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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Bothaina A. Al-Sheeb, Mahmoud Samir Abdulwahed and Abdel Magid Hamouda

This study intends to add to the existing body of literature on the impact of a newly implemented first year seminar in the College of Law and Business. The purpose of…

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7071

Abstract

Purpose

This study intends to add to the existing body of literature on the impact of a newly implemented first year seminar in the College of Law and Business. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects the course have on students in regard to three aspects: student awareness and utilization of resources, interaction patterns, as well as, general interests and attitudes toward higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology of the assessment included analysis of a survey that has been conducted by the end of Spring 2014 semester. A quasi-experimental design was implemented to measure the impact of the intervention on students’ awareness and utilization of resources, interactions, general interests, and attitudes toward higher education. Through the SPSS application, the Mann Whitney U Test, and χ2 tests were used to check for significant differences while comparing the means or frequencies for both groups. For the three questions, the authors have used the 90 percent confidence level and the standard significance level p-value of 0.05 or less for statistical analysis.

Findings

The results indicated that the course had a highly significant positive impact on student attitudes and awareness of campus resources but had less significant impact on student interactions and utilization of resources. The results in this study reveal a positive impact for the first-year seminar course on student satisfaction and attitudes toward higher education as well as their awareness of campus resources. However, in terms of the course impact on student interaction, results conveyed that students who have participated in the first-year seminar course show a slightly better interaction rate with instructors, academic advisors, and close friends than those in the control group.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study was that the sample was small. Nonetheless, it has provided valuable insights into the understanding of the social and academic impact of first-year seminars on student engagement; through the use of comparison groups, this study increased the validity of prior research.

Practical implications

The first-year seminar course evaluated in this study demonstrated the potential to support and enhance student social and academic engagement during the first year of college. Based on the results in this study, the study team recommended some revisions to the current first-year seminar model (UNIV P100 Skills for University Success). The team proposed three models for subsequent first-year seminars at this university.

Originality/value

This study adds to the existing literature by examining the impact of a newly implemented first-year seminar course at the College of Law and Business at this university on both academic and non-academic aspects from the students’ perspective. These aspects were selected as retention and GPA effects have been widely explored; therefore, the focus is on the less studied emotional and social factors associated with student success and retention. The results from this study can act as a guide for universities intending to introduce a first-year seminar course as it gives clear guidelines on design, content, and course implementation, which can be useful in enhancing general student motivation and attitudes toward academic study and higher education in general.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Book part
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Gina English Tillis

In 2014–2015, a group of first-time freshman students participated in the Education as the Practice of Freedom Project. The project pedagogy and curriculum were inspired…

Abstract

In 2014–2015, a group of first-time freshman students participated in the Education as the Practice of Freedom Project. The project pedagogy and curriculum were inspired by Critical Pedagogy, Critical Race Theory of Education, and Anti-Colonial Schooling; they incorporated a series of social-psychological reflective assignments and activities (stereo-type threat, growth mindset, and relevance interventions) developed to transform the way students perceive, experience, and transition to higher education. This research seeks to explore as up to what extent the aforementioned pedagogical frameworks amends social-psychological academic stressors that affect how the students of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities perceive, experience, and transition to higher education, with a particular focus on what this pedagogical framework in first year seminar looks like in practice. A transformative research design was employed for this research project that triangulates qualitative and quantitative data (auto-ethnographic case-study), with in-depth interviews of faculty, focus groups with students, and a document analysis of syllabi, lesson plans, assignments, a formative experiment, and institutional data analysis. This research is praxis driven with an intent to influence educators, administrators, stakeholders, and anyone who is about that life.

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Jeffrey A. Knapp, Nicholas J. Rowland and Eric P. Charles

– The purpose of this paper is to identify an important area for librarians to positively impact student retention.

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1765

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify an important area for librarians to positively impact student retention.

Design/methodology/approach

This programmatic and conceptual piece describes how embedding librarians into the growing enterprise of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) lays a framework for a context in which libraries and librarians directly contribute to the retention of undergraduate students.

