Keynote speaker:

"First-Year Student Success: In Search of Best Practice"

Dr Randy L. Swing


Dr. Randy L. Swing serves as Co-Director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, located in Brevard, North Carolina. He develops assessment strategies and instruments for improving the first college year. He served on the development teams for Your First College Year (YFCY), a posttest of UCLA’s annual freshman survey and the First-Year Initiative (FYI), a national benchmarking study of first-year seminars. Randy moderates the First-Year Assessment Listserv; and served as editor of Proving and Improving: Strategies for Assessing the First College Year. He also serves as Fellow at the National Resource Center on The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. Until 1999, Dr. Swing held leadership positions at Appalachian State University in assessment, advising, orientation, and first-year seminar. Time Magazine named Appalachian a 2001 “College of the Year” for outstanding service to first year students.

Synopsis of keynote

The First-Year Experience movement in the U.S.A. is three decades old and philosophically integrated into American higher education. Spurred on by innovation and variety, the movement now touches nearly every American and many international campuses. So what do we know about best practices in first-year programs? What “really works?”

This presentation will introduce the work of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, an American research center developing new methods to evaluate program effectiveness, distill best practices, and disseminate practical ideas for increasing the retention and learning of first-year students. Recent Policy Center initiatives include evaluating first-year seminars, and visiting campuses with exemplary first-year programs.

Full Presentation in Powerpoint

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