First Year Experience

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FYE Conference breakout sessions


A conversation with Dr. Beth Hume on Student Success
Dr. Beth Hume, Vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of Undergraduate Education, The Ohio State University
As Ohio's premier teaching and research university and one of the nation’s top public universities, The Ohio State University is poised to advance its status as a leader in the areas of student success and retention. While many of the traditional building blocks for student success are already in place, however, the university has an opportunity to close key gaps and take advantage of emerging solutions to ensure that success and persistence are possible for all students, regardless of background.

Breakout I

A global start: Education abroad programming for first-year students
Grace Johnson, director of education abroad, Office of International Affairs
Kelly Newlon, director of education abroad and recruitment, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
In this session, we will discuss how and why our first- year students benefit from having a "global start" to their Ohio State experience through participation in education abroad programming. We will also review how to design, develop and implement a first-year education abroad program.

Achieving product through process
Jim Lingo, academic counselor, University Exploration
Barry Tolchin, academic advisor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering
Can you get to the finish line without running the race? For the majority of the students that faculty and staff encounter in higher education, their lives have been driven by "finished product" mindsets and macro­-level goals. Their issues often relate to reaching an elusive "end goal." In this session, we promote a process-focused mindset that helps students achieve micro-level goals while building grit and resilience along the way.

Check yourself! Things to consider when onboarding prospective transfer students
Trish Jefferson, director of undergraduate admissions and recruitment, Fisher College of Business
Kia McKinnie, director of undergraduate recruitment, College of Education and Human Ecology
Mary Whitt, coordinator, University Transfer Center, Columbus State Community College
We are often unsure of the most effective ways to serve prospective transfer students. Since they're already college students, we may assume that they are able to navigate the university landscape with ease. It's easy to forget about the most valuable resource available to prospective transfer students: YOU! In this session, we will discuss the ways we need to “check ourselves” to remove barriers that transfer students face and effectively assist them through the onboarding process.

Enterprise Project and business process transformation update
Kristy Gardner, organizational change management learning manager, Enterprise Project
Beth McGuffey, executive director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Enrollment Services
Ron Salyers, student work stream manager, Enterprise Project
Dr. John Wanzer, assistant vice provost, Undergraduate Education
The Enterprise Project is a business process transformation and system implementation that will use Workday and other enterprise technologies to enable Ohio State's strategic plan and teaching, research, service and patient care missions. We will provide a brief update on the Enterprise Project, but the main focus of the session will be on sharing the work coming out of the two student-focused business process transformation workshops.

Navigating with students of the Digital Flagship University
Nicole Kraft, assistant professor, School of Communication
Cory Tressler, director of learning programs, Office of the Chief Information Officer
This session will examine what opportunities and challenges first-year students will face as part of Ohio State's new role as a Digital Flagship University and its partnership with Apple that provides iPads to all incoming freshmen. This session will focus on how technology may enhance student learning experiences and opportunities.

Oh the places you'll go! The transition to Columbus
Donna Hight, chief student life and retention officer, Ohio State Mansfield
Krista Scott, director of recruitment and student engagement, Academic Programs, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Sarah Williams, academic program coordinator, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Despite our efforts to make the process seamless, a student's transition from one of Ohio State's regional campuses to the Columbus campus can still be a dramatic social and academic change. Join students who have successfully transitioned from a regional campus to the Columbus campus as they discuss the good, bad and unexpected of their experiences.

Supporting first-year students: An introduction to and application of growth mindset
Emily Dringenberg, assistant professor, Department of Engineering Education
Nicole Nieto, program director, Ohio State ADVANCE
This session will introduce Carol Dweck's "mindset" theory and provide examples of its use for the first-year experience. We will engage participants in an intergroup dialogue to highlight the diverse beliefs we all hold about intelligence and how those beliefs underlie our lives and work. Participants will then be given an opportunity to translate their renewed understanding of beliefs about intelligence into their own context of working with and supporting the development of first-year students.

