NRCFYE - Curriculum

Curriculum

2011 National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences
Institutional-Level Data on the Culminating Experience
In 2011, the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition revisited its 1999 National Survey of Senior Seminars and Capstone Courses to explore the current state of culminating experiences in American higher education. Drawn from a sample of public and private colleges and universities across the country, the 2011 survey focuses on both course- and project-based senior capstone experiences to examine the purposes, content, organization, administration, and assessment of culminating experiences. The research report, 2011 National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences: Institutional-Level Data on the Culminating Experience, offers a discussion of the findings and implications for practice and future research. Designed to be accessible and informative, this research report can assist both higher education researchers and practitioners in understanding the potential of capstones to promote student learning and development during the concluding chapter of college.

Paper: 978 1 889271 86 6 / $20.00
2012-2013 National Survey of First-Year Seminars
Exploring High-Impact Practices in the First College Year
For a quarter century, the National Resource Center has been examining the prevalence, structure, and administration of first-year seminars on American college campuses. The 2012-2013 administration of the National Survey of First-Year Seminars was expanded to explore the connection between the seminar and other high-impact practices in the first college year, including learning communities, service-learning, common reading programs, undergraduate research, and writing instruction. Findings are disaggregated by institutional characteristics and seminar type so that readers may easily identify the course features with the greatest relevance for their own context.

Paper: 978 1 889271 90 3 / $25.00
Assessing the First-Year Seminar
Friedman, a recognized expert on seminar administration and assessment, provides a comprehensive framework for deciding what to assess, what kinds of data to collect and from whom, and how to use findings for continuous program refinement and improvement. The volume is a useful tool for administrators launching a new seminar or managing a decades old course. While centered on the first-year seminar, Friedman’s suggested strategies can be applied to a wide range of educational experiences in the first college year and beyond.

Other volumes in the series:
Volume I: Designing and Administering the Course
Volume II: Instructor Training and Development
Volume III: Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
Volume IV: Using Peers in the Classroom

These are also available as a Five Volume Set

Paper: 978 1 889271 81 1 / $25.00
Building Synergy for High-Impact Educational Initiatives
First-Year Seminars and Learning Communities
Published in partnership with the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education

First-year seminars and learning communities are two of the most commonly offered high-impact practices on U.S. campuses. The goals of these initiatives are similar: helping students make connections to faculty and other students, improving academic performance, and increasing persistence and graduation. As such, it is not surprising that many institutions choose to embed first-year seminars in learning communities.

This volume explores the merger of these two high-impact practices. In particular, it offers insight into how institutions connect them and the impact of those combined structures on student learning and success. In addition to chapters highlighting strategies for designing, teaching in, and assessing combined programs, case studies offer practical insights into the structures of these programs in a variety of campus settings.

Paper: 978 1 889271 98 9 / $30.00
Designing and Administering the Course
The volume opens by defining common seminar configurations, goals, and course topics, drawing on national studies and institutional research reports. It also offers guidance in selecting a seminar model. The authors also address strategies for launching and administering the seminar and successfully managing change within the course. Broadly conceived, this first volume in the five-volume series lays the ground work for more in-depth coverage to follow.

Other volumes in the series:
Volume II: Instructor Training and Development
Volume III: Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
Volume IV: Using Peers in the Classroom
Volume V: Assessing the First-Year Seminar

These are also available as a Five Volume Set

Paper: 978 1 889271 75 0 / $25.00
The First-Year Seminar
Designing, Implementing, and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success
5 Volume Set
The First-Year Seminar: Designing, Implementing, and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success, a five-volume series, is designed to assist educators who are interested in launching a first-year seminar or revamping an existing program. Each volume examines a different aspect of first-year seminar design or administration and offers suggestions for practice grounded in research on the seminar, the literature on teaching and learning, and campus-based examples. Because national survey research suggests that the seminar exists in a variety of forms on college campuses -- and that some campuses combine one or more of these forms to create a hybrid seminar -- the series offers a framework for decision making rather than a blueprint for course design.

