How students transition to upper-level work has a significant impact on faculty as teachers and advisors (not to mention the impact on our institutions’ financial outlooks).
- How can faculty increase their understanding of sophomores in their classes or their sophomore advisees?
- What strategies help sophomores achieve the level of critical and abstract thinking that we seek?
- How do we help students feel connected to our colleges and take advantage of the opportunities on our campuses?
- How do we support sophomores’ development and personal well-being?
This project seeks to help faculty identify factors that lead to student malaise and develop and assess appropriate sophomore year interventions that foster students’ growth and maturity as learners.
Campus Goals & Collaboration
This project will enable us to achieve goals that are specific to our individual institutions as well as our collective goals and desire for collaboration with other ACM schools.
Staff and faculty will be piloting a sophomore conference and block break retreat to inspire students to reflect on their educational experiences, connect with students, staff, and faculty, set goals, and make plans for their remaining three years of college
A recent retention and graduation task force found that attrition among sophomores is higher at CC than at peer institutions. CC has an established set of sophomore co-curricular programs, but we worry that these programs may not be meeting the needs of students. This grant would allow us to experiment with new initiatives– a sophomore conference and retreat– and help us build capacity among our faculty for more responsive sophomore advising, programming, and curricula.
A self-selected group of faculty, staff, and students will be piloting an eportfolio initiative utilizing a set of reflection questions designed to assist sophomores in looking back at what they have done, inward to their strengths and goals, and forward to opportunities ahead.
Luther’s retention and graduation task force identified a surprising number of well-qualified sophomore students who depart the College. Luther’s Strategic Priorities 2016-18 calls for integrated and experiential learning in the sophomore and junior years, as well as implementation of the HLC Quality Initiative cultivating reflective practice in the sophomore year. This grant would allow us to implement and evaluate an eportfolio project encouraging reflection and a more meaningful college experience.
Faculty have begun piloting Initiatives Intro courses which require them to meet every student twice a semester for a relationship-building conversation, to speak to issues of risk, failure, as well as transferable skills in course content, and to connect with other campus units during class time.
Beloit’s Initiatives Program provides a vision for students’ first two years, but our sophomore component has been weak. This semester, Beloit implemented a “sophomore reboot” by way of providing a specific set of high-impact learning practices in a dozen introductory courses. This grant will support the new Strategic Enrollment plan and allow for assessment and, if warranted, expansion of “Initiative Intro Courses”.