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Achieving and Sustaining Institutional Excellence for the First Year of College

Achieving and Sustaining Institutional Excellence for the First Year of College (0787971510) cover image
In 2002, the Policy Center on the First Year of College (supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Lumina Foundation for Education) sponsored a project to recognize colleges and universities as "Institutions of Excellence" in their design and execution of the first year. Thirteen colleges and universities—representing a broad spectrum of campus types—were selected as exceptional institutions that place a high priority on the first-year experience. Achieving and Sustaining Excellence in the First Year of College includes case studies of each of the thirteen exemplary institutions. These studies illustrate and analyze the colleges’ best practices in teaching, assessing, and retaining first-year college students. The individual case studies offer lessons learned and have broad potential application beyond the particular type of institution represented.
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Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

About the Authors.

1. On Being Named an Institution of Excellence in the First College Year: The Process and the Places.

2. Research Methods.

Part One: Case Studies of Two-Year Institutions.

3. The Community College of Denver: A Second Family for the First-Year Student (Marc Cutright, Randy L. Swing).

4. LaGuardia Community College: A Window on the World (Betsy O. Barefoot, Michael J. Siegel).

Part Two: Case Studies of Four-Year Institutions with Fewer Than 2,000 Students.

5. The First Year at Eckerd College: Responsible Innovation (Stephen W. Schwartz, Michael J. Siegel).

6. Kalamazoo College: No Stone Left Unturned (Stephen W. Schwartz, Randy L. Swing).

Part Three: Case Studies of Four-Year Institutions with 2,000 to 5,000 Students.

7. Drury University: Balancing Intellectual Rigor with Intrusive Personal Support in the First Year (Charles C. Schroeder, Randy L. Swing).

8. Elon University: Transforming Education Through a Community of Inquiry and Engagement (Libby V. Morris, Randy L. Swing).

9. West Point and the Plebe-Year Experience: The Long Gray Line (Michael J. Siegel, John N. Gardner).

Part Four: Case Studies of Four-Year Institutions with 5,000 to 10,000 Students.

10. Lehman College of the City University of New York: Excellence in the Bronx (John N. Gardner, Betsy O. Barefoot).

11. The First Year at Texas A&M University– Corpus Christi: Starting with a Clean Slate (Michael J. Siegel, Marc Cutright).

Part Five: Case Studies of Four-Year Institutions with 10,000 to 20,000 Students.

12. Appalachian State University: High Standards for the First Year in North Carolina’s High Country (John N. Gardner, Betsy O. Barefoot).

13. The Story of Ball State University: “Everything Students Need” (Randy L. Swing, Marc Cutright).

Part Six: Case Studies of Four-Year Institutions with More Than 20,000 Students.

14. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: Success and the City (Marc Cutright, Michael J. Siegel).

15. University of South Carolina: Creator and Standard-Bearer for the First-Year Experience (Libby V. Morris, Marc Cutright).

Part Seven: Conclusion.

16. Findings and Recommendations.

Epilogue: Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year.

Appendix A: All Participants in the Institutions of Excellence Study (N = 130).

Appendix B: Initial Letter of Invitation to Participate in the Institutions of Excellence Project.

Appendix C: Semifinalists.

Appendix D: Letter to Semifinalists.

Appendix E: Announcement Letter to Thirteen Institutions of Excellence.

Appendix F: Research Subject Information and Consent Form.

References.

Index.

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Betsy Barefoot is co-director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, and directed the publications center for the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina for 11 years.

John Gardner is executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College and was the founder of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. He has co-authored three other books with Jossey-Bass.

Marc Cutright is assistant professor of higher education at Ohio University and a research fellow of the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

Libby Morris is associate professor of higher education and interim director, Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She is editor of the Journal of Innovative Higher Education.

Charles Schroeder is a senior executive with Noel-Levitz and cofounder of Jossey-Bass' About Campus magazine.

Stephen Schwartz is a visiting senior fellow at the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

Michael Siegel is a research associate for the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

Randy Swing is codirector of the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

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"This book brings to life the theory and research on student success. The thirteen campuses profiled in this study of excellence offer example after example of structures and programs to support first-year students. From learning communities to first-year experience courses to common reading programs, orientation, and more, these authors have compiled rich descriptions of best practices into a must-read for presidents, provosts, academic administrators, student affairs professionals, faculty, and staff across institutional types."
--Jodi Levine Laufgraben, associate vice provost, Temple University

"Betsy Barefoot and John Gardner have been telling us for years what works for first-year students. Now they and their colleagues provide the missing link–examples of schools that actually do it well!"
--George D. Kuh, Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education and director, Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University

"In this wonderfully timely book, Barefoot, Gardner, and their colleagues do higher education a great service. They provide concrete, evidence-based examples of how a diverse array of colleges and universities are redesigning first-year experiences to meet the needs of students and promote their success. We learn again that leadership matters, that data can drive improvement, and that relentless focus and the courage to transform will win the day."
--Kay McClenney, director, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, University of Texas at Austin

"Achieving and Sustaining Institutional Excellence for the First Year of College is destined to become a classic, a vital handbook for every college and university which aspires to maximize the life-changing possibilities for America's first-year students."
--David Warren, president, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C.

"At last, a book that offers research-based frameworks for first-year student success that include all types of institutions, regardless of the differences in their missions and the diversity of their students."
--M. Lee Upcraft, affiliate professor emeritus and assistant vice president emeritus for student affairs, Penn State University

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