The set includes:
Volume I: Designing and Administering the Course
Volume II: Instructor Training and Development
Volume III: Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
Volume IV: Using Peers in the Classroom
Volume V: Assessing the First-Year Seminar

Paper: 978 1 942072 02 7 / $100.00
Foundations for Critical Thinking
Foundations for Critical Thinking explores the landscape of critical-thinking skill development and pedagogy through foundational chapters and institutional case studies involving a range of students in diverse settings. Establishing a link between active learning and improved critical thinking encourages all higher education professionals, in whatever context, to join the ongoing conversation regarding the state of today’s college students’ critical-thinking ability. Faculty will find strategies for developing successful teaching techniques to prepare students to face the challenges of a global economy and lead creative, productive, and fulfilling lives. Staff and administrators working with students in a variety of capacities will find insights for moving critical thinking development beyond the classroom.

Paper: 978 1 889271 93 4 / $30.00
Instructor Training and Development
Guided by an understanding of adult development, the authors suggest strategies for designing and presenting a comprehensive faculty development program in support of the first-year seminar. Chapters focus on the organization of one-shot and ongoing development efforts, content for training programs, evaluation as a development activity, and strategies for recruiting and maintaining a dedicated instructor team. While focused on the first-year seminar, the volume offers useful insight for anyone charged with designing faculty development initiatives for first-year instructors.

Other volumes in the series:
Volume I: Designing and Administering the Course
Volume III: Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
Volume IV: Using Peers in the Classroom
Volume V: Assessing the First-Year Seminar

These are also available as a Five Volume Set

Paper: 978 1 889271 76 7 / $25.00
Organizing for Student Success
The University College Model
Published in partnership with the Association of Deans & Directors of University Colleges & Undergraduate Studies

Organizing for Student Success draws on data from more than 50 institutions to provide insight into how university colleges are organized, the initiatives they house, and the practices in place to ensure their effectiveness. Twenty case studies from 15 different campuses offer an in-depth understanding of institutional practice. Ultimately, university colleges are not only a structure for organizing educational experiences but also a catalyst for creating institutional change. An invaluable resource for first-year experience steering committees, general education reform committees, and other groups or administrators charged with reorganizing and revitalizing the delivery of undergraduate education.

Paper: 978 1 889271 70 5 / $40.00
Paths to Learning
Teaching for Engagement in College
Higher education institutions are more diverse than ever before, as are the students they serve. Because of this great diversity, there is no silver bullet—one approach—that will work for teaching all students in all circumstances. This book offers a succinct description of several pedagogical paths available to faculty that can actively engage all students. In addition to providing the most recent information on learning and assessment, individual chapters tackle different approaches, including critical pedagogy, contemplative pedagogy, strengths-based teaching, and cooperative/collaborative learning. While the discussion is grounded in theory, authors present examples of applying these approaches in physical and virtual learning environments. Paths to Learning is a valuable overview of engaging pedagogies for educators seeking to sharpen their teaching skills, which in turn, will help students become more confident and successful learners.

Paper: 978 1 889271 92 7 / $30.00
The Role of the Library in the First College Year
Edited by Larry Hardesty
Published in partnership with the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association

While the library is at the center of many campuses physically, it is often an overlooked and underused resource in improving the learning and success of first-year college students. In this new volume, librarians, classroom faculty, administrators, and higher education researchers come together to explore the potential of the library in shaping the student experience. Chapter authors explore structures and practices for helping students learn to navigate the college library; use the Internet effectively; and find, analyze, and incorporate information into their academic work -- a critical foundation for college success. Thirteen case studies present detailed information on current practice from a variety of campus types.

Paper: 978 1 889271 54 5 / $30.00
The Senior Year
Culminating Experiences and Transitions
Increasing pressures on colleges and universities to ensure degree completion and job placement as measures of success make it imperative that the path to graduation is clear and that seniors receive the support needed to earn a degree and make a successful transition to life beyond college. This new edited collection describes today’s college seniors and offers strategies for supporting them to graduation through high-impact educational initiatives. Contributors also address issues related to career development; workplace transitions; and opportunities for integration, reflection, closure, and ongoing engagement as students leave college. Educators charged with improving the end-of-college experience will find this an invaluable resource.

Paper: 978 1 889271 85 9 / $35.00
Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
Building on the conversation begun in Volume II on instructor training and development, Garner delves deeper into the concepts and strategies undergirding effective educational practice. Highly practical in nature, yet grounded in educational theory and research, Volume III offers a concise guide to teaching in the first-year seminar from organizing a syllabus, structuring individual class sessions, and engaging students in the classroom to conducting meaningful assessments of their learning. Because Garner focuses on the learning process rather than specific content, the strategies are highly portable to a range of seminar types and undergraduate courses. An invaluable resource for college instructors looking to improve their own teaching.

