Georgia Perimeter College Faculty Senate Other Curriculum Changes

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1 Page 1 of 5 Georgia Perimeter College Faculty Senate Other Curriculum Changes Number: S14-Apr-38 Date submitted: 4/22/2014 Date approved: Title of Proposal: Expanding exposure to the GPCS 1010 (Freshman Year Experience) by requiring all first-year students to take the course. Initiator and Place of Origin: Maryann Errico, Interim Director of the Freshman Year Experience, representing the original steering committee and current faculty teaching the course. Date Approved by Curriculum Committee: no formal curriculum committee exists Course Curriculum Chair(s): [sign if committee agrees; attach comments] Proposal connected with other Proposal(s), #(s): Implementation date of the Proposal: August 2014 (Name of Campus) Campus Faculty Senate has reviewed this proposal. Signed: Date: (Campus Chair) (Name of Campus) Campus Library Director has reviewed this proposal. (Only required for new courses, programs, or curriculum) Signed: Date: (Library Director) (Name of Discipline) Academic Dean has reviewed this proposal. Signed: Date: (Academic Dean) This Proposal has met Senate procedural requirements and is ready for Senate review and action. Signed: Date: (Faculty Senate Chair)

2 Page 2 of 5 Georgia Perimeter College Faculty Senate Other Curriculum Changes A. Brief description of proposal This new proposal is to require all incoming students to take the GPCS 1010 course with the following exceptions: students entering GPC with 15 or more transfer credits, transient students, special students, dual enrollment students, Move on When Ready students, and students in DECA and Gateway programs. course will be added to all programs of study under additional requirements. It will not be a part of Areas A through F. former proposal was required only of students who placed into Learning Support and the class was phased in over a period of two years. Below is a brief description of the approved proposal: This proposal outlines a plan to make GPCS 1010 (First Year Seminar) a required course over the next three years. GPCS 1010, a three-credit course, was approved by the Faculty Senate in September 2010 and has been offered on a limited basis beginning August course is not proposed as part of Areas A through F in the core curriculum but as a course tied to retention efforts for Learning Support students and students experiencing academic difficulties. plan to expand number of students required this course is as follows: August 2012 All students required to enroll in two Learning Support courses will be required to take GPCS All students on academic warning or academic probation will also be required to take GPCS August 2013 All students required to enroll in one Learning Support courses will be required to take GPCS 1010, in addition to students on academic warning or academic probation. B. Rationale Most students entering GPC are underprepared and face many obstacles in achieving their academic goals. Even those who are academically prepared often do not take advantage of the many resources available to them and do not grasp the expectations and responsibilities of being a college student. ultimate goal of GPCS 1010 is to reach all entering students. GPCS 1010 was developed over a two year period and involved participants from all sectors of the college community. In addition to addressing issues related to student retention, persistence, and graduation, the college was responding to a mandate from the Board of Regents that all institutions in the University of Georgia system develop a first year experience course. ( Board of Regents also mandated that such a course must not be included in the core curriculum). course designed by the working group is a three credit course that introduces students to college life, provides information on expectations of college students and strategies for

3 Page 3 of 5 college success, and builds information literacy through investigation of a specific theme. mes are selected and designed by seminar instructors. mes used in classes over the last two semesters have included globalization, immigration, science in the everyday world, health careers, and video production. Rather than developing a one-credit course, which essentially is an expanded orientation class, the working group determined that a three-credit course would be the most beneficial to our students because the repeated exposure to the instructor and classmates helps develop an important community of support. In addition, a three-credit course provides an opportunity to adequately cover topics such as time management, goal setting, career exploration, academic advisement, in addition to the information literacy component. While a potential criticism of making GPCS 1010 a required course would be that an additional 3-credit course outside of the core curriculum would delay graduation and transfer, research has consistently shown that students who complete a first-year seminar experience demonstrate increases in levels of persistence and retention. Documentation of this research will be provided if requested. An even stronger finding is that students who enroll in such courses feel a stronger connection with their institution, know about and more effectively use college resources, and are more likely to develop a meaningful relationship with a particular faculty or staff member. All of these findings are positively correlated with student success. GPC rightly prides itself on being an access institution. However, educators at 2-year colleges have increasingly come to believe that admitting students is not enough if they are not provided with tools to increase their chances of succeeding. GPCS 1010 (First Year Seminar) will be an important component in an overall first-year experience for GPC college students. Although first year seminar classes have been offered at some colleges for more than thirty years, institutions of higher learning, ranging from 2-year colleges to prestigious universities, are increasingly developing such classes as a way of acclimating students to college life. In addition, with the increasing emphasis on retention, colleges need to engage in programs and activities that increase the potential for student success. A recent article in Inside Higher Education cites the success of a first year seminar class at two different two-year institutions: Take Tulsa Community College, which for four years has required that about 1,000 incoming students take its Academic Strategies course. Those students are 20 percent more likely to remain enrolled at the college than students who don t take the course, according to data collected by the college, and they also perform better in academic coursework. Other community colleges have seen similar results. At Durham Technical Community College, for example, students who take the course have shown a 30 percent increase in retention. (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/02/21/student-success-courses-catch-slowlycommunity-colleges#ixzz2xlnllwzp. Inside Higher Ed)

