Date of Graduation
Calls for reform in higher education have required many colleges and universities to redesign their undergraduate curricula. This decision was based on national reports that pointed out college graduates did not possess the academic and critical thinking skills needed to be successful in college and beyond. In conjunction with this curricular reform, was the need for a paradigm shift from instruction to learning, which required instructors to utilize teaching and learning strategies that actively involved undergraduate students in the learning process and would elicit the academic and critical thinking skills undergraduate students need to be successful. These strategies need to be used throughout the undergraduate experience and in particular, the first year of college. An experience that has proven to be an effective intervention for first year students is the first year seminar. Research supports that students' participation in first year seminars is effective in retention, persistence towards graduation, higher grade point averages, and social integration. Furthermore, results from the 2001 and 2002 First Year Initiative Survey provided support there is a positive relationship between the instructional techniques used in the first year seminar and acquisition of academic and critical thinking skills for students enrolled in the three-contact hour first year seminar. Based on this correlational analysis, four case institutions were identified and information was gather information via semi-structured interviews with first year seminar instructors and administrators of the faculty development initiatives. First year seminar faculty development and seminar documents were also collected and reviewed. Analysis of the data were used to identify attributes of effective first year seminar faculty development initiatives, and to provide recommendations for practice and future research.
Rogers, Melanie Baker, "Examining the first-year three-contact-hour seminar: Implications for faculty development." (2004). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9669.