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All University of South Carolina system institutions will be closed through the end of the spring semester. Columbia campus virtual instruction will continue through the conclusion of final exams in May. Details can be found on the coronavirus landing page.

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.

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 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: 30 registrants 
Fee: $425


Proving 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

Executive 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


Academic Recovery: Supporting Students on Academic Probation

Course Date: August 17 - September 11, 2020

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. In fact, 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. This course aims to provide participants information, theoretical frameworks, and techniques for engaging with and supporting students on academic probation.  

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; and
  • Develop strategies and transform existing practices to encourage academic recovery for students on probation.

Required Text:  Course text will be provided in Blackboard.

Mike Dial Headshot

Mike Dial

Assistant Director of First-Year Advising, University of South Carolina

Mike Dial is the Assistant Director of First-Year Advising at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). He leads a team of 35 academic advisors who support 9,000+ undergraduate students into and through the university. Prior to this role, Mike was responsible for coordinating the recruitment, selection, and training process for the 200+ peer leaders who co-taught UNIV 101 as the Assistant Director for Peer Leadership for University 101 Programs at UofSC. Since 2014, Mike has been involved in first-year initiatives at UofSC including advising, the first-year seminar, early intervention, peer education, and student success programming. Mike serves on the manuscript review boards for E-Source for College Transitions and 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. Mike is currently editing a scholarly practice book on supporting students on academic probation. His other areas of scholarly interests include early alert programs, the first-year experience, and student leadership.

Registration Deadline: August 10, 2020
Course Capacity: 25 registrants 
Fee: $425


Infusing Growth Mindset into Your First-Year Experience

Course Date: November 9 - December 4, 2020

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 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 gain for students;
  • Describe the key components of effective interventions related to growth mindset; and
  • 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

Director of Student Transitions, University of Central Arkansas

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: November 3, 2020
Course Capacity: 25 registrants 
Fee: $425

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