentional collaborative practice of asking positive, open- ended questions that help students optimize their educational experiences and achieve their dreams, goals, and potentials (appreciativeadvising.net). In this engaging and interactive workshop, participants from a diverse array of first-year functional areas are invited to gain hands-on experience integrating Appreciative Advising within their institution’s First-Year Experience, including first-year advising, instruction, programming, and academic support. Participants will leave with an understanding of the Appreciative Advising mindset and strategies for how to integrate Appreciative Advising within their work with first-year students and their First-Year Experience programs.

When: February 21, 2020, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $150

  • Maureen Grewe, Director of Student Conduct, University of South Carolina
  • Tad Derrick, Assistant Director of Harm Reduction and Compliance, Fraternity and Sorority Life, University of South Carolina

In this interactive workshop, participants will discuss the high risk behaviors first year students experience when arriving to college including substance use, hazing, mental health, sexual assault and Title IX concerns. We will review components of a successful comprehensive education plan to address substance use, hazing, mental health, sexual assault and Title IX concerns with first year students.  Facilitators will utilize research, effective practice, and participants’ experiences to discuss how to manage these concerns for first year students. Participants will receive models of effective programs, as well as tools, strategies, and ideas on how to enhance programs and practices on their campus to improve the first-year experience.   


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