College 101 Course To Be Replaced With FYE 199

Jo Kinkade, Contributing Writer

As of Fall 2014, College 101 will be replaced with a new program called First Year Experience 199. This new class has been designed to implement a well-rounded education throughout the transition into college.
“The whole idea behind the enhanced first-year experience is that we want to make it more robust for the students and try to have this program be more of a tool for the students’ success,” Marc Adkins, Director of Student Success Initiatives, said.
“College 101 is intended to do that, but we felt that with the population of students we’re recruiting, which has changed over the years due to the landscape and looking at our goals as a University, we wanted to enhance College 101 to be just that: a valuable resource and a tool,” Adkins said.
“First Year Experience will be a much more holistic look at how you help students succeed during their first year here,” Samantha Schulz, a Graduate Intern at Student Success Initiatives, said.
“The main difference between College 101 and First Year Experience is that the latter will have an academic portion. College 101 focused more on the transition onto campus and resources and social organizations, but not so much on doing academic work in the classroom. First Year Experience has both.”
While College 101 has not been a mandatory class in the past, First Year Experience will most likely be a requirement in the fall semester of 2015 for all first-year students.
Fall of 2014 will be the pilot semester for the program with only ten sections being offered. There will be 15 students per section for a total of 150 pilot students. They will be able to register for the class on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“Students that are currently seniors in high school filling out their schedule preference forms for their first semester here can indicate whether or not they would like to participate in the First Year Experience and if so, which of the ten sections they prefer,” Adkins said.
As of April 10, 109 of the 223 deposited incoming freshmen who have officially filled out their schedule preference forms indicated that they are interested in being part of next semester’s First Year Experience program, which is 49 percent, a promising statistic for the future of the program.
“One of the main purposes of a first year experience is that you create a common experience for all,” Adkins said. “College 101 had traditionally been taught by a mix of faculty and staff. In First Year Experience, the students will have a full-time faculty member and also a full-time staff member teaching. It’s their responsibility to collaborate and essentially create that common experience. The class will have its seminar piece, which is the expertise of the faculty member, and then there will be a transition piece, from the expertise of the staff member.”
“It’s been a number of years that we’ve been looking to see what we can do to support students and students’ retention,” Schulz said. “As part of that, we wanted to make sure that there was a first year experience element that would be something all first-year students do. College 101 hasn’t been taken by every single student, so this is something that will be part of the BW culture.”