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Midwest First-Year Conference

Friday, September 19, 2015

SESSIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Session I
10–11 a.m.
Round Table Discussion
Dr. Joe Cuseo
APC120
C U L8R: Text-Message Based ESM to Study First-Year Transition
Jennifer Keys and Mara Berklandn
APC110A
Peer Mentoring: In the Process
Mary Tosch, Ulysses Diaz, Brandy Skierkiewicz, Stella Okeke, and Don Bramlett
APC160
A First-Generation Student’s First Year: A Campus Partner Impact
Kathryn Olson, Lucero Martinez, Michaela Holtz
APC170
Alumni On the First Day: Initiating First-Year Students to Your Lifetime Community
Brian Gawor and Carol Brown
APC185
     
SESSION II
11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
Goals are Dreams With Deadlines: Foundations for Career and Financial Motivation
Rico Reed
APC120
Got DACA?: Exploring Resources for Undocumented Students
Susana DasNeves and Lizy Garcia
APC110A
The Positive Impact of Peer Mentors on First-Year Students Participating in Co-Curricular Programs
Stephanie Zobac, Dr. Julia Spears, and Shannon Thomas
AP160
Everyone Wants a Piece of It: How to Maintain Programmatic Integrity in Community College Orientation Programs
Vicki Atkinson, Linda Frank, SandraVega-Picchietti
APC170
The Power of Peer Mentors in Setting the First-Year Pace at Western Illinois University
Katrina Daytner, Nancy Parsons, Stacey Macchi, Mary Friday, Christopher Guidi and Cody Schara
APC185
     
POSTER SESSIONS
APC110, 1:20 to 1:50 p.m.
E-Mentoring: An Extensive View and Potential Applications Based on the Study of a First-Year Initiative for Residential Students
Lina Anastasovitou
Impact of Peer Mentoring in First-Year Composition
Christopher Parker, Michael Day, Tawanda Gipson, Eric Hoffman, Ellen Franklin, and Meghan Huntoon
Student Success for the Exploring Student: The Academic Advising Role
Michelle Pickett and Susana DasNeves
Sophomores and Service
Denise Rode and Amy Henkel
Peer Leadership: The Powerful Piece in Programming
Shawnda Freer and Morgan Morris
Need a little TLC?: Incorporating First-Year Seminars in Themed Learning Communities
Kelly Smith and Stephanie Zobac
Shaping Campus Culture Through a Common Reading Experience
Denise Rode and Kelly Smith
Academic Success for First-Year Students at Northern Illinois University: The Role of Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research through the Research Rookies Program
Lauren Boddy, Marilyn Lorch, and Katie Grosshart
SESSION III
2 to 3 p.m.
Developing a Mandatory Academic Advising Model
Kerri Langdon and Patrick Peyer
APC110A
NODA: Best Practices in Orientation
Desiree C. Novak, Vicki Atkinson, and Sarah Gardiner APC120
Partnerships 101: What Two- and Four-Year Colleges Can Do Together to Support First-Year Students
Alvaro Marmolejo Davis
APC160
Designing and Assessing New Student Orientation and First-Year Experience Programs at Community Colleges
Anthony Ramos
APC170
Jump Start: A Community College Summer Bridge Program in Math and English
Ali O’Brien
APC185
 

SESSION IV - Pecha Kucha Presentations
3:10 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
APC110
Beyond Requirements: Reminding Students that College is for Learning
Amanda Durik
Stories from the Dark Side: Lessons to Be Learned
Brad Garner
CHOICES Matter!
Monique Bernoudy
Getting Real About the “F” Word
Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
       

KEYNOTE SPEAKER    8:45–9:45 a.m.

Keynote

Joe Cuseo PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Marymount College, CA, and author of Thriving in College and Beyond
APC110

(back to top)

SESSION I    10–11 a.m.

Round Table Discussion

Joe Cuseo PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Marymount College, CA, and author of Thriving in College and Beyond
APC120

Dr. Joe Cuseo will meet with conference participants informally during this session to discuss trends and issues around student success for college student transitions in the first year and beyond, first-generation student success, and other topics surfaced by the session participants. Expect practical wisdom and tips to emerge from the presenter and your colleagues! (back to top)

C U L8R: Text-Message Based ESM to Study First-Year Transition

Jennifer Keys, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, North Central College
Mara Berkland, Associate Professor of Communication, PhD, North Central College
APC110A

This presentation will show how faculty and administrators can use daily text message-based survey questions to understand the transition of incoming first-year students in real time. Our research from the last two years has relied on the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), which was an effective data collection technique to capture the adaptation process in the first weeks of college. We will explain the benefits, data collection process, ethical issue, and challenges associated with this method. (back to top)

