FYE Steering Committee Meeting

Tuesday, September 17 3:05-4:30pm



Attendees: Chris Pudlinski (Chair), Kris Larsen, Michelle Dischino, Alex Lee, Meg Leake, Meg Levvis, Jacqueline Garland

1)     Approve Minutes of April 2013 meeting

a.      Don't have minutes from the meeting on Monday, April 29th, 2013.

2)     Update:

a.      C. Pudlinski reported out on fall FYE enrollment.  1278 FY students enrolled; 1268 students enrolled in FYE.  There are 16 with multiple FYE sections and 8 continuing students (placed into open and under-enrolled sections).  So, 48 First-Year students not enrolled in FYE course this Fall. 

b.     66 seats were available in Living Learning Communities; only 41 students enrolled. 

c.      Spring 2014 FYE courses currently include 2 ENG 110 sections, 1 COM 140 section.          

d.     C. Pudlinski reported out on peer leaders (training and sections).  29 peer leaders assigned to FYE courses.  We lost 7 peer leaders (two did not attend training in May, a few were overcommitted- Resident Assistant, working too much).  There are 9 returning peer leaders (1 peer leader is not enrolled in the peer leader course)


M. Leake reported out on the Coffee and Conversation initiative.  What worked from the Blue Devil's Advocate (BDA) program was coffee and conversation.  Left over money from the BDA initiative from the CCSU Alumni Association will be used so that peer leaders can take first year students in their courses to have coffee/ tea in Jazzman's café in the library on the house.  Jazzman's has a list of the peer leaders and students enrolled in FYE for billing purposes.  Finish in four mugs are on order.  Money may also be used for a January peer leader workshop.  Peer leaders are required to do a presentation in their FYE 301 (Peer Leadership Seminar) class.  Presentations that are the most interesting will be shared with Faculty members in January.    


e.      C. Pudlinski reported out on orientation.  Almost all of the faculty members attended to conduct a session.  Students were divided into FYE sections for orientation.  Of the 61 FYE groups, only 5 sessions were covered by administrators; 2 or 3 were covered by peer leaders; and the rest were covered by the FYE faculty members. 

M. Dischino reported that orientation was much more organized than the past.


f.      New faculty training

                                                    i.     C.  Pudlinski reported out on new faculty training.  17 new Faculty participated in training.  11 mostly full-time Faculty members were trained in May.  6 were trained privately by C. Pudlinski over the summer.  Two of the math faculty members, Matthew Mackritis and Paul Mallia, who were trained, had taught FYE before at other institutions.

g.     Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society

                                                    i.     C. Pudlinski reported on Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society (ALD).  The requirements to be part of ALD are that students must have a 3.5 GPA or above after their second semester at CCSU.  59 students so far have accepted membership.  The deadline is this week and they are hoping for at least 10 more students.  CCSU's chapter of ALD received the Bronze Delta Award by increasing inductees by 10% for 2012.  C. Pudlinski received a congratulatory letter from President Jack Miller.  The induction ceremony for new members will be on Thursday, September 26th at 6pm in the Connecticut Room in the Student Center.  Meg Levvis will say the names of the inductees and Carl Lovitt is the speaker for the event.

3)     Budget update

a.      M. Leake reported out on the budget.  She stated that we have no money except for the summer stipend for the Faculty director.  The president's call for action lists FYE as part of the retention and enrollment initiative.  This Spring, peer leaders would participate without a stipend for training.  There was discussion about training more faculty members and also having the FYE steering committee attend the First Year National Conference.  It was also discussed that long range studies show that students who take FYE perform better and have better retention rates.

4)     Nominations for new Faculty Director of FYE

a.      There was discussion about new faculty director.  There was consensus that the new Faculty director should be someone who has taught FYE before. A list of suggested individuals were created.

5)     Excellence in Teaching First-year Seminar Award (Kris Larsen)

a.      Kris Larsen re-nominated for Excellence in Teaching First-year Seminar Award.

6)     Review of Fall 2012 assessment

a.      C. Pudlinksi reported that student enrollment is down.  There will be an enrollment management meeting on October 5th.  M. Leake asked about suggestions for improving retention.  M. Leake is happy to be the recipient of ideas of actions/ activities to improve enrollment and the approximate cost of actions/ activities.  M. Leake will bring this information to the Student Success Team.  M. Leake discussed honoring and celebrating student success because there won't be funds for the Academic Honors Celebration next year.   There was discussion of providing extra sections of FYE courses for students who are undeclared to give them additional support

K. Larsen discussed establishing traditions for students.  She suggested having a Freshman Convocation for the class of 2018.  M. Levvis discussed having a parent's weekend something more formal than family day.  Other suggestions were rethinking advising days, orientation, and convocation.


K. Larsen reported that FY commuter students feel isolated from campus and have been saying this on the Freshman FY Facebook page.  Students have been stating that they regret not living on campus.  M. Leake discussed that there have been partnerships between commuter students and resident students that have worked in the past.  M. Levvis discussed that the Student Nursing Association (SNA) has been successful because students have an affiliation with nursing.  There are study groups with resident students and commuter students.

M. Leake discussed that peer leaders could have Coffee and Conversation with their commuter students and included conversation starts such as: what do you do besides going to classes?  Discuss getting involved on campus.  K. Larsen said this will show students that someone cares about them and knows who they are.


7)     Planning for online fall 2013 FYE learning outcomes assessment

a.      C. Pudlinski reported out on results for assessment from Fall 2012 and distributed a hand out (FYE Survey) with gains in: academic honesty, accessing campus resources at CCSU, taking personal responsibility for academic performance, understanding the difference between critical thinking and surface learning, and overall FYE course effectiveness.  As for other issues, students spent more time relaxing and socializing, going to Breakers game room, attending CCSU athletic events, visiting a professor during his/ her office hours, visiting the club fair, and  visiting the Learning Center or other center for help or support.

8)     Other business:

a.      M. Leake reported out on the Class of 2017 Academic Honors Celebration.  The Academic Honors Celebration will be held on Friday, February 21, 2014 in Welte Auditorium.  Students who achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher are invited to attend with their families.  Students who complete 12 credits or more with no incompletes and achieve the highest GPAs will receive book scholarships to the CCSU book store for the fall 2014 semester.  The CCSU Alumni Association is sponsoring the event.  Other potential sponsors include the CCSU FYE program, and ALD honors society.  Postcards will be made for the Academic Advisors in CACE to distribute

b.     C. Pudlinski discussed the One Book One Community initiative.  He is working with Renata and Sue to plan the event.  6 FYE classes are reading the book.  There will be an event on Wednesday, November 6th at 7pm.  Both authors are coming and they are doing a smaller session with ALD (first-year Honors society) earlier in the day.  ALD is collecting blankets for homeless.  The organizations involved are SGA and community engagement, but more parties need to be involved as well. 

c.      Conference

                                                    i.     C. Pudlinski will attend the conference, “Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence, First Year Experience: What works and why” on Friday, September 27th.

d.     Next meeting Tuesday, October 15th from 3:05-4:20pm in RVAC 317-11:

                                                    i.     Planning for January's Faculty development

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