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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.


Underrepresented at a PWI – Supporting Students of Color through their transition within a Predominately White Institution

Course Date: March 6 - 31, 2023

Instructor: Taléa R. Drummer-Ferrell

This course will discuss ways to support students of color at a predominately white institution. Underrepresented students have a variety of shared and unique experiences at PWIs and this course will not only shed light to those experience, 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. The instructor, Dr. Talea Drummer-Ferrell has her own lived experiences as a student at three different PWIs as well as in her current position as an AVP and Dean of Students. This course will encourage dialogue to allow the class to give their own voice to the subject as well.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • 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 Textbook

Multiculturalism on Campus: Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion by Michael Cuyjet (Editor), et al. (2011)

Drummer-Ferrell Headshot

Taléa R. Drummer-Ferrell, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Kent State University

Dr. Drummer-Ferrell (Dr. D.) is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students at Kent State University. Prior to her current role, Dr. D. was the 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. has also 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. Dr. D. attended undergrad at Miami University where she became a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies. She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville in College Student Personnel, and her Ph.D. from Kent State University in Higher Education Administration & Student Personnel where her research focus was on second year students and the sophomore slump. Dr. D. lives in Kent with her Husband, Colin, who is an Assistant Football Coach at Kent State and their four year old Daughter, Gayle.

Registration Deadline: February 28, 2023
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


Understanding and Supporting Transfer Student Success

Course Date: May 15 - June 9, 2023

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
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 8, 2023
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


Creating a Comprehensive, Connected, and Coordinated First-Year Experience

Course Date: June 1 - 29, 2023

Instructor: Jennifer Keup

This course is designed to engage participants in an exploration of the fundamental aspects of first-year student success. Drawing from multiple perspectives, participants in the course will be challenged to: a) use current theory, research, and best practice literature to identify, explore, and understand the definitional parameters of FYE;  b) move beyond generational characteristics to fully understand who first-year students are and what issues potentially impact their success; c) apply the information generated through readings, reflective assignments, and discussion to examine existing tools and innovate practices aimed at fostering first-year student success; and d) understand and develop approaches to implement the tenets for quality in FYE concept and delivery.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Understand and apply the definitional parameters of terms and concepts used within the scholarly and best practice conversations around the first-year experience
  • Examine and understand the characteristics and needs of today’s first-year college students
  • Explore the tools and strategies we have to meet first-year students’ academic, developmental, personal, and interpersonal needs
  • Understand and apply the tenets for quality in first-year experience concept and delivery
  • Consider and develop strategies and techniques to integrate an institutional approach to the first-year experience

Required Text:

Young, D.G. & Keup, J.R. (2018). First-Year Experience Cross-Functional Framework (pp. 8-12). The Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. [Available for purchase at]

Keup Headshot

Jennifer R. Keup, Ph.D.

Executive Director, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina

Jennifer R. Keup, Ph. D., 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 25, 2023
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


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