February 29 MInutes  


10:45 a.m. – 12:00 P.m. in RVAC 106

Committee Members in attendance: C. Pudlinski, M. Leake, M. Levvis, M. Dischino, P. Mihalek, E. Braun, and S. Mastrobattisto

1.       Approved minutes of January 2012 minutes

2.       Update/ handout: Fall 2012 FYE classes

C. Pudlinski handed out “FYE Sections (Preliminary Draft) – Fall 2012” to the committee.  Most FYE Faculty that taught an FYE section in Fall 2011 will be teaching an FYE section in Fall 2012.  There are enough sections.  As of now there will be 69 sections.  C. Pudlinski anticipates losing at least two sections, but even so there will still be enough variety.  There will not be any new faculty that will need to be trained.  The committee does not need to plan for new faculty training.  No students should fall through the cracks.  All students should be enrolled in an FYE course.  

3.       Update on recruiting and interviewing peer leaders

C. Pudlinski shared with the committee that 35 sections have the possibility of having a peer leader.  Now the peer leaders have to be recruited and interviewed.  C. Pudlinski started conducting interviews.  Students in the Honor’s Society will be asked if they are interested in being a peer leader.  The goal is to target certain majors.  There are eight to nine returning peer leaders.  There will be about 26 new peer leaders.  The committee is taking recommendations.  Interviews will happen before spring break.     

a.       Day for peer training?

C. Pudlinski suggested holding peer leader training on the Friday of finals week or the Monday after finals.  Exams on Friday are only in the morning and they could have lunch and hold the training in the afternoon.  Training is required.  They could also have training on Friday, May 4th, which is the Friday before exams.  C. Pudlinski is going to ask peer leaders as he interviews them what day they would prefer.  Training would be from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

4.       Budget update: 2011-2012 and planning for 2012-13

M. Leake mentioned that she did not sit through the UPBC budget meeting.  She went on to say that she only put through two requests.  She does not know what priority number that was assigned to items at this time.  As soon as she knows, she will share that information with the committee.  She will check to see what is left in the peer leader training budget.  She will report back with more information at the next FYE Steering Committee meeting.

5.       Discussion of current pilot initiatives:

a.       Living-Learning Communities

C. Pudlinski highlighted that in Fall 2010 38 out of 49 students participating in living-learning communities were retained from their first semester till their fourth semester, for a retention rate of 78 percent.  In addition, 31 were still living in resident halls.  In Fall 2011 33 out of 37 students participating in living-learning communities were retained from their first semester till their second semester, for a retention rate of 89 percent, which is lower than typical.  Out of the four students that were lost, three had GPA’s above a 3.0 and one student was on academic probation.  13 out of the 37 students landed on academic probation.  Part of the problem might be that the living-learning communities are housed in Vance Hall.  The Committee discussed splitting the communities amongst three of the better halls, to be able to house 60 to 70 students.        

b.      CACE & undeclared majors/ sections

C. Pudlinski posed the question to the committee of whether having CACE involved in the FYE courses means less contributions from the peer leaders?  This topic will be put on the next agenda and in the meantime C. Pudlinski will seek feedback from faculty and peer leaders who were involved with the undeclared sections.      

6.       Faculty development

a.       Working with CTED (Mary Collins, chair)

C. Pudlinski recommended sending FYE faculty to a CTFD event with Mary Collins as a means of faculty development.  The focus of the event is to help faculty communicate to students what they need to expect at different levels of their college careers.  The topic that would be most relevant for FYE faculty would be to help students understand what is expected of them as first year college students.  

b.      Thursday afternoon session on metacognition?

M. Leake is in favor of “mentor” training for faculty, but not without ongoing professional development.  P. Mihalek mentioned in light of all FYE faculty being returning faculty that it would be a good idea to move away from training and towards faculty development.  This could be something that was for two to three hours compared to an all-day event.  M Leake emphasized the point that experienced FYE faculty still need more consistent professional development.  P. Mihalek wants to see all FYE faculty members get together at least once a year.  He suggested the get together be in April and then to have a follow up in August.           

7.       Syllabus quiz & early indicators of success: Proposal for Fall research study  

C. Pudlinski handed out “Quiz on Syllabus and First Class” to the committee.  This is an assignment that was created by David Spector of the Biology Department.  This is something that the committee wants to encourage FYE faculty to do with their classes.  M. Leake pointed out that this might be a good tool to use in order to get a sense for what students might need an intervention.  The quiz could serve as a way for FYE instructors to get a sense for which students lack motivation early on in the first semester of college.

8.       Other Business

E. Braun asked if FYE faculty members receive training on how to work with peer leaders?  M. Leake is curious as to if there are other factors that contributed to peer leaders having a bad experience.  E. Braun is going to gather information from peer leader as to why they did not have a good experience and report back at the next meeting.  She also suggested making a manual for FYE faculty about how to work with a peer leader. 




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