Since 2001, teams of faculty, deans, students, and student affairs professionals have worked together to develop the template for a thoughtful first-year experience. This program includes four components:
Early outreach: ensuring that students and families have connections to the campus through regular recruitment activities, special events, and community opportunities.
Orientation: re-inventing orientation to increase the faculty involvement, enhance student attendance, introduce students to campus services and the environment, help students plan their academic path, and instill in students a desire to attain the skills and characteristics necessary to achieve success and become lifelong learners.
Welcome activities: continuing meaningful interactions with students to connect them to the campus and to foster a sense of belonging. Convocation, Summer Reading, Welcome Week, Feed the Students Day/Get Your Grub On, Warriors Up All Night/Late Night Stanislaus, and the Student Leadership Program all have been conducted in the past to contribute to these connection activities.
Curricular component: integrating an extended orientation to campus into a variety of linked courses with a linked seminar allows students to fulfill college requirements, define a pathway toward graduation, establish a connection to a faculty mentor, and acquire important self-management and critical thinking skills. Working with Dr. John Gardner, founder and senior fellow of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, the campus developed a pilot program. In fall 2003, the campus hosted an all day First Year Experience summit for faculty, staff and students with Dr. Gardner to kick off the project, which began in Fall 2004, as a pilot. In 2009, an ad hoc Committee on the First Year Experience was convened. Overseen by Dr. Susan Marshall in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the program plans to support changes in order to continue to provide a stimulating and effective learning community for new students. All classes fulfill GE requirements.
Explore Further » First Year Experience Program
For curricular FYE Pilot Project: Dr. Susan Marshall, Faculty Director of General Education, Professor of English (209) 667-3190
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