Creating a first year experience seminar at Ball State University : the Cardinal experience

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Williamson, Amanda
Wessel, Roger D.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Educational Studies
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The purpose of this project was to create a First Year Experience seminar course for students during their first semester of their freshman year at Ball State University. The goal of this project was to improve induction and transition programs for first year students and increase retention rates into the second year of school. This creative project was developed to help first year students at Ball State University successfully transition into the university and receive the appropriate amount of academic and social support from peers, faculty, and staff so that higher retention and success rates can be achieved. First year students at the university experience many new challenges and obstacles when adjusting to life at Ball State University and being away from home for the first time. By requiring students to enroll in a First Year Experience (FYE) seminar course during the first semester of their first year, the university creates an academic and social transition experience to continue students’ adjustment period throughout their first semester. This course is a part of each matriculating student’s required credits, and is used to educated students about campus life, resources on campus, life skills to help them be successful in college, and connect them with their peers through a similar experience. This FYE seminar course provides students with extra academic and social experience to encourage a healthy and positive connection with the campus culture and climate. Students will receive course credit, build stronger relationships with professors, staff, and peers, and receive academic and social support throughout their first semester to improve student retention rates and graduation success.