Using an assessment model to enhance first year student success and retention
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Using An Assessment Model to Enhance First Year Student Success and Retention. Carrie McLean, Director Karen Hauschild, Associate Director Kim Outing, Asst. Director for Assessment First Year College Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs. In retrospect..How FYC Began.

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Using An Assessment Model to Enhance First Year Student Success and Retention

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Using An Assessment Model to Enhance First Year Student Success and Retention

Carrie McLean, Director

Karen Hauschild, Associate Director

Kim Outing, Asst. Director for Assessment

First Year College

Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs

In retrospect..How FYC Began

Opened its doors in the summer of ‘95.

Administrative mandate to create an intervention program for undecided student

Ultimate goal to improve retention and graduation rates

Reduce “phantom” majors

Research based initiative

Developmental model

Session Overview

Historical Perspective on FYC Development

Describe Program

Assessment Model/Process/Methods

FYC Village Example


Model Adaptability


Q & A

About First Year College

Located within the Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs

One of 10 colleges at NCSU

Serves exploratory students

720 first-year students in 2007

Staff (12 Academic Advisers, 4 Assistant Directors, 2 Admin.assts.,

1 graduate intern, 3-5 student assts.)

FYC Mission

The mission of the First Year College at NC State University is to guide students through a structured process for transition to the University and selection of a major. This is accomplished through one-on-one advising, teaching and experiential learning, and the FYC Village, emphasizing theoretical and practical methods of inquiry, guided reflection, assessment and analysis. Through this process students will gain the foundation for acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become self-reliant and productive citizens of an increasingly diverse community.

First Year College

Components of FYC

Intensive Advising Model

Developmental Advising

Personal relationship between advisor and students

Cross-curricular advising

Components of FYC

Curriculum – Introduction to University Education I & II

Taught by student’s adviser

1-hour, 2-semester, required, letter-graded course

Transition, Academic Success, Self-Exploration, Major and Career Exploration, and Decision-Making

Components of FYC

Living Learning Community

FYC Village

Linked FYI Courses

Resident Mentors


Evolution of Assessment Process

Assessment components built in from the start

New dimensions added over time

Met some resistance from staff

Continuously developing process

Assistant Director position

Strategic focus on integration/project management

Assessment Committee

Move from resistance to enthusiasm

Based on Maki & Bresciani; Palomba & Banta models

Assessment in FYC

Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs AssessmentOffice

Division “A” Team

Assessment representatives from all division units

FYC Assessment Team

Assistant Director for Assessment

Team Members:



FYC Village


Enrollment Management

FYC Assessment Team

Provide input for assessment direction

based on mission and goals of unit

Develop annual assessment plan

Manage assessment activities for unit

Assist staff and provide staff development

Collect and review assessment data

Draft and report recommendations

Close the loop

Assessment Plan Template

Assessment Calendar

What exactly do I need to do and when?

And how will this data be used?

Who is the “go to person” for questions?

Program Assessment Form

Formatted to help staff think about assessment when planning new programs

Data in addition to anecdotal information

Documents activity

Brings staff actively into assessment process

Impact Report: Results, Recommendations, Decisions

Did we meet success criteria?

Did we get useful information?

What changes are needed, if any?

Delivery methods

Assessment methods

Future assessment needs?

Responsibility and timing for implementation of decisions

Residential Experience: FYC students may enhance their first year experience by selecting to live in the FYC Residential Community within Tucker and Owen Residence Halls. Conveniently located on Central Campus, these halls house the First Year College advising offices and offer students an enriched academic and social environment.

Created a Village Advisory Council in the Fall 2004 made up of representatives from FYC, University Housing, FYI Faculty, and Student Leaders.

FYC Village Goals linked to FYC Program Goals

Provide a living environment focused on supporting the academic success of students at NC State.

Collaborate with campus community to promote student connections to one another and the university.

Foster personal growth by offering educational, leadership and social programs.

FYC Village Outcomes

Goal One:

FYCV participants will post a higher fall GPA and pass more hours than selected comparison cohorts

FYCV participants will persist at a higher rater than selected cohorts.

FYCV participants will utilize and benefit form campus resources.

Pack Study & Writing Services will report 75% useage of available hours with the majority of users from the Village

FYC Village Outcomes

Village participants will report usage of tutorial services at a significant level when compared to their cohort

85% of students will agree or strongly agree that an RM was a valuable resources for transition and academic success

75% of Village students will report studying with peers.

FYC Village Assessment Methods

Linked, non-linked GPA & hours passed comparisons

Student Experiences Survey (SES)

Program evaluations

Pack-Study logs

Are we meeting our mission?

Major Decision-Making

Graduation rates


What Else Did We Learn-Program Change Drivers

  • Village/non-Villagers

  • 15 hours or more leads to better performance

  • 2nd choice FYCers less successful academically

Administrative Benefits

Documented evidence of success

Funding Justification

Program Renewal

Program Prioritization

Change Management


Adaptability of Model

Making the time and taking the effort to do assessment pays

Assessment does not equal evaluation

Q & A

  • What questions do you have about the assessment process that the group might be able to address?

  • What recommendations would you offer us to enhance the assessment process?

  • What have been your successes and challenges with assessment?

  • Thank you for your attendance and attention!!

  • For more details about assessment in FYC visit our website at :

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