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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.


Understanding and Supporting Transfer Student Success

Course Date: May 23 - June 17, 2022

Instructor: Catherine Hartman

Transfer students are a significant and growing undergraduate population on campuses across the U.S. Promoting transfer student success requires institutional agents to understand and support students’ navigation of the transfer process and their acclimatation to new institutions. As such, this course will provide foundational information about transfer, including national trends in transfer. Participants will also explore characteristics of transfer students, assets they bring with them to their institutions, and institutional barriers that impact their success. Participants will engage in learning activities and create equity-minded actionable plans that reinforce support for transfers.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Understand national trends, literature, and data associated with student transfer
  • Examine and understand the characteristics and assets of transfer and transfer-intending students
  • Explore common tools and practices institutions use to meet transfer students needs
  • Evaluate the ways in which programs or initiatives may or may not support transfer students’ transitions, engagement, and success during the transfer process
  • Develop equity-minded strategies for promoting transfer student success within and across institutions, including through pathways, initiatives, and policies.


Catherine Hartman Headshot

Catherine Hartman, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina

Catherine Hartman, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Catherine works with Center staff to carry out projects related to the Center’s original research agenda and grant-seeking activities. Prior to joining the National Resource Center, Catherine served as a graduate research assistant at the Center for Community College Student Engagement and at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Catherine’s research focuses on community college student persistence and engagement (particularly among racially and linguistically minoritized students), student transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions, and community college leadership.

Registration Deadline: May 16, 2022
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


The Bridge to Anywhere: Enhancing Student Success and Institutional Impact Through Bridge Programs

Course Date: June 27 - July 22, 2022

Instructor: Andrew (Drew) Newton

Expanding access.  Enhancing preparation.  Streamlining transfer and student transitions.  Bridge programs do all this and more. The need for post-secondary education has never been greater, and neither has the necessity of effective partnerships to take students from point A to point B in their progression toward degree.  In this online course, students will be introduced to three primary bridge possibilities:  residential bridge; non-residential bridge; and summer/transition bridge programs.  Through literary review, exploration of best practices, and dialogue with practitioners in the field, students will develop a bridge program action plan and guiding documents that could be furthered at their institutions while proactively determining how the programs can be assessed.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the literature and best practices behind residential bridge partnerships between institutions
  • Understand the literature and best practices behind non-residential bridge partnerships/articulation agreements between institutions
  • Understand the literature and best practices behind summer bridge programs 
  • Engage in dialogue with practitioners engaged all the respective bridge programs
  • Develop the framework for an institution-specific residential, non-residential, or summer bridge program using research and best practices explored
  • Create tools and metrics to assess the effectiveness of bridge programs


Newton Headshot

Andrew (Drew) Newton, Ph.D.

Director, Academic and Career Advising, Midlands Technical College

Andrew (Drew) Newton, Ph.D., currently serves as the Director of Academic and Career Advising at Midlands Technical College (MTC), the community/technical college serving over 10,000 students in the Central Midlands of South Carolina.  In his role, Drew serves as the founding director of the college’s centralized advising center.  He also serves as a primary lead with the Gamecock Gateway residential bridge partnership and other non-residential transfer articulations between MTC and the University of South Carolina-Columbia.  Prior to joining MTC, Drew served as the Associate Director of First-Year Academic Advising at UofSC-Columbia.  His understanding of bridge programs is grounded in his service as founding director of the university's residential bridge program with Midlands Technical College known as Gamecock GatewayBeyond higher education, Drew has also served as a middle school teacher and K-12 department chair.  A native of Farmville, Virginia, Drew completed his Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education from James Madison University and his Master of Education in Higher Education/Student Affairs from the University of South Carolina.

Registration Deadline: June 22, 2022
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


Made to Measure: Intermediate Principles of Assessment

Course Date: July 25 - August 19, 2022

Instructor: Dallin George Young

This course is aimed at making assessment more manageable for higher education professionals who have been tasked with conducting assessment, but perhaps have lingering questions about how to make their assessment efforts more efficient and effective. Developing the skills necessary to plan, carry out, interpret, and implement assessment activities is important to those who have been tasked with these responsibilities.  This course aims to provide information and techniques to those interested in developing intermediate-level proficiency with assessment and evaluation.  The course will cover topics such as aligning assessment plans with department, division, and institutional goals; knowing how to gather and make sense of qualitative and quantitative data; connecting assessment results to program improvements; and developing relationships with key stakeholders in the process.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Understand the process of developing aligned assessment plans
  • Detail practical concerns with assessing impact of student engagement
  • Explore how assessment questions lead to data analysis
  • Examine effective reporting of assessment results
  • Identify methods of using assessment results to improve program effectiveness

Required Text: Course materials will be provided.

Young Headshot

Dallin George Young, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, College Student Affairs Administration and Student Affairs Leadership Graduate Programs, University of Georgia

Dallin George Young, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the College Student Affairs Administration and Student Affairs Leadership graduate programs at the University of Georgia.  Dallin has presented and published widely on college student transitions, peer leadership, graduate professional preparation in student affairs, and assessment of student learning.  Before coming to UGA, Dallin was the Assistant Director for Research and Grants at The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and has held professional roles in housing and residence life as well as student affairs assessment at a variety of institutional types.

Registration Deadline: July 19, 2022
Course Capacity: 30 registrants 
Fee: $425


Academic Recovery: Supporting Students on Academic Probation

Course Date: October 24 - November 18, 2022

Instructor: Mike Dial

This course is designed to engage participants in examining and discussing an often-understudied population of students in transition, students on academic probation. Academic probation serves multiple functions in the context of higher education. Setting minimum performance standards likely motivates some students to increase effort while performing near or below the threshold may cause other students to drop out. For the individual student, being placed on probation positions them in a unique transition between unsatisfactory progress and either academic recovery or dismissal and is accompanied by a host of social and emotional consequences at school and home. Research over the years has resulted in quite mixed results on the effectiveness of academic probation to support students to success. This course aims to provide participants information, theoretical frameworks, and techniques for engaging with and supporting students on academic probation in effective and meaningful ways.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Identify issues that lead students to face academic challenge
  • Explore the lived experiences of students on probation.
  • Examine theoretical frameworks that may be applied when working with students on academic probation
  • Develop strategies and transform existing practices to encourage academic recovery for students on probation.

Required Text: Dial, M. (anticipated summer 2022). Academic recovery: Supporting Students on academic probation. Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Scholarly articles shared in Blackboard

Dial Headshot

Mike Dial

Associate Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising, University of South Carolina

Mike Dial currently serves as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). He leads the largest undergraduate advising program on campus that supports 14,000 undergraduate students into and through the university. Since 2014, Mike has been involved in first-year and transition initiatives at UofSC including advising, the first-year seminar, early intervention, peer education, and student success programming. Mike is the editor of the NRC’s forthcoming book on supporting students on probation, a co-editor on NACADA’s Academic Advising Administration 2nd Edition, and serves on the manuscript review board for Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook for Colleges and Universities. He has presented on research and practice supporting at-risk students at several national conferences including the NASPA Annual Conference, the National Conference on the First-Year Experience, the National Mentoring Symposium, the National Symposium on Student Retention, and the inaugural Appreciative Education Conference. His other areas of scholarly interest include early alert programs, the first-year experience, and academic advising.

Registration Deadline: October 12, 2022
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


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