Higher Education Center Selects College of Coastal Georgia to Participate in National Project

Brunswick, GA - During the coming year, College of Coastal Georgia will participate in a national higher education project known as "Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year." The project, sponsored by the Policy Center on the First Year of College, will utilize a model of excellence for the first college year. This model can be used by colleges and universities to develop and refine their overall approach to educating first-year students.

Research has long indicated that new students who are successfully integrated into college are much more likely to succeed. Many colleges, therefore, work especially hard to create a first-rate experience for new students.

Since February of 2003, the Foundations of Excellence project has involved over 300 two- and four-year colleges and universities across the country in developing the standards ("Foundational Dimensions") that constitute a model first year. College of Coastal Georgia will work with the Policy Center and its technology support and educational survey partner, Educational Benchmarking, Inc. in 2009-2010. Member institutions will measure their effectiveness in recruiting, admitting, orienting, supporting, advising, and teaching new students. They will then be able to make programmatic improvements that will increase student learning, success, and persistence.

In describing the importance of this project, John N. Gardner, executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, located in Brevard , North Carolina said, "While much is known about how a campus can improve new student learning and retention, this information has never been synthesized or translated into aspirational standards that are reflective of best practice. The absence of clear standards has powerful educational and financial consequences. This project brings together a number of highly credible researchers, reformers, and practitioners, who are creating the blueprint that far too long has been missing." Betsy Barefoot, Co-Director and Senior Scholar, adds that the standards are not only aspirational, but they can also be used to measure an institution's current level of excellence in its approach to the first year.

Additional information about the Policy Center on the First Year of College and this project can be found at http://www.fyfoundations.org.
Release Date: 9/10/2009
Source: College of Coastal Georgia

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