Findings

Librarians are capable of directly contributing to the retention of students. While their efforts, it is contended, contribute routinely and to the actual retention of students, it is difficult for their efforts to register in the assessment of retention used by administrators. This discrepancy can be solved if librarians play a more explicit (and quantifiable) role in retaining students.

Research limitations/implications

UREs are a growing, but generally untapped trend for librarians; however, because UREs generally correlate with academic success and student retention, they offer librarians a useful entry point to contribute to the academic mission of colleges and universities, and in a measurable way.

Practical implications

Embedded librarianship poses a number of hurdles for its practitioners; however, it also has the potential for libraries and librarians to become more explicitly connected to overall institutional goals and strengthen their positions in the academy more broadly.

Social implications

Improving the scientific literacy of undergraduate students and aiding them on their path toward graduation is meaningfully enhanced through the embedding of librarians into the college curriculum.

Originality/value

Systematically embedding librarians into UREs is not strongly represented in the literature.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Dana-Kristin Mah and Dirk Ifenthaler

The purpose of this paper is to examine the expectations, perceptions and role understanding of academic staff using a model of academic competencies (i.e. time…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the expectations, perceptions and role understanding of academic staff using a model of academic competencies (i.e. time management, learning skills, technology proficiency, self-monitoring and research skills).

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten members of academic staff at a German university. Participants’ responses to the open-ended questions were coded inductively, while responses concerning the proposed model of academic competencies were coded deductively using a priori categories.

Findings

Participating academic staff expected first-year students to be most competent in time management and in learning skills; they perceived students’ technology proficiency to be rather high but their research skills as low. Interviews indicated a mismatch between academic staff expectations and perceptions.

Practical implications

These findings may enable universities to provide support services for first-year students to help them to adjust to the demands of higher education. They may also serve as a platform to discuss how academic staff can support students to develop the required academic competencies, as well as a broader conversation about higher education pedagogy and competency assessment.

Originality/value

Little research has investigated the perspectives of academic staff concerning the academic competencies they expect of first-year students. Understanding their perspectives is crucial for improving the quality of institutions; their input into the design of effective support services is essential, as is a constructive dialogue to identify strategies to enhance student retention.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Angela W. Peters, Verlie A. Tisdale and Derrick J. Swinton

Findings within the last decade reveal a core set of activities that have been correlated to student success metrics such as persistence, retention, and graduation (Kuh…

Abstract

Findings within the last decade reveal a core set of activities that have been correlated to student success metrics such as persistence, retention, and graduation (Kuh, 2008). These research-based activities are called high-impact practices (HIPs). Students who have participated in HIPs have shown gains in retention, in persistence, intellectually and in an overall positive college experience. This chapter provides an overview of 10 HIPs and their importance and benefits to underserved students, that is, first-generation college students, low-income college students, and underrepresented students of color such as African American, Latino/a, and Native American. Findings within the chapter also recognize how HIPs can be extremely beneficial for historically Black colleges and universities to build capacity and to ensure student success, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

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Book part
Publication date: 6 June 2006

Michael J. Lovaglia, Jeffrey W. Lucas, Christabel L. Rogalin and Abigail Darwin

Fundamental theories of power and status have developed sufficiently to apply in educational and organizational contexts. The path from basic theory to program development…

Abstract

Fundamental theories of power and status have developed sufficiently to apply in educational and organizational contexts. The path from basic theory to program development is neither simple nor direct. We trace the application of theoretical principles taken from network exchange theories of power as well as status characteristics and expectation states theories through the interdisciplinary field of leadership studies to applications that interrelate basic research, applied research, undergraduate educational programs, and organizational development. Two proposals result (1) a leadership training program that will produce university graduates with effective leadership skills, while also bringing diverse high school students to participate in a university program and (2) basic status characteristics research to explain the glass ceiling phenomenon.

