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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.



Proving and Improving: Foundations of First-Year Assessment

Course Date: April 26 - May 21, 2021

Instructor: Dallin George Young

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:

  • Intentionally reflect on own bias and assumptions that could get in the way of supporting students to ones fullest capacity
  • 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
  • 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.

(A note about the required text: The subject for the text is the first-year seminar, one of many programs developed to support first-year student success.  The course is designed to focus on assessment foundations relevant to the entire first-year experience.  The text was selected because of its concise treatment of foundational concepts that apply to the assessment of the seminar and other first-year programs as well as many other functional units across institutions of higher education.)

Dallin George Young Headshot

Dallin George Young, Ph.D.

Assistant Director for Research and Grants, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Dr. Dallin George Young is the assistant director for research and grants at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). He coordinates all the research and assessment endeavors of the National Resource Center and is responsible for the Center’s national surveys, including the National Survey on The First-Year Experience, National Survey on Sophomore-Year Initiatives, and the National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences. He oversees a number of research collaborations and grant opportunities between the Center and the national and international higher education community as well as across the UofSC campus.  His research agenda coalesces around questions of how novices enter and work toward full participation in academic and professional communities of practice.  Specifically, he has led studies focused on outcomes of postsecondary education, the impact of professional standards in higher education, and structural features of student transition programs.

Registration Deadline: April 16, 2021
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


Understanding and Supporting Transfer Student Success

Course Date: June 7 - July 2, 2021

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

Dr. Catherine Hartman 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: June 2, 2021
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425


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

Course Date: July 5 - July 30, 2021

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]

Jennifer Keup Headshot

Jennifer Keup, Ph.D.

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

Dr. Jennifer Keup is the Executive 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: June 24, 2021
Course Capacity: 35 registrants 
Fee: $425

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