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

Online Courses

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.

Online courses are designed to come as close as possible to providing students with the same course content and opportunities for interaction with classmates and with the instructor as traditional or classroom-based courses, as well as take advantage of pedagogy and teaching techniques that are uncommon or not possible in a traditional format. Our online courses take place during a four- or five-week period, with the majority of instruction occurring in an asynchronous environment. Asynchronous instruction is neither time-bound nor place-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.



Supporting Students of Color within Predominately White Institutions

Course Date: May 4 - 29, 2020

Instructor: Taléa R. Drummer-Ferrell


This course will discuss ways to support students of color at a predominately white institution (PWI). Underrepresented students have a variety of shared and unique experiences at PWIs and this course will not only shed light to those experiences, but also discuss how we can support those students. The weeks of the course will be themed around the concepts of addressing ones own biases, cultural awareness and value, cultural affirmation, sense of belonging, and best practices. This course will encourage dialogue to show allow participants the opportunity to give their own voice to the subject as well.  

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

As a result of this online course, participants will be able to

  • intentionally reflect on own bias and assumptions that could get in the way of supporting students to ones fullest capacity;
  • gain an understanding of the importance of cultural affirmation and sense of belonging and how these can have an impact on the student experience and success;
  • discuss best practices that can help support underrepresented students through their transition at a PWI;
  • obtain knowledge from other participants discussing various experiences that support the course.

Required Text:  Cuviet, M., et al. (2011). Multiculturalism on Campus: Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Talea Drummer-Ferrell

Taléa R. Drummer-Ferrell

Interim Dean of Students, Kent State University

Dr. Talea R. Drummer-Ferrell (Dr. D) is the interim Dean of Students at Kent State University. Prior to her current role, Dr. D. was Director of the Student Multicultural Center (SMC) for three years where her primary responsibility was to support the needs of underrepresented students through her oversight of the SMC, its major initiatives and programming, and through her work on various committees that she serves on.
Dr. D. also has had experiences working various functional areas including Intercollegiate Athletics, Residence Services, Student Organizations and Fraternity & Sorority Life. Throughout her career, her focus has been on leadership, academics, career development, and empowerment of the individual student.

Registration Deadline: April 27, 2020
Course Capacity: 25 registrants 
Fee: $425


Providing and Improving: Foundations of First-Year Assessment

Course Date: June 8 - July 3, 2020

Instructor: Jennifer Keup


This course is a comprehensive introduction to first-year assessment and provides participants with the knowledge and tools needed to make sense of first-year assessment issues at their respective institutions.  More specifically, this course provides an overview of assessment models and methods; offers strategies for implementing effective assessment plans, including the development of learning outcomes; and explores instruments used to assess student learning, experiences, satisfaction, and change in their transition to college.  Both qualitative and quantitative assessment practices will be discussed.  

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will

  • Identify key learning outcomes for the first year of college;
  • Explore common tools for data collection;
  • Apply techniques for selecting appropriate assessment instruments;
  • Develop the knowledge needed to make sense of first-year assessment issues; and 
  • Understand data collection methods and models for first-year assessment.

Required Text:  Friedman, D. B. (2012). The first-year seminar: Designing, Implementing, and assessing courses to support student learning and success: Vol. V. Assessing the first-year seminar. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Jennifer Keup Headshot

Jennifer Keup

Director of the National Resource Centerfor The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina

Dr. Jennifer Keup is the Director of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition where she provides leadership for the Center’s operational, strategic, and scholarly activities in pursuit of its mission “to support and advance efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education.” During her time as director, Jennifer has worked to spearhead the National Resource Center’s increase in national and international collaboration and partnerships. The Center’s thought leadership, advancement of publication and professional development outlets, grant acquisition, research productivity, and expansion of channels for resource sharing and communication, including online and social media also have been areas of focus in her time at the Center. Dr. Keup’s research interests focus on two complementary areas of scholarship: (a) the first-year experience and students in transition and (b) high-impact practices and institutional interventions. She is a co-author of the book Designing and Sustaining Successful First-Year Programs: A Guide for Practitioners and of the CAS Cross-Functional Framework for First-Year Experiences. Jennifer also serves as an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina and is a proud multi-degree alumna of UCLA.

Registration Deadline: May 29, 2020
Course Capacity: 25 registrants 
Fee: $425

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