Peer Mentoring: In the Process

Mary Tosch, Student Life Manager, Waubonsee Community College
Ulysses Diaz, Bilingual Counselor, Waubonsee Community College
Brandy Skierkiewicz, Director of Student Engagement, Aurora University
Stella Okeke, Coordinator, Multicultural Student Affairs,
Moraine Valley Community College
Don Bramlett, Graduation Specialist, Northern Illinois University
APC160

Peer mentoring can be a critical retention strategy for many students. What are the components of a successful mentor? What is the impact of augmenting social relationships and positive identity development on student success? What best practices do four-year and two-year institutions inform us of? Join the discussion on peer mentoring. How can we create an environment that supports student success and persistence? (back to top)

A First-Generation Student’s First Year: A Campus Partner Impact

Kathryn Olson, AmeriCorps VISTA, Northern Illinois University
Lucero Martinez, Graduate Assistant, Northern Illinois University
Michaela Holtz, Assistant to the Director, Northern Illinois University
APC170

This presentation will focus on establishing a lifetime relationship with the college or university during New Student Orientation. 10 years ago, Knox College started to welcome students as immediate alumni and what developed is one of the best-attended new student sessions each year, and a partnership between Advancement and Student Development. Learn how this and other public and private institutions are initiating students to campus culture, traditions and philanthropy. (back to top)

Alumni On the First Day: Initiating First-Year Students to Your Lifetime Community

Brian Gawor, Doctoral Student, Illinois State University
Carol Brown, Director of Alumni Relations, Knox College
APC185

This presentation will focus on establishing a lifetime relationship with the college or university during New Student Orientation. 10 years ago, Knox College started to welcome students as immediate alumni and what developed is one of the best-attended new student sessions each year, and a partnership between Advancement and Student Development. Learn how this and other public and private institutions are initiating students to campus culture, traditions and philanthropy. (back to top)

SESSION II    1:10–12:10 p.m.

Goals are Dreams With Deadlines: Foundations for Career and Financial Motivation

Rico Reed, Assistant Director for Administration and Resource Development,
National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
APC120

An Urban Institute study released in August 2015 found that an estimated one in three adults with a credit history—or 77 million people—are so far behind on some of their debt payments that their account has been put “in collections.” The average student loan debt, depending on who’s calculating, can run anywhere from $25,000 to nearly $30,000. While addressing academic and career success, we’ve also found that the first year is the best time to address financial literacy. Foundations in Personal Finance challenges students’ view of money and helps guide decisions throughout life by covering debt, savings, budgets, insurance, investments, and more. This session will explore the use of career exploration activities in conjunction with Dave Ramsey’s Foundations curriculum to prepare first-year students for career and financial success. (back to top)

Got DACA?: Exploring Resources for Undocumented Students

Susana DasNeves, Academic Advisor/Counselor, Northern Illinois University
APC110A

President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) opened career opportunities to eligible students. However, colleges and universities continue to struggle with DACA eligible students and its impact on advising, career paths, and life after college. The focus on “DACAmented” students has left behind undocumented students who are NOT DACA eligible. Updates and resources for undocumented students, lessons learned, and students’ personal experiences will be shared. (back to top)

The Positive Impact of Peer Mentors on First-Year Students Participating in Co-Curricular Programs

Michelle Pickett, Director Academic Advising Center Northern Illinois University
Susana DasNeves, Academic Advisor/Counselor Northern Illinois University

E106, 11:10 a.m.–12:10 p.m.

This session will give an overview of the Academic Advising Center’s work with the exploring student population by highlighting different approaches and strategies to student academic success, academic persistence, and transition to an academic college based on students’ career and academic interests. (back to top)

Everyone Wants a Piece of It: How to Maintain Programmatic Integrity in Community College Orientation Programs

Vicki Atkinson, Director, New Student Programs, Harper College
Linda Frank, Counselor, Associate Professor, Harper College
SandraVega-Picchietti, Harper College
APC1700

Community college orientation programs face substantial challenges as they try to deliver student-centered, individualized support to new students. Increasingly, with enrollment pressure and increasing specialty programs to support students in transition, the “front door” is becoming quite crowded. How do orientation programs maintain integrity in content and avoid the perception that orientation is one long commercial? Join us to learn how one community college is tackling the challenge. (back to top)

The Power of Peer Mentors in Setting the First-Year Pace at Western Illinois University

Katrina Daytner, Interim Associate Dean for COEHS, Western Illinois University
Nancy Parsons, Associate Provost for Undergraduate and Graduate Education,
Western Illinois University
Stacey Macchi, Faculty Associate for FYE, Western Illinois University
Mary Friday, Peer Mentor in the FYE Program, Western Illinois University
Christopher Guidi, Peer Mentor in the FYE Program, Western Illinois University
Cody Schara, Graduate Assistant for the FYE Program, Western Illinois University
APC185

Peer mentors serve as an aid to first-year students both in and out of the classroom environment. Western Illinois University has a dynamic peer mentor program that allows students to gain valuable experience in leadership, training & development and communication. This presentation will share information about Western Illinois University’s Peer Mentor Training Program and utilization of peer mentors throughout the FYE program. (back to top)

SPONSOR AND POSTER SESSION SHOWCASE   1:20–1:50 p.m.

