*Use this form if your campus’s First-Year Engagement Plan REQUIRES a First-Year Seminar of all students.
First-Year Engagement Plan Submission Form
Submission Date: January 30, 2009
Submitted By: Mukund Kulkarni
Title: Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
1. First-Year Seminar characteristics. Does your first-year seminar meet the following criteria? All criteria below (a-e) must be met by for the plan to fulfill the legislation.
The criterion below is followed by your College/Unit.
a. taught by tenure-line or other regular, full-time faculty members (not staff or graduate
(*the college dean may grant reasonable exceptions, such as for professional practitioners who teach annually but whose appointments are not full-time)
b. taught in the student’s campus of enrollment (in other words, you will provide a FYS
for all incoming students at your campus)
c. taught in sections of not more than 25 students
d. academic in content, exemplifying the full weightiness and expectations of
University-level coursework (ideally satisfying General Education or other College or Major
requirements, though this is not essential)
e. explicitly address the FYE goals and objectives, which are listed here:
- Goal 1: to engage students in learning and orient them to the scholarly community from the outset of their undergraduate studies in a way that will bridge to later experiences in their chosen majors, and
- Goal 2: to facilitate students’ adjustment to the high expectations, demanding workload, increased liberties, and other aspects of the transition to college life.
- Objective 1: to introduce students to University study
- Objective 2: to introduce students to Penn State as an academic community, including fields of study and areas of interest available to students
- Objective 3: to acquaint students with the learning tools and resources available at Penn State
- Objective 4: to provide an opportunity for students to develop relationships with full-time faculty and other students in an academic area of interest to them
- Objective 5: to introduce students to their responsibilities as part of the University community.
2. Credit requirements. How many credits does your first-year seminar provide? Please answer 1 Credit, 2 Credits, 3 Credits, or Other (For example, different sections provide 1, 2, or 3 credits).
If you answered “Other” in Question Number 2 above, provide explanation below. (Please limit your answer to 500 words or less.)
Penn State Harrisburg will offer First-Year Seminar in two ways to best meet the needs of our students. Some sections of general education and major-required courses will be offered in a seminar format and designated by an “S” suffix (examples include ENGL 015S, ENGL 030S, and EDSGN 100S). In addition, each Academic School will offer a one-credit first-year seminar (CAP 110S, 120S, 140S, 150S, 160S) that is academic in focus and discipline-specific. The needs of students in DUS will be addressed by placing them into a First-Year Seminar that aligns most closely with their current interest. The ten colleges of University Park will be mapped into our school-based seminars.
Courses in either format will incorporate the goals and objectives of the first-year engagement plan into the curriculum. As part of an engagement plan that extends beyond the first-year seminar, some of the goals and objectives of the first-year engagement plan will be integrated into the English composition and speech courses (ENGL 004, ENGL 015, ENGL 030, and CAS 100), and also extend to student support units campus-wide.
One of the First-Year Seminar faculty and one of the ENGL faculty will serve as a coordinators for the First-Year Engagement Plan.
3. Supplemental programming. [This question must be answered unless your unit will require all students to take a 3-credit first-year seminar. If your unit will require all students to take a 3-credit first-year seminar, this question is optional, though responding is encouraged because supplemental programming will help to make your unit’s overall first-year experience richer.]
Identify and briefly describe the additional components (other than the small-class experience) that you plan to offer, such as other courses, special advising programs, intensive orientation experiences, special programs offered by Student Affairs, etc., to meet the goals and objectives of the First-Year Engagement Plan: (Please limit your answer to 500 words or less.)
Student engagement will begin with the orientation and advising provided during FTCAP. Each student will receive a Summer Reading Book at that time. A committee of Humanities faculty and the Learning Center will choose a book in February in time for campus units to plan for activities that support the theme of the book for the following academic year. Typically, a guest speaker and a series of films will be provided as out-of-class cocurricular opportunities. Additionally, the book and its themes will be integrated into the ENGL 004, 015, and 030 sections, as well as CAS 100 sections.