They know more about being new: How Peer Leaders support students who are #new2osu
Lydia Anderson, program coordinator, First Year Experience
Three years ago, First Year Experience transitioned from hiring traditional orientation leaders to a year-round Peer Leader model in order to better support first-year students. This session provides a unique opportunity to hear directly from the Peer Leaders about their experience in the role. The Peer Leaders will discuss the important work that they do over the summer and throughout the school year to help normalize students' first-year college experiences, the ways that they leverage their own identities and experiences to support first-year students, and the challenges and successes that they encounter in the role. This session will benefit anyone who wants to learn more about the Peer Leader role at Ohio State, peer-to-peer mentoring from a student perspective or how to support first-year students.

Using the College Student Inventory to enhance the first-year student­athlete experience
Prince Moody, learning specialist, Student Athlete Support Services Office
Brittany Savko, program manager, Student Athlete Support Services Office
For two years, the Student-Athlete Support Services Office has collaborated with First Year Experience to use the College Student Inventory (CSI) to identify at-risk students and understand their motivations and concerns about college. In this session, we will discuss how we've used data from the CSI to enhance the experience of student-athletes. We will compare the experiences of student-athletes and their non- athlete peers and examine the results of using CSI data on relationship-building and resource-sharing.

Why can't we be friends? Accounting for the emotional labor of teaching first-year students
Samuel Head, graduate student writing program administrator, Department of English
Jacqueline Kauza, graduate student writing program administrator, Department of English
Edgar Singleton, director of first-year writing, Department of English
This session will explore the ways that instructors of first-year students establish beneficial relationships with those students—relationships that sometimes come at great cost in time and "emotional labor" to instructors. Given that institutions rarely account for the work of getting to know students as individuals, how can instructors form beneficial relationships with first-year students while maintaining professional distance and protecting their ability to do other work? Participants will workshop ways that instructors can relate to students without unintentionally doing harm to themselves.

Breakout II

A design model for creating effective cocurricular sessions for first- and second-year audiences
Beth L. Black, undergraduate engagement librarian and associate professor, University Libraries
Research shows that first- and second-year students have distinct transitional needs. In this session, we will discuss how to use these differences to articulate appropriate learning goals for single-session, co- curricular instruction sessions for each audience. We will also learn to apply an "Understanding by Design"-based process to the design of a session for your target audience. By the end of the session, participants will have developed an outline of an effective cocurricular session for their audience.

Did they come here to play school? Student-athletes' first-year experience
Reagan Ambler, graduate assistant hall director, Residence Life; academic coach, Student-Athlete Support Services
Brittany Lynner, graduate assistant hall director, Residence Life; academic coach, Student-Athlete Support Services
Faculty and staff encounter student-athletes across all departments, yet may not have specific training for how to best offer support. Join us as we share the lessons we've learned working in the Student Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO) about the challenges student-athletes face as they transition from high school to college and grapple with their identity. In this session, we will provide an overview of student-athletes' transition and developmental issues, and we will analyze a case study and discuss implications for practice.

Generation Z: They're here!
Matt Moore-Waitkus, academic advisor, Fisher College of Business
Jena Pugh, program manager, Fisher College of Business
This interactive session will introduce Generation Z as an emerging population of students with unique perspectives, abilities and needs in higher education. Participants will discuss the impact of working with Generation Z on their service delivery and consider ways to update their practices to meet the needs of this generation.

Global May: Education abroad for first-year students
Louise Yahiaoui, education abroad coordinator, Office of International Affairs
For the past five years, the Office of International Affairs has offered a suite of faculty-led global pro­gramming options designed specifically for first-year students at Ohio State. This session will explore these programs in more detail with insight into the initiative behind their design, details on the programs themselves and the expected learning outcomes for participants.

Promoting and evaluating student use of metacognitive learning strategies in general chemistry
Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus, senior lecturer, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Daniel Turner, student learning specialist, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Ted Clark, auxiliary assistant professor and associate director of the Undergraduate Research Center, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Many first-year students struggle with introductory STEM courses because their approaches for learning, which led to success in high school, are ill suited for college. An increasingly important objective has therefore been to structure introductory STEM courses to promote student metacognition. In this investigation, students’ use and perspectives of learning strategies have been evaluated for large- enrollment general chemistry courses that were crafted to strongly support and promote student metacognition. Findings from these investigations will be shared, along with a discussion of strategies for better serving these first-year students.