Academic Professional Center, Room 110

E-Mentoring: An Extensive View and Potential Applications Based on the Study of a First-Year Initiative for Residential Students

Lina Anastasovitou, Advisory Board, Center for Lifelong Learning, Benedictine University

The session presents outcomes of a research analysis on the effectiveness of e-Mentoring in student life using data from the Accommodation Transitions program at Kingston University London. The profile and communication of the participants were analyzed using content and discourse analyses. Based on the study, recommendations for potential applications of the program as a learning and retention tool in diverse student groups and a larger scale research are provided. (back to top)

Impact of Peer Mentoring in First-Year Composition

Christopher Parker, Associate Vice Provost of Academic Outcomes Assessment,
Office of Assessment Services, Northern Illinois University
Michael Day, First-Year Composition Program, Department of English,
Northern Illinois University
Tawanda Gipson, Research Associate, Office of Assessment Services,
Northern Illinois University
Eric Hoffman, Coordinator, Networked Writing and Research, Department of English, Northern Illinois University
Ellen Franklin, Assistant to the Director of First-Year Composition,
Northern Illinois University
Meghan Huntoon, Doctoral Student, Northern Illinois University

In Spring 2015 , Northern Illinois University’s Office of Assessment Services performed a program evaluation of a peer advocate program geared toward students enrolled in First-Year Composition courses. Information was gathered from student surveys about feelings of campus connection, relationship quality, resource use, and learning. Survey ratings from the peer advocate group showed correlations between academic resource use, learning, and campus connection. (back to top)

Student Success for the Exploring Student: The Academic Advising Role

Michelle Pickett, Academic Advising Center Director, Northern Illinois University
Susana DasNeves, Academic Advisor/Counselor, Northern Illinois University

This poster session will address student retention and major declaration strategies to ensure student career success for the “Exploring” student. Discussion of a trifold partnership between the student, parent, and academic advisor coupled with the assessment of students’ study skills, new student profile, and collaborations with career services will be shared with the audience. (back to top)

Sophomores and Service

Denise Rode, EdD, Director, First- and Second-Year Experience, Northern Illinois University
Amy Henkel, Undergraduate Student, Northern Illinois University

For the past two years, NIU has coordinated a month of service events specifically for second-year students as a collaboration between First- and Second-Year Experience, Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honor Society, and nine service sites in the local community. This poster session will a) visually depict sophomores in service to their community; b) share basic assessment data from the first two years; and c) describe how other institutions can develop similar programs. (back to top)

Peer Leadership: The Powerful Piece in Programming

Shawnda Freer, Director of First Year Experience / Asst. Dir. Academic Enrichment Center / Asst. Professor of Student Development, Taylor University
Morgan Morris, Graduate Assistant for The First-Year Experience

This poster session will provide a literature review regarding the benefits and challenges of peer leadership. Also presented will be the value of peer leadership for promoting student success in a variety of curricular and co-curricular programs. Finally, a current model of peer leadership from a First Year Experience program and adaptations of the model to various programmatic areas will be shared. (back to top)

Need a little TLC?: Incorporating First-Year Seminars in Themed Learning Communities

Kelly Smith, Assistant Director, Northern Illinois University
Stephanie Zobac, Associate Director, Northern Illinois University

This presentation focuses on First-Year Seminars (FYS) and Themed Learning Communities (TLC) at Northern Illinois University. The integration of FYS into TLCs provides a comprehensive experience for first-year students. We will discuss the practical integration of FYS in TLCs. Assessment reveals that TLCs with FYS embedded increases students’ 1) sense of belonging, 2) engagement, 3) academic success, and 4) retention. (back to top)

Shaping Campus Culture Through a Common Reading Experience

Denise Rode, EdD, Director, First- and Second-Year Experience, Northern Illinois University
Kelly Smith, Assistant Director, First- and Second-Year Experience,
Northern Illinois University

This session will explore the power of a common reading experience (CRE) to influence a campus-wide culture. Now in its seventh year, Northern Illinois University’s CRE has grown from a small initiative involving a few first-year seminar sections to an integral part of the first-year program. This session will trace the evolution of NIU’s CRE, discuss parameters for selecting the books used so far, and share how campus and community support has developed in a few short years. (back to top)

Academic Success for First-Year Students at Northern Illinois University: The Role of Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research through the Research Rookies Program

Lauren Boddy, Program Assistant, Northern Illinois University
Marilyn Lorch, Office Specialist, Northern Illinois University
Katie Grosshart, Graduate Assistant, Northern Illinois University

This poster explores the benefits of faculty-mentored undergraduate research in helping first-year students transition to university. This poster will focus on NIU’s Research Rookies program, which engages freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester transfer students in a year-long faculty-mentored research project. This poster will overview marketing and recruitment strategies, mentoring, and assessment, including data on the effectiveness of the program. (back to top)

SESSION III    2–3 p.m.