The Learning Center will administer a peer mentor program that places a trained peer mentor into each first-year seminar section to facilitate the first-year students’ transition to college by being a resource, providing a role model, and establishing relationships.
A campus-wide slate of cocurricular opportunities will be developed each semester incorporating academic, social, cultural, and wellness activities and events. First-year seminar students will be required to register, attend, and assess at least three of these activities through a Web-based registration and assessment. Participating units will include Alumni Society, Career Services, Financial Aid, Honors Program, International Programs, Learning Center, Multicultural Academic Excellence Program, and Student Activities, Student Assistance Center, and Student Health Services. These events will provide opportunities for students to increase awareness of the learning tools and resources available at Penn State, allow students to develop relationships with other students, and assist in the students’ transition to college life. These cocurricular options will be organized and administered by a Cocurricular Liaison, currently the Learning Center coordinator.
Four areas of student responsibility and resources are so essential for student engagement that they will be specifically incorporated into the curriculum in the following manner:
1. The student’s responsibility for academic integrity will be incorporated into the ENGL 004, 015, and 030 sections, with Learning Center responsibility to assist in the development of this content. The content will be delivered either face to face or online, followed by an online competency quiz.
2. Students will be acquainted with library resources within the curriculum of the ENGL sections with the Library providing support to these classes.
3. The student’s responsibility for adhering to the Penn State principles and code of conduct will be addressed in each ENGL and CAS 100 section in the fall semester, with Judicial Affairs providing this content. Related assignments will build on the on-line required Alcohol Education activity for admitted students.
4. Students will be acquainted with advising tools and resources within the curriculum of the First-Year Seminar to assist them with successful educational planning. The Division of Undergraduate studies will work with faculty on this objective.
The college-wide Student Persistence Committee will coordinate its efforts with the First-year Engagement Plan.
4. Assessment plan. How will you assess the extent to which the First-Year Engagement goals and objectives are met? (Please limit your answer to 500 words or less.)
Objective 1 Introduce students to university study
- Describe various aspects of their study and the degree program
- Identify differences in high school and university studies
- Describe the role of General Education in their proposed plan of study
- Identify components of academic scholarship within the discipline
- Identify the resources of the library
- Complete a library based research assignment
- Complete a writing assignment related to the Summer Reading book
- Complete a communications assignment related to the Summer Reading book
- Participate in at least one cocurricular Academic event
- Participate in at least one cocurricular Summer Reading event
- Relate academic abilities and interests to a range of degree programs
- Gain a basic understanding of University expectations (during FTCAP)
Objective 2: Introduce students to PSU as an academic community, including fields of study and areas of interest available to students
- Describe various degree programs within related fields of study
- Demonstrate understanding of the role of General Education within their proposed plan of study
- Attend at least one meeting of a club with an academic focus
- Demonstrate awareness of Career Services
Objective 3: Acquaint students with the learning tools and resources available at Penn State
- Use ANGEL and other appropriate technology
- Engage in successful educational planning by meeting with an advisor, using a degree audit and eLion, and the eight semester plan of study
- Describe the services and location of the Learning Center
- Describe the services and location of Career Services, Financial Aid, Student Assistance Center, and Student Health Services
Objective 4: Provide an opportunity for students to develop relationships with full-time faculty and other students in an academic area of interest to them
- Know at least two faculty members from their academic school
- Know and contact their peer mentor as needed
- Engage in authentic learning experiences in groups with other students
- Engage with the faculty in exploring the academic topic of interest
- Present a special occasion speech (an introduction, eulogy, roast, or toast) using a faculty member from the student’s area of interest as the subject
- Know and contact their peer mentor as needed
- Participate in a least one cocurricular Social, Cultural, or Wellness Event
Objective 5: Introduce students to their responsibilities as part of the University community
- Provide examples of violations of academic integrity, including guidelines for group work
- Be aware that all writing assignments are evaluated for plagiarism
- Prepare speeches and panels on topics appropriate to the judicial process
- Identify behaviors that violate the Penn State Principles and Code of Conduct and the University and community consequences of those violations