Proposed action objective:
- To form and maintain a collaborative body that will explore the features of an integrated learning experience for the freshman year at USD.
- To create an institutional framework/model for the freshman year at USD.
- To recommend the appropriate structural, programmatic, administrative, and policy changes in addition to an appropriate strategic timeline.
- To oversee and manage implementation of a revitalized Preceptorial Program and an overall FYE at USD.
How does this objective contribute to one or more of USD’s overall strategic goals?
The objectives of the FYE encompass everything USD does, essentially the entire University operation, for first-year undergraduate students. In this plan we hope to develop a comprehensive and integrated experience from the time a new student is admitted to USD until he or she begins the second year. (This initiative is mainly across the Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Mission and Ministry divisions.)
Several strategic goals will be supported through the work of FYE, including Goal #1 (more culturally competent community), Goal #2 (integrated learning experiences across educational contexts), Goal #4 (privileged place to the liberal arts and sciences), and Goal #5 (stronger and clearer institutional identity).
Who is responsible for implementing and monitoring this objective?
Co-chairs of the FYE Committee:
- Jim Gump, Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
- Merrick Marino, Director, Student Learning Initiatives
What steps are necessary to achieve this objective?
- Establish a permanent body responsible for development, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of a comprehensive and integrated FYE.
- Prepare a philosophy statement and learning outcomes for the FYE at USD.
- Conceptualize and develop new and revitalized FYE programs, services and activities for all students built around the preceptorial course and residential living and learning experience, including the following:
- Improve recruitment, selection, and training of preceptorial faculty.
- Create student leader/mentor role (called a “student preceptor”) connected to preceptorial courses.
- Redesign orientation to include more collaborative involvement in design and planning, stronger academic tone, greater involvement of residence life (particularly RA’s), and a more focused schedule.
- Create ongoing orientation activities, primarily through a workshop series and focused interviews with preceptors, resident assistants (RA’s), and student preceptors, throughout the first year to support students’ successful transition to the University.
- Create customized USD FYE text built from USD’s specific desired learning outcomes for the first year that will be available to all entering students and be used to develop training for student leaders, preceptors, and other faculty/staff that work closely with first-year students.
- Enhance and increase faculty connections to residence halls.
- Expand learning community options for students living in the residence halls.
- Develop a specific resident assistant (RA) role for first-year areas to include additional training and involvement with first-year residents.
- Design comprehensive training program for all student leaders involved with first-year students, including RA’s and student preceptors.
- Build several common experiences into the FYE for all students.
- Determine any necessary changes and/or additions to organizational structure or personnel to support first-year experience.
- Redesign marketing materials, and priority of key messages, for all admitted undergraduate students to highlight redesigned first-year experience unique to USD.
- Establish a parent introduction/orientation process connected to redesigned first-year experience.
- Build an assessment system to assess student learning of entering students in relation to USD specific desired learning outcomes.
- Monitor and evaluate overall first-year experience continuously to determine and implement appropriate changes and/or improvements as necessary.
What measurable indicator(s) can be used to monitor progress?
- More faculty are interested in teaching preceptorial courses and participating in training activities sponsored by CLT.
- The concept of a “student preceptor” begins to develop.
- Orientation takes on a more academic tone, with increased participation by faculty and RA’s.
- Workshop series available for all new students exists and is integrated with preceptorial classes.
- Customized USD FYE book is developed and is widely used.
- More opportunities for faculty to lead discussions in the residence halls exist.
- Expanded options for students to live with other students with similar interests and/or shared classes.
- Specialized training and increased responsibility for first-year area resident assistants.
- Ongoing training course for all first-year resident assistants and student preceptors exists.
- Office exists and is clearly designated as contact point for first-year experience.
- FYE webpage exists.
- All marketing materials for entering freshmen (e.g. viewbook, brochures, etc.) are revised to incorporate new overall program at USD.
- Parent orientation for all parents included on first day of orientation.
- Entry and follow-up assessment of learning outcomes implemented, including CIRP Freshman Survey, Your First College Year follow up survey, National Survey of Student Engagement, and other USD designed surveys/interviews.
Proposed timeline—what is to be accomplished by:
|2005-06||Plan and develop full FYE program to be implemented fall 2006. Pilot some components of FYE (e.g., customized book, preceptor training workshops, workshop series for all freshmen, enhanced training for first-year area resident assistants ).|
|2006-07||Implement new comprehensive and integrated FYE. Assess and evaluate first year of plan with recommendations for second year of implementation . Expand charge of FYE Committee to develop learning outcomes and program recommendations for sophomore year.|
|2007-08||Second year of full implementation of FYE with modifications based on assessment and evaluation data. Begin development of Sophomore Year Experience (SoYE). Implement sophomore program.|
|2008-09||Third year of full implementation of FYE. Assess, evaluate and modify SoYE.|
|2009-10||Continue assessment and evaluation of FYE and SoYE and modify as necessary.|
What resources will be required to accomplish this objective?
No additional costs specific to this project for:
No additional costs specific to this project for: