Hartley lab CAS

First-Year Experience and UNV 101

To improve student success and enhance academic advising, the Undergraduate Academic Advising Council has spearheaded efforts to create a First-Year Experience (FYE) which comes in two forms:

  1. Existing transitional courses which have been modified to include key FYE outcomes (e.g., CHM 147 or THE 107);
  2. UNV 101: I Am Miami which is a one-credit course offered mostly in the fall semester.

The FYE was first piloted with over 20 sections and 400 students in fall 2014. Over 80 sections were offered in fall 2015. Beginning in 2016 to over 2000 students in all academic divisions and on all three Ohio campuses have completed an FYE course each fall. The goal is to steadily increase the number of sections each fall until we have met the needs of first-year students. FYE instructors come from all academic divisions, Student Affairs, University Libraries, and Enrollment Management & Student Success. They all have a minimum of a master’s degree and undergo training.

Instructor Training

UNV 101 instructors are provided a one-hour preliminary meeting in the spring semester prior to teaching the course, a two-hour orientation which occurs immediately before the fall semester, a Canvas site (with a common syllabus and suggestions for assignments and plans for each class session) as well as optional biweekly brown bags during the fall semester to discuss the progress of the course and troubleshoot problems.

FYE Description

Through reflection, self-assessment and group discussions, students gain a sense of belonging at Miami, plan how to make the most of their time at Miami, and establish a foundation for academic and co-curricular success.

FYE Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what a liberal arts education is and its role in their academic experience and success
  • Demonstrate active participation and engaged learning in class discussions and activities
  • Integrate their personal, academic and career goals in relation to their values, interests and skills
  • Utilize campus resources and e-tools in pursuit of academic and co-curricular goals
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the relationship between culture and identity within themselves and others
  • Examine how their behavior and decisions have an impact on their personal well-being and on their communities
  • Outline an intentional, integrated plan of curricular and co-curricular learning

FYE Assessment

Students in all FYEs (UNV 101 and transitional courses) are administered a pre- and post- test. This identical test is also given to a quasi-control group (first-year students with similar profiles who did not take an FYE). The test is an online survey that includes four end-of-semester course goal questions as well as 20 questions linked to the FYE learning outcomes (listed above).

FYE Co-Coordinators

Jeffrey Wanko (Associate Provost), Kim Ernsting (Student Success Center Director) and Gwen Fears (Associate Dean of Students)