Refining the gold standard: Taking a critical perspective on the research behind high-impact practices
Caleb Craft, learning and development specialist, Human Resources, Office of Student Life
High-impact practices (HIPs) for student engagement are considered the gold standard in curricular and cocurricular effectiveness. Many institutions have structured financial and human resources to ensure these experiences are widely available to students. Yet how much do we really know about the impact of these practices? This session offers a critical, but constructive, perspective on the research behind HIPs and suggests solutions that could be enacted at every level of an educational institution.

SpringForward: A spring and summer intervention for struggling first-year students
Lauren Hensley, senior associate director, Dennis Learning Center
Peter Spreitzer, assistant director, University Exploration
In summer 2016, the Academic Recovery Workgroup (part of the university's Student Success and Retention Committee) was tasked with developing a 2017 intervention program to increase retention for in-state new first-year students who struggled during their first year. In this session, we'll discuss the program's development, expansion and outcomes.

Supporting campus change students in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from the beginning: A college model
Benjamin Carignan, academic counselor, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Paul Heimberger, academic counselor, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Micah Mensing, student, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Molly Zacour, transition counselor, Ohio State's Agricultural Technical Institute
In their first year, CFAES students who start at Ohio State's Agricultural Technical Institute with plans to transition to a bachelor's degree program on the Columbus campus are provided with opportunities to gather information and plan for campus change and academic transition. In this session, the CFAES academic transition team shares a proactive transition student management model and the lessons we learned and changes we implemented to support student success.

Taking a holistic approach to developing diverse and inclusive student leaders
Ivory Douglas, program coordinator, First Year Experience
Darius Whitaker, program coordinator, First Year Experience
In this session, we will examine the effectiveness of developing a holistic peer-mentoring model that trains student leaders to become advocates for underserved populations who may need additional support. We will discuss some of the victories and challenges that we experienced during our transition to the Peer Leader program, and we will also share some ideas that session attendees can implement into existing or new initiatives.

Understanding the latest access and affordability initiatives: How financial aid changes affect first-year students and what you can do to support them
Ellen Strawn, assistant director of outreach, Student Financial Aid
Louise Vasher, program coordinator, First Year Experience
This year, many initiatives have been created to assist Ohio State students with access and affordability, including changes to the Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship, the introduction of tuition coverage for all Pell Grant-eligible students and the Tuition Guarantee. This session will take a look at the details of those programs and what campus partners can do to make themselves a source of support for first-year students—particularly for students experiencing financial stress.

Breakout III

An analysis of first-year student wellness: Using the nine dimensions of wellness to support student success
Julia Dionne, graduate student researcher, Center for the Study of Student Life, Office of Student Life
Erica Phillips, interim assistant director, Center for the Study of Student Life, Office of Student Life
The Wellness Assessment measures nine dimensions of wellness in order to give students a better understanding of their own wellness and provide them with resources at Ohio State they can use to improve their wellness. To better serve first-year students, this presentation delves into significant first-year student wellness data from the first semester to help paint an accurate picture of first-year wellness as students adjust to college life at Ohio State.

Benefits of evidence-based research: Investigation of STEM retention in chemistry
Dr. Ted Clark, auxiliary assistant professor and associate director of the Undergraduate Research Center, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Bridget Lee, research and evaluation consultant, College of Education and Human Ecology
Enthusiasm for learning about “evidence-based” practices is common in STEM disciplines. Often, instructors are motivated to research their classroom innovations and share findings with colleagues, and this in turn leads to continued change. Frequently, however, the research projects are not themselves evidence-based. Findings from an evidence-based research collaboration focusing on STEM retention will be shared, along with the process of how the collaboration was designed.