Details

Advances in Group Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-330-3

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Book part
Publication date: 10 March 2010

Heather Laube

In the United States, rights-based laws have opened major social institutions to previously marginalized groups, altering the terrain on which social movements act…

Abstract

In the United States, rights-based laws have opened major social institutions to previously marginalized groups, altering the terrain on which social movements act, creating opportunities for disruption, and expanding the forms protest takes. This research is an attempt to add to our understanding of contemporary protest. I use data from 50 open-ended, loosely structured interviews with women feminist PhD sociologists working at U.S. (and 1 Canadian) colleges and universities as a lens through which to examine contemporary protest. These in-depth interviews reveal that the demand-making and discursive protest of feminists in academia is rooted in the empowering intersections of their collective feminist identities and disrupts hegemonic practices in the academy and beyond. My findings indicate that social movement theory must move beyond restrictive notions of potential movement targets, activist locations, and strategies; and past narrow conceptualizations of collective action and movement goals.

Details

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-036-1

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Ursula Trescases

The aims of this paper is to provide an overview on information literacy/library programs for first‐year students in Canadian universities and colleges.

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1189

Abstract

Purpose

The aims of this paper is to provide an overview on information literacy/library programs for first‐year students in Canadian universities and colleges.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper introduces and discusses periodical articles, monographs and up‐to‐date research on the subject. It presents anecdotal evidence gained from web site searches of 169 Canadian post‐secondary institutions complemented by personal communications from library and student services staff.

Findings

The study provides information about several types of library services for first‐year students currently in use in Canadian academic libraries.

Originality/value

There is no evidence of research in the area of library services for first‐year college and university students in Canada. This paper complements research on information literacy/library programs offered through academic libraries in other countries by focusing solely on first‐year student initiatives in Canadian academic libraries.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Scott E. Evenbeck and Frank E. Ross

Purpose – Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) developed learning communities incorporating a first year seminar to serve all entering students in…

Abstract

Purpose – Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) developed learning communities incorporating a first year seminar to serve all entering students in their first semesters of university study to increase student academic achievement and persistence.

Methodology/approach – The first year seminars are taught by an instructional team of faculty member, academic advisor, student mentor, and librarian. There is an instructional template for the more than 150 sections of the seminar taught each fall across – academic units rather than a common syllabus. The seminar is often coupled with writing, communication, psychology, or other general education course with students in a cohort group learning together across courses.

Findings – Program evaluation results consistently show a 9% positive impact on retention when comparing student outcomes for participants vs. nonparticipants, controlling for background characteristics.

Research limitations/implications – This structured approach serving nearly all entering students as a required course reinforces the importance of mandating interventions on a large scale, in a context of planning and improvement.

Practical implications – The institution developed the program over 20 years, and revisions to the program have been based on program evaluation. Careful attention to experiences before the learning communities (orientation programs in the summer and bridge programs just before the beginning of the academic year) and after the learning communities when the students move to their second semesters of study is critical.

Social implications – Approximately half the students in the learning communities are first generation college students and approximately half are low income students. This intervention has been central to the university's context of widening participation in higher education.

Details

Institutional Transformation to Engage a Diverse Student Body
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-904-3

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Amrita Dhawan and Ching-Jung j Chen

This paper aims to discuss the background, design and implementation of the new library instruction. When a new core curriculum for first-year students was adopted at the…

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1400

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the background, design and implementation of the new library instruction. When a new core curriculum for first-year students was adopted at the City College of New York in the fall of 2008, the City College Library took this opportunity to establish a new approach to teach library research to freshmen. Two library workshops were embedded into a six-credit combined content and writing course.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper documents the process by which the City College Library successfully transitioned to the new system and also reflects on the theory and practice of teaching information literacy in an academic setting.

Findings

Library workshops embedded within the new core curriculum have clear advantages over previous library instruction. By designing and implementing library workshops to blend with the new course, the Library has become a partner in an innovative first-year program.

Practical implications

This study will provide useful information on the teaching and assessment of embedded library instruction and stimulate further thought on the role of information instruction in furthering the mission of undergraduate education.

Originality/value

This paper presents opportunities to expand library instruction to the first-year seminar, the most commonly implemented curricular intervention designed for freshman students. By taking part in this important project, the Library becomes an integral participant in the initiative for retention and success for undergraduate education.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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