First Class Student Success Seminar

West Georgia Technical College's (WGTC) existing two-credit hour College Life course was initially designed for students referred to multiple developmental courses or for those returning after academic dismissal or suspension. Although the current course embeds some basic skill-building competencies, the focus is on increasing students’ knowledge of campus policies, services, and resources, rather than on acquiring lifelong learning skills. A course redesign began in fall 2015, intended to help students transition to college life and culture but also to build a foundation that will sustain long-term success.

Originally scheduled to be piloted in spring 2017, the course (COLL 1090, First Class Student Seminar) is still in development. A small initial committee comprised primarily of administrators and staff with few faculty proved inadequate for the magnitude of the project. In the past year, additional committee members have been recruited, and the team is now cross functional, comprised of faculty and staff with diverse backgrounds and responsibilities, from a variety of academic disciplines and primary campus locations. An interest survey distributed to faculty was instrumental in securing faculty support. As the course incorporates a wide variety of College-specific topics as well as academic and life skills, it necessarily lends itself to team teaching; with no monetary or course release incentives currently allotted for developing and teaching the course, this aspect was the only perquisite that could be offered.

Through the survey, faculty were able to indicate distinct areas of interest and expertise, assuring them an opportunity to work with other faculty and staff, lending their knowledge while sharing the considerable responsibilities of pilot course development, management, coordination, and evaluation. As a result, faculty members from a wide range of disciplines volunteered to serve in some capacity. An online group space has also been created through O365 and plays a key role in committee collaboration and access to resources. Professional development and training for all involved faculty began summer 2016 and will be ongoing throughout implementation.

After this considerably longer-than-average development period, the course will be piloted in fall 2017, with one section of 20 students on each campus. The pilot will be offered to selected students free of charge; not only will these pilot students not incur costs for tuition and fees, but they and subsequent students will benefit from the decision to forego a text and use Open Educational Resources, chosen by faculty responsible for each course competency area. Once fully implemented (hopefully in spring 2018), this institutionally required course will replace the current student success course, as well as the programmatically required computer literacy course, as that topic is one of the new course competencies.

ID 16939

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #16939, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

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