Bridging the gap: Math skill building
Brett McDaniel, senior learning specialist, Student­Athlete Support Services Office
Tyler Parminter, learning specialist, Student-Athlete Support Services Office
Rudra Trivedi, learning specialist, Student-Athlete Support Services Office
This session provides an in-depth examination on developing and maintaining mathematical skills in at-risk populations of first-year students. The session will present data and experiences from working with freshman student-athletes as examples throughout.

Buckle up! Steering commuter students to success 
Sophie Braga de Barros, graduate administrative associate, Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services
Rachel DeMooy, program manager, Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services
Commuter students account for more than half of the student population at Ohio State, and they are faced with unique challenges and obstacles that university staff and faculty can address. This session will help attendees to identify these challenges and to formulate strategies to better interact and engage with first-year commuter students. Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services staff will also provide updates on the development of the Commuter Mentoring Program.

Implementing a success coaching model to foster student success 
LaNorris Alexander, program manager, Young Scholars Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Trina Phillips, program coordinator, Young Scholars Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Chila Thomas, assistant director, Young Scholars Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
In this session, we will introduce the concept of "success coaching"—specifically for first-generation, low-income students—and identify how it supports student learning as a path to intellectual achievement, personal growth and active citizenship. We will share a model for success coaching and key components that can be used in student support service offices. We'll address the limitations of focusing on retention, and persistence, and we will also discuss the ways in which a holistic approach can benefit students, practitioners and institutions.

OnCourse for the first year
Nicole Jaburek, student success and training specialist, Office of Undergraduate Education
Shannon Peltier, assistant director, academic advising, Office of Undergraduate Education
This presentation highlights the support that can be given to new first-year students and the times of each semester when it is most valuable. As we recognize that a lack of familiarity with the university may mean that students are unaware of resources or deadlines, we will discuss how to use OnCourse to identify first-year students who would benefit from outreach at critical advising, decision making and wellness times.

Regional retention: Challenges and strategies
Kristina Healy, interim director of enrollment, Ohio State Lima
Donna Hight, chief student life and retention officer, Ohio State Mansfield
Darla Myers, academic success coordinator, Ohio State Mansfield
Erika Schnepp, director of the Learning Center and retention coordinator, Ohio State Lima
Chris Trapp, director, Retention and Educational Outreach Programs, Ohio State Marion
Jamie White, retention coordinator, Ohio State Newark
The regional campuses face unique challenges related to serving first-year students. In this session, retention specialists from four of Ohio State's regional campuses will share some of their best practices and outcomes.

¡Si se puede! Supporting first-year Latinx students
Evelyn Grace, graduate student, College of Education and Human Ecology
Gustavo Molinar, graduate student, College of Education and Human Ecology
Jessica Rivera, graduate student, College of Education and Human Ecology
The Latinx population in the United States is quickly growing, and more and more Latinx students are entering higher education. What role will you play in the success of Latinx students at your institution? First-year Latinx students face many challenges that other first-year students may not face. In this session, we will share information on how to best support Latinx students as they experience their first year.

Survey says...
Chris Adams, assistant director of student services, John Glenn College of Public Affairs
Whitney Brown, academic advisor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs
The first-year survey course is arguably one of the best opportunities for colleges and departments to support new students, help them develop a strong connection to the academic unit and ensure college success. In this session, advisors from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs will share strategies that have led to high retention rates and positive feedback from students on course evaluations.

We can show you the world (and measure the impact): Cultural competency on an FYE education abroad
Kelly Newlon, education abroad director, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Mary Rodriguez, assistant professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
This session offers insights on a two-year research project testing students' "cultural quotient." We used the "Cultural Quotient Indicator" (CQI) to determine the impact of education abroad on students who participated in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' education abroad program in Nicaragua, and we found that students who chose to study abroad tested higher than average in their drive and strategy for increasing cultural competence and in cultural quotient knowledge and action.

Breakout IV

A look back: Reflections on the first year of the "First in the World" study
Nicole Jaburek, advisor, Academic Advising
The "First in the World" study follows a group of first- generation Pell Grant-eligible Ohio State students on the Columbus and regional campuses during their academic career. The success specialists assigned to these students will provide an overview of the first year of outreach, intervention and support, and the presentation will highlight the lessons learned and opportunities for continued support through the sharing of data and student experiences.

