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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.



Common Reading: Creating Community Beyond the Book

Course Date: September 5-30, 2022

Instructor: Catherine Andersen

Common reading programs, defined for the purpose of this course, occur when groups of incoming first-year students read the same book(s) and participate in activities that create a common intellectual experience.  These programs are becoming an important component of first-year experience initiatives and are most frequently designed to provide new students an introduction to the intellectual expectations of college in formal and informal gatherings. High-impact programs go beyond book discussion groups and include students, faculty, staff, and the larger community in an array of social, intellectual, and civic activities.  Individuals in this course will discuss the benefits and goals of a program; learn about the various types of programs; and explore how programs differ in scope, impact, and cost. Participants will design a comprehensive plan for their own campus that includes goals and outcomes, an assessment plan, a budget, book selection criteria, and curricular and co-curricular programming.

Course Objectives

As a part of this course, participants will:

  • Identify the rationale and characteristic of common reading programs
  • Identify the variety of programming opportunities for common reading programs
  • Develop a common reading program plan specific to their institution that includes
    • program goals,
    • book selection criteria,
    • event promotion strategies,
    • curricular and co-curricular opportunities,
    • a budget, and
    • an assessment plan
Catherine Andersen Headshot

Catherine F. Andersen

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Baltimore

Catherine Andersen is presently the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Baltimore and Professor in the Kline School of Communication where, among her many roles, she is responsible for institutional effectiveness, accreditation, and assessment.  Prior to this position, she enjoyed a long career at Gallaudet University, serving as Chief Enrollment and Marketing Officer, Associate Provost, Dean of Enrollment and General Studies, Director of the First-Year Experience, and Chairperson of the Communication and Developmental Studies Department.  Andersen has served on the National Advisory Board of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and is a fellow with the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Andersen is also Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University and was awarded the honor of Gallaudet’s Distinguished Faculty of the Year. In 1997, she was named one of the nation’s Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates.

Registration Deadline: August 29, 2022
Course Capacity: 35 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 fall 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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