Developing a Mandatory Academic Advising Model

Kerri Langdon, First Year Experience Coordinator, Rock Valley College
Patrick Peyer, Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Retention, Rock Valley College
APC110A

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of academic advising, and the importance of encouraging first-year students to meet with an academic advisor to carefully plan their coursework. This session will provide the framework for how Rock Valley College was able to implement a mandatory academic advising model that requires students to engage in intentional dialogue regarding their degree planning and coursework selection from the beginning of their academic career until they’ve reached 18 credit hours. (back to top)

NODA: Best Practices in Orientation

Desiree C. Novak, Associate Dean of Students, Director of Student Success and Retention, Elmhurst College
Vicki Atkinson, Director of New Student Programs and Retention, Harper College
Sarah Gardiner, Honors Advisor and Program Specialist, Honors College,
University of Illinois - Chicago
APC120

This session, hosted by NODA - Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education, will gather experts from various types of institutions to discuss best practices in orientation and beyond. Audience questions and sharing will be welcome. (back to top)

Partnerships 101: What Two- and Four-Year Colleges Can Do Together to Support First-Year Students

Alvaro Marmolejo Davis, Program Coordinator, Community College Connection,
St. Cloud State University
APC160

This session will use diverse frameworks (organizational, student success, developmental) to facilitate a comprehensive discussion of the relevance, contributions, and challenges of establishing partnerships between two-year and four-year institutions of higher education in the United States. The session will be structured to enable a linear understanding of the “how-to” process of designing and implementing a partnership (from planning an agreement to executing the program). (back to top)

Designing and Assessing New Student Orientation and First-Year Experience Programs at Community Colleges

Anthony Ramos, Coordinator, Student Orientation and Retention,
Oakton Community College
APC170

While new student orientation and first-year experience programs are typically required at four-year institutions, community colleges encounter unique challenges in mandating participation. Some of these challenges are based on resources available, and others are due to the diversity of students served by community colleges. During this session, participants will learn about challenges in the design, execution, and assessment of orientation programs at community colleges as well as learn about the reinvention of New Student Orientation at Oakton Community College. (back to top)

Jump Start: A Community College Summer Bridge Program in Math and English

Ali O’Brien, Assistant Vice President, Educational Affairs, College of Lake County
APC185

To address the large number of students requiring remedial coursework, the College of Lake County developed Jump Start, a Math and English summer bridge program. The program offers a free remedial course with wrap around support services to help recent high school graduates successfully transition from high school to college. This presentation describes Jump Start’s history, logistics, and college readiness components and includes an examination of data on the program. (back to top)

SESSION IV    3:10–4:10 p.m.

Finishing the Race Strong: Pecha Kucha Conversation Presentations

Academic Professional Center, Room 110

Beyond Requirements: Reminding Students that College is for Learning

Amanda Durik, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Psychology, Northern Illinois University

This talk reviews theory and research suggesting that students who believe that their abilities can change and grow are more resilient in the face of difficulty compared with similar peers who believe that their abilities are static. The implications of these ideas will be discussed in terms of helping students to think about classes as opportunities for growth rather than opportunities to “get requirements out of the way.” (back to top)

Stories from the Dark Side: Lessons to Be Learned

Brad Garner, PhD
Director of Faculty Enrichment & The Learning Academy
Center for Learning and Innovation, Indiana Wesleyan University

This session will explore the value of stories from a most unusual source…the pathways, challenges, celebrations, dreams, heartaches…that define who we are. True for us, true for our students. (back to top)

CHOICES Matter!

Monique Bernoudy, Associate Athletics Director, Northern Illinois University

Educators who support first-year students possess a breadth of skills and face a number of challenges. This presentation will assist educators in refocusing on the tools necessary for students to gain immediate and sustained success. It is loosely based on Boyer’s six principles and designed to motivate, energize and cause participants to reflect on themselves and on their approach to educating students. (back to top)

Getting Real About the “F” Word

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, PhD, CASP
Assistant Vice President for Student Auxiliary Services
Northwestern University Division of Student Affairs

The “F”word. Whether used as a noun, adjective, or expletive, more often than not it’s used disparagingly and seen as a “dirty word.” Face it, we all find ourselves struggling to understand the “f ” word, and make false assumptions about its origin, true meaning, and purpose. This talk will focus on the “f” word, its significance, history, and contributions, and help shed light on its continued relevance in today’s modern world. (back to top)