Immerse to engage: A simulation-based instructional approach to teaching first-year students
Nick Wilkenson, program coordinator, University Libraries
Chris Younkin, First Year Experience instructional aids assistant, University Libraries
University Libraries recently piloted a First Year Success Series session designed to teach first-year students a simple method for evaluating information sources. We used a simulation-based instructional approach to immerse students directly in the practical application of the method. In this session, participants will hear our story, use a provided template to create and test simulation-based instruction activities, and discuss ways to use the template to immerse and engage first-year students in instruction sessions.

Pop culture hooks
Hannah Simonetti, program specialist, Multicultural Center
This presentation will discuss the use of pop culture to hook students into learning about important topics that they might otherwise avoid or take no interest in. Pop culture, including music, games, movies and books, can encourage students to engage with a variety of topics and facilitate deep discussion and learning. An example case using Harry Potter, video games and Marvel movies to engage students with topics of social justice and diversity will be discussed.

Revision to the General Education requirements at Ohio State 
Dr. Larry Krissek, professor, School of Earth Sciences
Dr. Andrew Martin, professor, Department of Sociology
Dr. Catherine P. Montalto, director, First Year Experience; associate professor, Department of Human Sciences
Dr. Randy Smith, vice provost for academic affairs, Office of Academic Affairs
In 2016, the University-Level Advisory Committee for General Education recommended that the Council on Academic Affairs initiate a university-­wide review of the General Education program at Ohio State. The committee's inclusive, faculty-driven process elicited input from faculty, staff and students on all campuses. Additionally, input was provided by current literature on general education and programs at benchmark and peer institutions. This session will describe the process that has been followed and the model that is being considered for adoption.

Supporting student workers: Navigating the Federal Work Study job board and best practices for managing student employees 
Holly Wilson, staff assistant, Federal Work Study program, Student Financial Aid
Sierra Zwilling, senior program coordinator, Undergraduate Admissions
Have you ever wanted to help a new student find a work-study job, but you weren’t sure how? Do you want to improve your management skills? Join Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Admissions for a presentation about the student employee experience. In addition to a tour of the work-study job board, this session will feature a discussion of student employee theory and best practices for recruiting, onboarding and training, professional development and coaching, and rewards and recognition.

Understanding the impact of DACA on student experiences 
Bowen Marshall, associate director, Office of the Senior Vice President for Student Life; DACA liaison, Student Life Multicultural Center
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) confers a status to certain undocumented persons brought to the United States as children that grants temporary relief from deportation. Student DACA recipients have unique college experiences and needs. In this session, we will discuss the current state of the DACA program and how to best support DACA students in their collegiate journeys.

University survey: A data-driven approach to improving course effectiveness
Alex Thomas, undergraduate advisor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University Survey is a course taken by all first-year students at Ohio State. Is your department making improvements to make sure your course is effectively serving students? In this presentation, you will learn how one department is using data to analyze the effectiveness of its survey sections and using that data to ensure the course learning outcomes are being met.

We have needs, too! Exploring the first-year experience of black women
Tiffany Steele, graduate administrative associate, Young Scholars Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The experiences of black women in higher education is a limited yet growing area of research. However, the first-year experience for black women on college campuses has yet to be explored. Through a panel discussion of black undergraduate women, audience members in this session will learn about the needs of black women during their first year, including their expectations for college, the resources they use throughout their journeys and recommendations for inclusive university practices.

Why are you crying in my office? How to support student emotional well-being for busy faculty and staff
Carrie Fleider, assistant director, Counseling and Consultation Service
Harry Warner, senior staff therapist, Counseling and Consultation Service
Across the country, the rise in demand for mental health and support services has reached a crisis point in colleges and universities. Depression and anxiety continue to be the most prominent concerns for college students. Faculty and staff are often on the frontlines of witnessing student distress—and are thus faced with the unexpected role of providing their students with emotional support. This workshop will offer attendees basic skills on how to provide support to students in distress.

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