The First-Year Experience: A Critical Foundation for Student Success

Registration Fee: $425.00

The First-Year Experience:
A Critical Foundation for Student Success
Available On-Demand

Each participant will receive a link to the recording which is good for one year and can be distributed to your
entire faculty and staff via email for viewing anytime, anywhere!

Download paper-based registration form

Why does the first year of higher education continue to challenge both students and educators? Why do so many students drop out or fail to maximize their academic potential? Are students themselves “the problem”, or does the problem relate more to the way higher education is organized and delivered? This workshop will explore these questions and suggest effective practices to improve the success and persistence of today’s increasingly diverse population of entering students.

Participants will learn:
  • Valuable information about today’s first-year students and how best to meet their academic, social, and personal needs.
  • How to go about defining student success broadly so that the definition includes, but is not limited to, academic performance and retention.
  • How to recognize and change institutional policies and practices that run the risk of sabotaging student success.
  • Specific examples of best practice that promote success for ALL new students as well as those in unique sub-groups.
Who should attend?
  • Administrative faculty—Educators working to support first-year student engagement, learning, and success beyond the classroom ( e.g., counselors, academic advisors, coaches, administrators, resident hall staff).
  • Instructional faculty, especially those planning and teaching in programs targeting first-year students.

Who are the speakers?
Betsy Barefoot, Vice President & Senior Scholar - Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.   Betsy Barefoot is a native of North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Duke University and Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Higher Education from the College of William and Mary. Currently, she serves as Vice President and Senior Scholar for the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education in Brevard, North Carolina. In her work, she is directly involved in the development of instruments and strategies to evaluate and improve the first college year. In addition, she conducts seminars on the first-year experience across the United States and in other countries and assists other colleges and universities in implementing and evaluating first-year programs.

Thomas Brown - a lifelong student and academic affairs educator with an impressive record of effectiveness in creating academic and student affairs programs that promote increased learning, achievement, and success. Tom served as Dean of Advising Services/Special Program at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he developed and implemented transition programs for first-year students, parents and families. He also developed specific first-year programs for students of color, international students, and High Potential Program students (e.g., first generation, underprepared, academically at-risk).

Tom Brown served as Vice-President of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). He has presented extensively on this topic as a consultant to numerous two- and four-year campuses, as well as having delivered keynote addresses, workshops, and concurrent sessions at a wide range of professional conferences (e.g., Noel Levitz, FYE, NACADA).

Tom is currently Managing Principal of a consulting network that assists campuses to increase student success, build inclusive communities, and manage change ( His work is based on an integration of theories, research findings, and practical experience that makes a real difference for individuals and institutions.

He has also authored and co-authored chapters and journal articles addressing issues related to improving the achievement and success for first-year students through enhanced professional development for faculty and staff. These include:

  • “Critical Concepts in Advisor Training and Development”, in  The Academic Advising Handbook, Jossey Bass, 2008;
  • “Preparing Providers to Foster Student Success”, in Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community , Jossey-Bass, 2007 (co-authored with Lee Ward);
  • “From Diversity to Inclusivity”, in Foundations: A Reader for New College Students, Wadsworth, 2010.
  • Fulfilling the Promise of the Community College: Increasing First year Student Success (co-editor, forthcoming spring 2011)
  • “Pluralistic advising: Facilitating the Development and Achievement of First Year Students of Color”, in  First Year Academic Advising: Patterns in the Present, Pathways to the Future. National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition.

You can register online by adding this product to your card. You can also register by emailing or faxing the completed paper-based form (at top of page). If you have any questions, please call 303-775-6004.

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