This session examines Bryant University’s innovative approach to supporting students during their first year and beyond. The University has designed a support system intentionally integrating three functional areas of the institution: Advising, The First-Year Experience, and Learning Assistance. The design of the support system lays the “foundation” for academic success and retention during the first year through graduation. The purpose of the presentation is to provide attendees with the information and tools to create a similar integrated model at their institutions.
Participants will be provided with a packet including curriculum materials from the First-Year Experience course, and practical advice will be offered for implementation ideas. Successes and challenges will be explored.
Laurie has been the Director of the Academic Center for Excellence and Writing Center at Bryant University for the last nine years. Laurie has been teaching and designing curricula for first-year experience and study skills courses for the last seventeen years. She has taught courses in college reading and study skills, liberal arts seminars, psychology, personality psychology, abnormal psychology, and social psychology. Her area of expertise is the personality traits and attitudes of college students that influence academic achievement and mediate the utilization of newly learned study strategies. Laurie is a New England Peer Tutor Association Board member and has hosted their Annual Forum at her institution. She has presented at national conferences such as the First Year Experience and Students in Transition, the Conference on College Composition and the College Reading and Learning Association.
Laurie co-authored a text entitled Foundations for Learning designed for study skills and first-year experience courses. Laurie has done extensive work writing about and assessing the effectiveness of learning assistance programs and FYE courses. She has been a Guest Editorial Board member for the Learning Assistance Review. Publications by Laurie and her co-author include: Exploring the Evidence, Volume III: Reporting Outcomes of First-Year Seminars, a monograph published by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and “What Does It Mean to be ‘College-Ready’?”, an article which appears in Connection: The Journal of the New England Board of Higher Education.
Laurie, an award winning educator, was recently selected by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition as a top ten Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate. In 2006, she also received the Learning Assistance Association of New England’s Outstanding Research and Publication Award.
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