College adopts excellence program

From the The Brunswick News

The first year of college is critical. It can bolster or shatter a student's goals or expectations.

Because of that, College of Coastal Georgia is working to ensure that the students' freshman year is a success.

It's going about it by participating in a national higher education project dubbed Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year.

The Brunswick institution was chosen to be a part of the program along with a dozen other four-year colleges across the country. It is sponsored by the non-profit Policy Center on the First Year of College in North Carolina.

"We will be looking at everything that touches the students' lives during the first year, whether it be in or outside the classroom," said Jerry Kiel, vice president for student affairs at the Brunswick college.

Nine committees have been created and are made up of a diverse selection of actively involved students, faculty and staff. Included among those is the organizational committee, which is responsible for building the standard operating procedures and policies for new buildings on campus, as well as a transition to college, and the diversity committee.

After attending a training in August, Kay Hampton, assistant vice president of academic affairs at the college, said the Steering Committee, which oversees the entire project, will be looking at all the pieces of evidence of the study to figure out what the college does well and where it might need improvement.

The policy center provides the college with questions and goals to consider during the year-long, guided self-study and improvement process.

"At the end of April, we will have a comprehensive plan in place to be used as an ongoing assessment," Hampton said.

Danielle Siekkinen, a student participant in the program, wishes she had had in her freshman year.

"I felt a lot of things needed work when I first enrolled," Siekkinen said. "Advising was not as great as I would have liked and if we had this program in place, I think it would have helped our voices to be heard."

Another student involved in the project, sophomore Tony Vottita, is excited that the college is a participant. "By being a part of this, it allows us to give an inside look at what we're doing and what we can approve upon," Vottita said.
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Release Date: 9/21/2009
Source: The Brunswick News

By Erika Capek