Focus on Freshmen - Los Angeles
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How to Implement a 2 to 3-unit College Freshman Course
Instructional Strategies for Student Success/First-Year Experience Courses

Session Descriptions

Session 1: 
Freshman Transition Initiative for College Students
The college dropout rate is staggering with national studies indicating that only 30% of students complete a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree within six years of college enrollment.  A key to impacting college persistence hinges on full-time and part-time enrollment and capturing students at the critical time at which they commence their post-secondary studies.   This session will present a model for a First-Year Experience course built on the Freshman Transition Initiative’s Standards for a Freshman Transition Course.  Participants will gain an overview of a Student Success course and program model to bring back to their own campuses for implementation.

Session 2:
Planning for a First-Year Experience Course—Laying the Ground Work
A Student Success course begins with the structure of a course of record, established student learning outcomes, a solid curriculum, online resources for instructors, and a shared understanding of your campus’ vision.  Before you implement a First-Year Experience (FYE)/Student Success course, you will need to gather your resources to lay a strong foundation upon which to build your program, ensuring equity for students and stability for program implementation.  Attendees will receive a sample course outline, syllabus, and 16-week pacing guide that can help them launch their own Student Success/FYE course.

Session 3:
Establishing a Class Culture with Diverse College Populations
Cultivating a positive and productive class culture is essential for the success of your First-Year Experience/Student Success course and/or program.  Instructors who understand theories of student development, career development, and how best to differentiate their course for each individual learner will be better able to engage students in a process of critical self-reflection, personal planning, and development of an online 10-year Career and Education Plan.  Nothing will yield greater impact for your students than a learning environment steeped in positive interpersonal communication, opportunities for contextualized learning, and self-directed research and planning that increase students’ intrinsic motivation!

Session 4:
Post-Secondary Pedagogy & Student Engagement
The college classroom is unique and pointedly different from K-12 education, thus it is critical to incorporate teaching methods that are effective with adult learners.  This session will help you identify ways in which you can utilize the Career Choices & Changes curriculum to engage students in learning experiences that bring the “real-world” into the classroom.  Participants will receive sample scoring rubrics, instructor resources, and strategies for lesson implementation that is sure to keep students interested during class time and beyond.

Session 5:
Best Practices for Implementing Career Choices & Changes
This session will take attendees through key lesson plans with suggestions for best practices to bring lessons to life through student involvement.  Attendees will have an opportunity to delve into the curriculum chapter-by-chapter to gain practical tips that they can bring back to the classroom.

Session 6:
Lesson Plan Strategies for the Flipped Classroom
College classes are limited on meeting time; therefore, the “flipped” classroom model is essential for maximizing the benefit of the course for students.  Rather than reading text in class, students will complete assignments outside of class so that class sessions can be dedicated to the synthesis and application of knowledge.  This portion of the institute will build on the previous best practices session and present additional models for evaluating student work and utilizing online course shells for grading and communication.

Session 7:
From an Instructor’s Perspective: Advice for Career Choices Teachers from Career Choices Teachers

Attendees from several Institutes will be treated to a very special panel discussion exploring freshman transition classrooms that work. This panel of Career Choices instructors will share some of the insights they've gained, techniques they've honed, and strategies they've implemented successfully in their own classrooms.