FYE Steering Committee Meeting

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Attendees: Chris Pudlinski (Chair), Henry Greene, Meg Leake, Alex Lee, Michele Dischino, & Jacqueline Garland

1.     Approve minutes of September 2013 meeting

a.      Meeting minutes approved

2.     Update:

a.      C. Pudlinski reported out on the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society Induction ceremony.  M. Levvis and L. Hicks were in attendance and reported to C. Pudlinski that the event was well done. 67 students were inducted and approximately 50 students attended the ceremony.  The Provost spoke at the event.  Alpha Lambda Delta will be looking for a new president of the organization because the current president is graduating.

b.     C. Pudlinski reported that the Excellence in Teaching First-Year Seminar Award was submitted on behalf of K. Larsen.  The provost was extremely impressed with her research and assessment.

c.      C. Pudlinski reported that there will be three sections of FYE in the Spring 2014 semester.  The will be one section of COMM 140 offered and two sections of ENG 110.  Approximately 40 students were not enrolled in FYE this fall, and there will be new students in the spring.  C. Pudlinski predicted that ENG 110 will fill because approximately 400 students were not able to enroll in English in the fall.  C. Pudlinski sent an e-mail to CACE with the list of students who were not enrolled in FYE.    

d.     C. Pudlinski reported on the One Book One Community Living Room Lecture.  The two authors from the book Almost Home are coming to campus on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.  The Sponsors of the event are SGA and Alpha Lambda Delta.  (Alpha Lambda Delta is having a blanket collection.)  At 3:00pm the six sections of FYE who read the book have been invited to have a conversation with the authors.  At 5:00pm the authors will have dinner with members of SGA and Alpha Lambda Delta.  At 7:15pm the authors will have a Living Room Lecture in Torp Theatre.  The event is open to the public.  Fliers for the event will be developed this week and sent out at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

3.     M. Leake gave an update on the budget. The budget has decreased from last year.  C. Pudlinski reported that enrollment is down which means that there is less tuition income.

4.     C. Pudlinski reported that there is no update on the future of FYE and a new Faculty Director.  He stated that the President and Provost are taking the lead on this.  He will send the Provost the list of faculty names that were generated in the September meeting.

5.     C. Pudlinski reported on the over-use of guest lecturers in FYE 101 sections.  He asked whether there should be a policy on this.  M. Leake reported that there is a limit to how many presentations The Learning Center does for each class.  M. Leake said that this issue could be addressed during training to emphasize the value of students making a connection with faculty members.

6.     C. Pudlinski reported on the review of Fall 2012 assessment and one-year retention rates.  He discussed the results of the FYE survey (handout) from fall 2012.  He also stated that we lose 10% of the best students (3.5 GPA or above) from first-year to second-year (retention) and that 15% of the incoming class do extremely well (3.5 GPA or above). 

7.     C. Pudlinski reported on the planning for online Fall 2013 FYE learning outcomes assessment.  There was a discussion for creating an online survey and having students complete it during class on their smart phones or assigning it as a homework assignment.  H. Greene was in support of the online assessment.  He said that he attended a conference recently and CCSU is one of the last places to do evaluations on paper.

M. Dischino was concerned about cell phone service in Copernicus because in some of the rooms it is not very good, but there are computer labs available.  Another concern was with regards to students completing the survey and ensuring that students do it.  There is a way to send a receipt to the professor letting them know that the student has completed it.  Students will complete the survey anonymously and this will be communicated to the faculty members. 


There was discussion for adding two more questions to the end of the survey.  M. Leake suggested adding a couple questions: when you started classes in August did you plan to stay at CCSU?  Currently, do you intend to graduate from CCSU?    


M. Dischino asked if it was okay to share the parts of the survey that relate to the peer leader with the peer leaders.  C. Pudlinski stated that it is okay to share this information with them.


8.     Other business?

a.      C. Pudlinski attended an FYE conference last month that was sponsored by the Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence.  He reported that it was the first event where almost every college in Connecticut was represented.  All the CSU's were represented and a lot of community colleges as well.  The event was hosted at Housatonic Community College.  C. Pudlinski plans on reporting on what he learned from the conference at the retention and graduation meeting this month.  Some of the main focuses were that First-Year Seminars produce better student outcomes if they are: elective (not required- students can choose to take and choose the topic), graded (ours is graded), use peer leaders, carry sufficient credit hours to achieve objectives (2 or 3 credits are better than 1 credit), and are linked into a learning community.  He also discussed information from the Gardner Institute on student retention.  The main points that he focused on were: paying attention to the core business of the first year- instruction across the disciplines, and don't (by policy or lack of policy) allow students to sabotage their own success (through failure to require orientation, advising (more than once!), class attendance, registering on time, entering the institution on time, and following a set education path.    

b.     H. Greene reported that he has noticed that there is more school spirit than in the past.  He has seen more of his students wearing CCSU clothing in class.

c.      Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 12th at 3:05 p.m. in RVAC317-11.

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