4 Page 4 of 5 Requiring GPCS 1010 will be consistent with other institutions in the USG. Kennesaw State University currently requires most of its freshmen to take a 3-credit first year seminar, and a substantial percentage of first year students at Georgia State University take the course as part of a learning community. In fall 2011, the University of Georgia instituted a one-credit first year class that is required for most of its incoming students. C. Specify the implications of the proposal with special reference to the following points: 1. Is it consistent with the philosophy and mission of the institution? GPC s mission is to transform the lives of students to thrive in a global society and to provide relevant, responsive, learner-centered higher education that facilitates the achievement of academic, professional and personal goals. One of the four goals listed in GPC s plan is to strengthen student success. requirement that most incoming students to take GPCS 1010 is consistent with and will help the college make strides in accomplishing its mission. GPC s mission statement also states that the college supports the Strategic Plan of the University of Georgia. USG Strategic goal #1 is to renew excellence in undergraduate education to meet students 21 st century educational needs. One of the challenges related to this goal is to improve graduation and retention rates. One of the specified activities for implementation is that all 34 institutions that serve freshmen will have first-year experience programs. GPCS 1010, First Year Seminar, is an essential, central component of the first-year experience. 2. Have problems related to administrative implementation been explored? A substantial administrative infrastructure will be required to implement this course. Since the course has been phased in over the last 4 semesters, an administrative and personnel infrastructure has been evolving. Currently, the First Year Seminar program is coordinated by an Interim Director who oversees scheduling on all campuses and the Alpharetta Center and who has some administrative assistance. program currently relies on faculty and staff housed in other departments to teach the class, but participation from a much larger number of faculty has been increasing. re is a great deal of cross-department coordination. Expanding the course would likely require some full-time seminar instructors. current recommended number of students in a section is 20; however, some sections have been comprised of 24 students (the current maximum). Using current enrollment figures and the sense that enrollment will not increase dramatically in the coming year, approximately 220 sections will be needed in Fall, 2014.

5 Page 5 of 5 While the budgetary implications are substantial, the college administration is committed to this class and allocating the resources necessary to make it available to and a requirement for most incoming students. implications for classroom space are somewhat difficult to determine. If students take this class in addition to other classes, we will have a space crunch. If students take GPCS 1010 in place of other classes (a likely scenario), GPC will be able to accommodate the classes with existing space (some reallocation of classrooms may be necessary). Since its inception, the class has proven to be popular and successful in an online platform. online option reduces the strain on classroom space. 3. In which college publications should it be reproduced? course will appear in the college catalog and in any relevant online content. In addition, as the program grows, the college may develop a mini-catalog of First Year Seminar courses organized by theme and campus. 4. Will it necessitate changes in record keeping procedures at the college? Making this class required will necessitate changes in Banner. necessary registration controls will need to be placed on students records to prevent students from registering for too many credit hours before signing up for the class. se types of controls are now being used in BANNER, and setting up these new records will not place an undue burden on the OIT staff. 5. Does it involve curricular or program changes? course will not involve changes to the core curriculum.however, it must be added to all programs of study under additional requirements. ( course will require a note listing the types of students exempt from taking the class). Until that time, placing registration controls in BANNER will suffice.

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