Other volumes in the series:
Volume I: Designing and Administering the Course
Volume II: Instructor Training and Development
Volume IV: Using Peers in the Classroom
Volume V: Assessing the First-Year Seminar

These are also available as a Five Volume Set

Paper: 978 1 889271 77 4 / $25.00
Transitions
A publication of University 101 Programs, University of South Carolina

Transitions is the customized textbook for students in the University of South Carolina's University 101 first-year seminar. It includes both general and institution-specific information for first-year students. Topics include time management, academic success strategies, career development, information literacy, health and wellness, and diversity. An ideal model for institutions working to design a custom-published first-year seminar text.

Paper: 978 1 889271 99 6 / $30.00
Using Peers in the Classroom
In an effort to capitalize on some of the more positive aspects of peer influences, colleges and universities have created a wide range of peer-to-peer education, leadership, and mentoring roles—especially in the first college year. Yet, the use of peers in first-year seminar instruction is still far from commonplace. Latino and Ashcraft offer guidance on defining the role of peers as co-instructors; recruiting, selecting, and training peer educators; facilitating relationship building within the instructional team; and assessing the impact of peer leaders on the course, the students served, and the peers themselves. Sample training agendas and activities, course syllabi, and evaluations are included.

Other volumes in the series:
Volume I: Designing and Administering the Course
Volume II: Instructor Training and Development
Volume III: Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
Volume V: Assessing the First-Year Seminar

These are also available as a Five Volume Set

Paper: 978 1 889271 79 8 / $25.00
Welcoming Blue-Collar Scholars Into the Ivory Tower
Developing Class-Conscious Strategies for Student Success
Welcoming Blue-Collar Scholars Into the Ivory Tower is the first volume in a series designed to explore how institutional policies, practices, and cultures shape learning, development, and success for students who have been historically underserved or given limited consideration in the design of higher education contexts. Using the theory of social reproduction as a lens, Krista Soria explores working-class students’ access to and experiences in the academic and social spaces of the campus. Chapters focusing on the classroom and social settings offer recommendations for transforming the learning environment to better support students from working-class backgrounds. Strategies for increasing access, including precollege support networks, and creating inclusive campuses are also addressed. This compact, accessible volume provides both the theoretical grounding and the practical strategies educators need to create a welcoming environment for this underserved population.

Paper: 978 1 889271 96 5 / $25.00
What Makes the First-Year Seminar High Impact?
Exploring Effective Educational Practices
Edited by Tracy L. Skipper
First-year seminars have been widely hailed as a high-impact educational practice, leading to improved academic performance, increased retention, and achievement of critical 21st Century learning outcomes. While the first-year seminar tends to be narrowly defined in the literature, national explorations of course structure and administration underscore the diversity of these curricular initiatives across and within individual campuses. What then are the common demoninators among these highly variable courses that contribute to their educational effectiveness?

This collection of case studies--representing a wide variety of institutional and seminar types--addresses this question. Using Kuh and O’Donnell’s eight conditions of effective educational initiatives as a framework, authors describe the structure, pedagogy, and assessment strategies that lead to high-quality seminars. Introductory and concluding essays examine the structural conditions that are likely to support educational effectiveness in the seminar and describe the most commonly reported conditions across all cases. What Makes the First-Year Seminar High Impact? offers abundant models for ensuring the delivery of a high-quality educational experience to entering students.

Paper: 978 1 9420 7201 0 / $25.00
Writing in the Senior Capstone
Theory & Practice
Surveys of employers continually highlight the need for better communication skills among recent college graduates. Yet writing instruction in higher education serves far more than a transactional purpose. Writing facilitates learning, helps students gain skills in analysis and synthesis, and supports a range of other personal and intellectual developmental outcomes also important to employers. To that end, Writing in the Senior Capstone offers the rationale and practical guidance for infusing writing into culminating academic experiences for college seniors. Recognizing that writing-intensive capstones already exist on many campuses, the authors also offer a range of strategies and activities to support the development of independent senior projects, while honing students’ thinking, writing, and presentation skills. A valuable resource for any educator seeking to improve the writing and critical thinking skills of college seniors.

Paper: 978 1 889271 87 3 / $30.00