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Instructional Strategies for Teaching First-Year Students & First-Year Seminars: Five Key Connections (EDU762L)

Presented by: Joe Cuseo
(*) Single User Price. For multiple users please call 1-844-384-4744
Pre Recorded Webinar
90 minutes
Event Description
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How First Year Seminars Can Help Boost College Graduation Rates in Your Institution

In the mid-1990s, clarion calls were sounded for a “paradigm shift” to a “new learning paradigm” that involved shifting the focus of attention from the teacher and the content being taught to the learner and the process of learning (Barr & Tagg, 1995). This new learning paradigm changes the starting point for improving undergraduate education by centering the process on the learner and what the learner is doing, rather than focusing on what the instructor is doing (and covering) in class.

Effective instruction depends not only on “covering” the subject matter, but also on employing effective pedagogy. As much thought should be given to who is learning the content and how the content is taught as is given to what content is covered. In other words, process is as important as content.

Student attrition continues to plague American colleges and universities, particularly during the first year of the undergraduate experience. Use of effective retention-promoting teaching practices in first-year courses in general, and first-year experience courses (aka, first-year seminars) in particular, represents one way to promote early student persistence and eventual graduation.

A national survey of more than 1,000 institutions was conducted under the auspices of ACT, which asked chief academic officers to identify three campus retention practices that had the greatest impact on student retention. Per the survey, the reported practice that ranked first in terms of having the most impact on student retention was a “freshman seminar/university 101 course for credit” (Habley & McClanahan, 2004). This national survey finding is reinforced by a meticulous synthesis of more than 3000 postsecondary studies on the impact of college programs and experience on student development.

These studies consistently find that FYS [first-year seminar] participation promotes persistence into the second year and over longer periods of time. Whatever the procedure, the research points to the same conclusion, indicating positive and statistically significant net effect of FYS participation versus nonparticipation on persistence into the second year or attainment of a bachelor’s degree (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005, pp. 400-401).

If colleges and universities are serious about achieving the altruistic goal of increasing America’s college graduation rates, or if they’re concerned about the more egocentric goal of managing their enrollment and maintaining their fiscal stability, strengthening instruction in first-year courses and first-year seminars is a strategy that should be vigorously pursued.

Join expert speaker Joe Cuseo in this program that focuses on concrete, manageable instructional practices relating to both in-class and out-of-class learning experiences. You will acquire knowledge about the what, why, and how of effective first-year instruction that is transferable across different academic disciplines and applicable across different student populations. In addition to information provided via PowerPoint slides, you will receive extensive supplementary materials/manuscripts containing supporting research and additional strategies relating to the ideas presented during the session.

Session Objectives:
This program will examine high-impact, cross-disciplinary teaching strategies for promoting first-year student success that involve five key student-centered connections:


  • The student-instructor connection,
  • The student-course (subject matter) connection,
  • The student-student (peer) connection,
  • The student-campus (support service/co-curricular) connection,
  • The student-community (beyond campus) connection.

Specific, practical strategies for making these connections will be grounded in, and supported by, research-based principles of human learning, student motivation, and student retention.

Who should attend?
The program’s content will be relevant to:

  • Instructors in all academic disciplines, particularly those teaching first-year students and first-year seminars
  • Faculty development specialists
  • First-year experience (first-year seminar) course directors and coordinators
  • Academic administrators responsible for ensuring the quality of undergraduate teaching, particularly in general
About Our Speaker(s)

Joe Cuseo | Student Success &  Retention SpeakerJoe Cuseo
Joe Cuseo holds a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology and Assessment from the University of Iowa and is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Marymount College (California)-where for more than 25 years he directed the first-year seminar-a core course required of all new students.  He is a 14-time recipient of the ... More info

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    Event Title: Instructional Strategies for Teaching First-Year Students & First-Year Seminars: Five Key Connections
    Presenter(s): Joe Cuseo

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