FSC selected to participate in national study on first-year student success
LAKELAND, Fla. (August 14, 2006) — Florida Southern College has been selected by The Policy Center on the First Year of College, a non-profit higher education research/policy center based in Brevard, NC, as one of 35 colleges and universities to participate in a year-long project, Foundations of Excellence® in the First College Year. The Foundations of Excellence project is designed to help campuses evaluate and improve the overall experience of first-year students. As part of the project, FSC will measure its effectiveness in recruiting, admitting, orienting, supporting, advising and teaching new students. Guided by this self-study and the body of research on best practices, the college will then make programmatic improvements that will increase student learning, success and persistence.
“We are excited to be part of this national initiative,” said Susan Conner, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. “Florida Southern College has always been known for its commitment to students, and this experience will help us further strengthen our first year programs. After all, the transition from high school to college is one of the hardest in life, and we want to assure our students’ success.”
The Foundations of Excellence project is based on the large body of research indicating that new students who are successfully integrated into college are much more likely to succeed. “While much is known about how a campus can improve new student learning and retention, this information has never been synthesized or translated into aspirational standards that are reflective of best practice,” said John N. Gardner, executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College. “This project brings together a number of highly credible researchers, reformers and practitioners, who are creating the blueprint that for too long has been missing.”
The work of the Policy Center, which is supported by Lumina Foundation for Education and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, is intended to help both two- and four-year institutions of higher education enhance new student learning and retention through systematic appraisal and improvement of their programs, policies, and institutional procedures. Since the project began in 2003, over 300 two- and four-year colleges and universities have participated either in developing the model and/or completing the self-study process.
Additional information about the Policy Center and this project can be found at www.fyfoundations.org.
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