Building Synergy for High-Impact Educational Initiatives

First-Year Seminars and Learning Communities
Paperback: 9781889271989 / $30.00

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Published: May 2016

212 pp., 6" x 9"
Language: English

Published in partnership with the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education

First-year seminars and learning communities are two of the most commonly offered high-impact practices on U.S. campuses. The goals of these initiatives are similar: helping students make connections to faculty and other students, improving academic performance, and increasing persistence and graduation. As such, it is not surprising that many institutions choose to embed first-year seminars in learning communities.

This volume explores the merger of these two high-impact practices. In particular, it offers insight into how institutions connect them and the impact of those combined structures on student learning and success. In addition to chapters highlighting strategies for designing, teaching in, and assessing combined programs, case studies offer practical insights into the structures of these programs in a variety of campus settings.

Table of Contents:

Tables and Figures
Foreword—Tracy L. Skipper
Introduction—Janine Graziano and Lauren Chism Schmidt

Part I: Rationale for and Implementation of Combined Programs
Chapter 1: The Case for Connecting First-Year Seminars and Learning Communities—Ashley Finley and George D. Kuh
Chapter 2: National Practices for Combining First-Year Seminars and Learning Communities—Jean M. Henscheid, Tracy L. Skipper, and Dallin G. Young
Chapter 3: Administering Combined First-Year Seminar and Learning Community Programs—Nia Haydel and Liya Escalera
Chapter 4: Teaching in Combined Programs—Lisa Dresdner and Ruthanna Spiers
Chapter 5: What Should We Be Assessing and Why? —Michele J. Hansen and Maureen A. Pettitt

Part II: Contexts for Implementation: Models From Two- and Four-Year Institutions
Case Study 1: Inviting the Mother Tongue and a First-Year Seminar to Promote Success Among Spanish-Speaking ESL Students—Bronx Community College
Case Study 2: The Metro College Success Program: Redesigning the First Two Years of College—City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University
Case Study 3: The Targeted Learning Community: A Comprehensive Approach to Promoting the Success of First-Year Students in General Chemistry—Kennesaw State University
Case Study 4: Common Courses: A Developing Linked Coursework Perspective—The University of South Carolina
Case Study 5: Need a Little TLC? Incorporating First-Year Seminars in Themed Learning Communities—Northern Illinois University
Case Study 6: Writing Across the Curriculum Through Community Engagement: Exploring the Foster Care System in a Thematic Living and Learning Community—Cabrini College
Case Study 7: Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) —Mt. Hood Community College
Conclusion—Lauren Chism Schmidt and Janine Graziano

Reviews & Endorsements:

"Building Synergy for High-Impact Educational Initiatives is a virtual 'how to' manual for designing, implementing, and assessing a combination of two powerful high-impact practices—first-year seminars and learning communities. Recognizing that context matters, Chism Schimdt and Graziano offer us the bonus of case studies, preserving the unique voice and character of both the writers and the programs surveyed."

Jack Mino, Coordinator, Learning Community Program, Holyoke Community College