First Year Experience

First Year Experience through the College Now/START Program

The College Now/START Program assists students with the transition from high school to college through a first year experience.  The first year for students can be challenging and filled with necessary adjustments to ensure academic success and personal development.  Therefore, the program offers a first year experience that incorporates a first year seminar course, a semester for academic development, and student support services.

First Year Seminar

UNV 101 - Introduction to the University; 3 academic credits
Facilitating the new student’s adjustment to the demands of higher education. The course promotes academic success and social development by fostering personal and academic goal setting, evaluating personal learning styles, and developing successful study strategies. Students will gain or improve study techniques and strategies, research literacy, time management skills, organizational skills, speaking and writing skills, personal development, interpersonal skills, career goals, appreciation for cultural diversity, and orientation to University resources and services.

Academic Development

During the Fall semester, students are placed in 4-5 courses based on their choice of major and the results of their placement testing.  Some of these classes may be developmental.  To aid in the student's academic success, the program staff maintains ongoing communication with faculty.

Student Support

Each student is assigned a program counselor who will schedule bi-weekly meetings for the first year. The program counselor will provide the following support:

  • Instruct UNV 101 course
  • Monitor and track academic performance
  • Provide assistance with academic advising
  • Provide assistance with completing financial aid
  • Promote understanding of University policies and regulations

Teaching Techniques to Increase Freshman Success and Achievement

In the spring of 2001, College Now formed a collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning to pilot the Freshman Success Program.  June workshops for faculty and administrators were offered to introduce freshman success strategies such as active learning, engagement, attention to learning styles, and goal setting.  Following the workshops, interested faculty accepted mini-grants to modify their freshman courses to integrate some of these approaches. This initial group of faculty members met during the fall of 2001 to discuss the ideas they were trying out in their courses.  Continued workshops were offered to share their results with other faculty, who responded to the session with interest and enthusiasm.  The pilot faculty documented a number of their innovative approaches in the form of the one-page teaching ideas that are presented in the Freshman Success Program publication, which can be viewed in the following collection: Fresh Ideas (PDF)