In 2002, the Policy Center on the First Year of College (supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Lumina Foundation for Education) sponsored a project to recognize colleges and universities as "Institutions of Excellence" in their design and execution of the first year. Thirteen colleges and universities representing a broad spectrum of campus types were selected as exceptional institutions that place a high priority on the first–year experience. Achieving and Sustaining Excellence in the First Year of College includes case studies of each of the thirteen exemplary institutions. These studies illustrate and analyze the colleges best practices in teaching, assessing, and retaining first–year college students. The individual case studies offer lessons learned and have broad potential application beyond the particular type of institution represented.
About the Authors xxvii
1 On Being Named an Institution of Excellence in the First College Year: The Process and the Places 1
2 Research Methods 19
Part One: Case Studies of Two–Year Institutions 33
3 The Community College of Denver: A Second Family for the First–Year Student 35Marc Cutright, Randy L. Swing
4 LaGuardia Community College: A Window on the World 59Betsy O. Barefoot, Michael J. Siegel
Part Two: Case Studies of Four–Year Institutions with Fewer Than 2,000 Students 85
5 The First Year at Eckerd College: Responsible Innovation 87Stephen W. Schwartz, Michael J. Siegel
6 Kalamazoo College: No Stone Left Unturned 113Stephen W. Schwartz, Randy L. Swing
Part Three: Case Studies of Four–Year Institutions with 2,000 to 5,000 Students 143
7 Drury University: Balancing Intellectual Rigor with Intrusive Personal Support in the First Year 145Charles C. Schroeder, Randy L. Swing
8 Elon University: Transforming Education Through a Community of Inquiry and Engagement 166Libby V. Morris, Randy L. Swing
9 West Point and the Plebe–Year Experience: The Long Gray Line 191Michael J. Siegel, John N. Gardner
Part Four: Case Studies of Four–Year Institutions with 5,000 to 10,000 Students 217
10 Lehman College of the City University of New York: Excellence in the Bronx 219John N. Gardner, Betsy O. Barefoot
11 The First Year at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi: Starting with a Clean Slate 243Michael J. Siegel, Marc CutrightPart Five: Case Studies of Four–Year Institutions with 10,000 to 20,000 Students 271
12 Appalachian State University: High Standards for the First Year in North Carolina s High Country 273John N. Gardner, Betsy O. Barefoot
13 The Story of Ball State University: Everything Students Need 299Randy L. Swing, Marc Cutright
Part Six: Case Studies of Four–Year Institutions with More Than 20,000 Students 323
14 Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis: Success and the City 325Marc Cutright, Michael J. Siegel
15 University of South Carolina: Creator and Standard–Bearer for the First–Year Experience 349Libby V. Morris, Marc Cutright
Part Seven: Conclusion 377
16 Findings and Recommendations 379
Epilogue: Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year 397
Appendix A: All Participants in the Institutions of Excellence Study (N = 130) 403
Appendix B: Initial Letter of Invitation to Participate in the Institutions of Excellence Project 409
Appendix C: Semifinalists 415
Appendix D: Letter to Semifinalists 419
Appendix E: Announcement Letter to Thirteen Institutions of Excellence 423
Appendix F: Research Subject Information and Consent Form 427
John Gardner is executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College and was the founder of the National Resource Center for The First–Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. He has co–authored three other books with Jossey–Bass.
Marc Cutright is assistant professor of higher education at Ohio University and a research fellow of the Policy Center on the First Year of College.
Libby Morris is associate professor of higher education and interim director, Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She is editor of the Journal of Innovative Higher Education.
Charles Schroeder is a senior executive with Noel–Levitz and cofounder of Jossey–Bass′ About Campus magazine.
Stephen Schwartz is a visiting senior fellow at the Policy Center on the First Year of College.
Michael Siegel is a research associate for the Policy Center on the First Year of College.
Randy Swing is codirector of the Policy Center on the First Year of College.