Reinhardt One of Select Few Studying How to Improve Freshman Year
anyone remember their first few days at college:.excitement, fear,
nervousness, acceptance or anxiety? Whatever those first impressions
were, many remember their first year as the beginning of some of the
best days of their lives. Research has shown that a student's first year
shapes their perceptions of a college and will determine if they
remain. In short, the first year is crucial because of its impact on
Reinhardt has been selected as one of only 20
four-year institutions to participate in the Foundations of Excellence
(FOE) program this year. This in-depth evaluation of the first-year
experience will give Reinhardt faculty and staff a unique opportunity to
bolster retention by improving students' lives.
FOE program is supported by the Policy Center on the First Year of
College and asks volunteers from across the campus to analyze the
College's strengths and weaknesses based on nine specific dimensions.
These dimensions include the College's philosophy, organization,
learning, faculty, students and others.
"This project will give
us a chance to build a dynamic program and completely rework our
freshman year experience," said Dr. Roger R. Lee, vice president of
student affairs. "To be selected for this project, we must have a strong
campus commitment to students and readiness to engage in evaluation and
improvement. I think this can have very positive outcomes, both in the
short- and long-term."
Lee will lead a core group of faculty,
staff and students in developing recommendations based on the input they
gather. Their report will be submitted to the Policy Center. The Center
staff will also provide suggestions.
According to Lee,
Reinhardt is in great company. Past FOE participants in Georgia include
Kennesaw State University, Georgia Southwestern University and Georgia
"The other colleges and universities chosen
to participate this year are a great collection of institutions from all
across the U.S. It is a truly exceptional group, and we are excited
Reinhardt is part of the mix," Lee said.
The FOE program and
Policy Center were founded by John N. Gardner, an expert in the first
year experience due to his work at the University of South Carolina and
their National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and
Students in Transition. It is headquartered in Brevard, N.C.
this endeavor has created an excitement across campus, especially
within our faculty," said Lee. "We are ready to educate ourselves and
focus on the experience we provide our freshman."