Project Title:First-Year Experience ProgramInstitution Name:York College, City University of New York
Innovation Category:Student Success
Project Director:Thomas Gibson, Associate Dean of Student DevelopmentContact Information:(718) 262-2415,
Project Description:The First-Year
Experience (FYE) Program is a comprehensive program of academic and
co-curricular activities started in Fall 2010 to assist in promoting the successful
transition, achievement, and retention of first-year students to college life
at York. The
program was initiated as part of the college’s continuing efforts to improve
the institution and provide the small-college experience to students. The FYE program was developed by a
multi-constituency committee. Once
implemented, the committee assumed an advisory role to ensure that broad
institutional representation and responsibility remained in place. A small investment of 10k was allocated to
the FYE Program to support the purchase of the Freshman Reader books and
related necessities. The program
components include Freshman Advisement, The Freshman Reader, First-Year Student Orientation, Week of
Welcome (WOW)/Spirit Week, Convocation, First Year Seminar/SD110, Early-Alert
System (Cardinal Pulse), Civic Engagement (Jumpstart), Mentoring, and “The
To improve retention and graduation rates of
first-time freshman students.
To provide first-year students with a shared
academic experience and to introduce them into an educational community where
intellectual engagement is fostered and valued.
To connect students to campus support services
to ensure their academic success at the college.
To deepen student learning, while increasing
students’ level of community engagement and responsibility.
The Fall 2010 first-time freshman cohort one-
and two-year retention rates, as well as four- and six-year graduation rates,
will be compared to earlier cohorts.
Several surveys will be implemented to gather
data on student satisfaction with the college, including NSSE, CUNY student
experience survey, and a college-developed student engagement instrument.
Expected outcomes include improved first-year
student one year retention rates (fall to fall) and increased satisfaction with
college student services.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:One of the main challenges in implementing the FYE program
was to help students understand that this was not extra work, but instead
designed to help improve their experience at the college and succeed
academically. Several flyers and brochures were created to attract student
awareness and buy-in of the program.
Evaluation Approach:As mentioned above,
the college and the university system (CUNY) administers surveys on a regular
basis to gather student experiences with services on campus. The Office of
Institutional Research & Assessment helps design the instruments and
provide necessary analysis and reporting to interested groups.
Potential for Replication:This program is readily replicable since it was developed from rebranded and refocused programs and services that already existed on campus. However, they were not meaningfully connected to students. The development and implementation of the FYE program was initially done by a committee. Because of the success of the FYE Program, the college is committed to supporting a full-time position to ensure its continued success.
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Marcia V. Keizs
, Presidentmkeizs@york.cuny.eduDate Published: Friday, April 29, 2011Date Revised: Thursday, April 12, 2012