First-Semester 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. The new First-Semester Success Seminar is designed to be a mandated course for all students in their first semester, excluding dual enrolled, transient, and transfer students with more than 18 successful college credits.

The course is still in the development phase; focus groups, institutional and national survey data, and best practices, as well as student responses in the current course, are informing decisions about new course content. Student end-of-course reflection responses over the past year indicate that the most helpful sections of the current course include activities related to time management and prioritization, effective study techniques and learning strategies, stress management, and personality profiles and learning inventories. Some topics that faculty course developers believed would be requested by students were surprisingly not emphasized; specifically, money management, career planning, and technology skills.

The First-Semester Success Seminar is scheduled to be piloted in spring 2017. Once implemented, it is expected that the course will positively impact students’ persistence and engagement from their entry point to degree attainment.

ID 15966

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #15966, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

Please note that for security purposes, contact information can only be provided to known contacts at active Achieving the Dream institutions.

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