|understanding students||student learning communities|
|retention strategies||active learning|
For many reasons, primary among them retention, colleges & universities have increasingly emphasized the importance of teaching first-year students (FYS). For any student, no matter the age, gender, or educational background, the first year experience can be an emotional one in that it can define--or redefine--a student's self image, expectations, comfort level, etc. "Is it possible to succeed here, do my teachers care, do others like me, is there support?" How a FYS answers these questions determines whether he will commit to the university, more important, to a path in higher learning. Strategies for establishing rapport with FYS have flourished to maintain both the vitality of the academy and the well-being, the likelihood of success for students.
Recent studies encourage that teachers use more active learning strategies for instruction and endorse problem-based learning, learning communities, and service- or community-based learning for courses and assignments.
The Academic Support Center administers Raider Learning Communities, a way for students to experience college on a campus of more than 20,000 people in a more intimate way than is traditional. " The RLC program helps create a small college atmosphere within the large university environment. RLC students belong to small groups of approximately 25 and enroll as a group in courses available to that community."For more information about the Raider Learning Communities please contact Erin Conroy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
From our library--
Andretta, B. (2006). Navigating the research university: A guide for first-year students. Boston, MA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Erickson, B., & Strommer, D. (1991). Teaching college freshmen. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Erickson, B.L., Peters, C.B., & Strommer, D.W. (2006). Teaching first-year college students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hunter, M.S., & Skipper, T.L. (Eds.). (1999). Solid foundations: Building success for first-year seminars through instructor training and development (monograph no. 29). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.
Upcraft, M.L., Gardner, J.N., & Associates. (1989). The freshman year experience. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Teaching Tip Active Learning,
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