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

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Online Courses

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is pleased to now offer online courses on current topics related to the first-year experience and students in transition.

Our online courses are designed to be as close as possible to in-person instruction—providing attendees with the same content and opportunities to interact with classmates and the instructor—and are enhanced with pedagogy and teaching techniques that are uncommon or impractical in a traditional classroom format. These courses typically run between four and five weeks, with the majority of instruction occurring in an asynchronous environment. Asynchronous instruction is neither time-bound nor location-bound and does not require the simultaneous participation of all students and instructors. It uses tools such as email, threaded discussions/forums, listservs, and blogs.

Participants will earn 1.5 continuing education units.

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Each online course has limited registration, so early registration is encouraged.



Infusing Growth Mindset into Your First-Year Experience

Course Date: August 2 - 27, 2021

Instructor: Amy Baldwin

Current research on growth mindset has exploded in the past two decades, and many student success professionals are grappling with how best to take what we know works and implement it into a first-year course or program. This course will first focus on a foundational understanding of growth mindset. Then, the course will cover opportunities to infuse growth mindset into a first-year program so that participants can create a plan that provides opportunities for students to encourage, develop, or enhance these traits. Each week of the course will be centered on current research and strategies that can enhance student success. This course will encourage participants to identify where they could include growth mindset information and intervention into their first-year program.  

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Discuss the current research of growth mindset;
  • Describe how incorporating a focus on growth mindset into the first-year can lead to long-term gains for students;
  • Describe the key components of effective interventions related to growth mindset;
  • Create a plan for incorporating growth mindset into their first-year student success course or program.

Required Text: Baldwin. A, Bunting, B., Daugherty, D., Hardman Lewis, L., & Steenbergh, T. (2020). Promoting Belonging, Growth Mindset, and Resilience to Foster Student Success. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Amy Baldwin Headshot

Amy Baldwin, Ed.D.

Director of Student Transitions, University of Central Arkansas

Dr. Amy Baldwin is the director of Student Transitions at University of Central Arkansas. Her scholarship is focused on first-generation, at-risk, and first-year college students. In addition to chairing a department focused on first-year students, she also teaches composition, literacy, and student success.

Baldwin wrote the first student success book for the community college market for Pearson: The Community College Experience. She has authored and co-authored additional student success texts including The College Experience, The College Experience Compact, and The First-Generation College Experience. She is also a co-author of the forthcoming Promoting Belonging, Growth Mindset, and Resilience to Foster Student Success, a book published by the National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. A chapter on growth mindset appeared in the summer 2019 issue of New Directions for Student Leadership: Leadership Development Through Campus Employment. She also writes on student success topics for Collegiate Parent, NBC Toolkit, and Higher Ed Parent.

Baldwin earned her bachelor's degree in English literature at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and a master’s degree in British Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her Ed.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her previous positions include Chair of College Studies and faculty member at University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College. She served as the state project director for the Arkansas Complete College America (CCA) grant from 2011-2013 and is a CCA content expert for corequisite developmental courses.

Registration Deadline: July 23, 2021
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


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

Course Date: September 13 - October 8, 2021

Instructor: Brad Garner

We are living in an age where digital technology is ubiquitous … apps, mobile devices, e-books, MOOCS, Open Educational Resources, virtual reality, and 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.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the intersection of digital tools and course design
  • Acquire skill in using a variety of digital tools for the purposes of instruction and assessment
  • Thoughtfully select digital tool for use in the first-year seminar experience

Required Text:  The course will only use Open Educational Resources.

Brad Garner Headshot

Brad Garner, Ph.D.

Director of Faculty Enrichment, Indiana Wesleyan University

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). Brad’s most recent research has focused on digital technology and learning, with his two most recent book, Creating Digital Citizens and Engaged Learners (2016) and Digital Content Curation: A 21st Century Life Skill (2019).  He is also the co-host of the “Digital2Learn” podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Registration Deadline: September 7, 2021
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425



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