1. Reports on sub-committee work
The sub-committees met briefly and then shared the work they had done with the larger group.
Current Programs: Cedric Rucker distributed a handout that describes many of the current programs that serve first year students. The handout does not include Admissions, which is where the university begins the process of establishing a relationship with new students. A lot of the initial academic contact with students happens during orientation (see http://www.umw.edu/cas/orientation/).
In the discussion that followed, it was clear that there are a number of offices already doing a lot of work with first year students, but that these efforts are not always coordinated and integrated. As we continue with the development of the QEP, one issue we will need to consider is if there needs to be an office that serves this function. We also need to be sure that we consider what kinds of faculty development opportunities are needed to help faculty be more effective in serving the academic needs of first year students.
Outcomes. Katie Locke and Stephen Davies organized the student learning outcomes we identified in our last meeting and compared those against the outcomes described in similar QEPs from other institutions. Discussion ensued. Katie and Stephen are going to continue working on the outcomes, which are posted on this blog on the page titled "Outcomes."
Terry Kennedy, Rosemary Barra, and JoAnn Schrass looked at best practices regarding the first year experience. They found that most of the work on the FYE grows out of the work of John Gardner at the University of South Carolina. The full report will be included in this blog.
Data and Assessment
Alan Griffiths, Anand Rao, and Rosemary Arneson have been working on ways we can get some data about our first year students. Anand has the PRCA instrument ready to go. This is a short survey that measures communication apprehension. We also looked at the test of information literacy developed by James Madison University. While this is a good tool, the logistics of administering a 75 minute test in a proctored environment are formidable. We agreed not to use this test at this time. Taiwo Ande and Alan will look at the various data sets we have available. Committee members will be asked to review all these data to see what we can learn about our first year students and the first year experience.
Meagan Holbrook is the student representative to the QEP team.
We discussed the meeting time for the committee. Alan will let everyone know when the next meeting is scheduled.