Foundations for Excellence seeks to engage first-year students
Like a newborn baby whose first 12 months form the framework of her life, or an impressionable five-year-old whose experiences in kindergarten influence his success in school for the next 12 years—a college student in his or her first year of studies is a fragile combination of bravado, inexperience, self-confidence and self-doubt.
College students in their first year can be crushed by a small failure that might roll off the back of a more experienced student. A seemingly simple task done online might seem insurmountable to the older student enrolled in a modern college atmosphere for the first time. A thoughtless word by a professor, an endless line at a cashier’s window, an impossibly priced book for a stretched-tight budget…all can be the final small blow that leads to an unfinished degree.
Unfinished degrees are the unfulfilled promise of all colleges, and because community colleges like Columbus State have a higher percentage of first-time college students, we are most susceptible to the many challenges of the first year.
Columbus State has recently been accepted into a self-study and improvement process for first-year college students called Foundations of Excellence. The process was developed at the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.
The basis for Foundations of Excellence is a campus-based task force—a group with broad representation from across the campus. The work of the task force begins with a campus audit of the first year for new and transfer students, continues with a nine- to twelve-month process of evaluation using performance indicators, and culminates in the development of a strategic action plan for campus improvement.
Some colleges that have participated in the Foundations of Excellence program have reported outcomes that include increased campus-wide awareness of the importance of the first year, more faculty buy-in to first-year efforts, retention gains, improved student-to-student mentoring, improved student referral processes, and better orientation programs, among many other outcomes.
The Foundations of Excellence process is already under way, led by task force members Marty Maliwesky, Brian Seeger, Mokie Steiskal, Karen Muir, Jan Rogers, Sue Donohue, Mark Bocija and Tom Erney. You can read more about Foundations of Excellence online here.
Construction on Spring Street begins Wednesday
The City of Columbus will begin some repair work on Spring Street Wednesday, October 27. The construction will last about four weeks and will reduce some of the lanes on Spring Street at times. This may also cause increased traffic on Cleveland Avenue as motorists try to avoid Spring Street.
Donate your lunch money!
Staff Advisory Council has teamed up again this year with the Children's Hunger Alliance for the Annual Lunch Money for a Day Campaign. Employees are being asked to donate $5 of their “lunch money” toward fighting hunger in our community. Staff Council will have donation bags available at In-Service Day, Wednesday, October 27.
PC and Printer Replacements This Week (Oct. 25-29)
Tree dedicated to Autism Awareness
The Columbus State Autism Awareness and Advocacy Club dedicated a tree on the southeast corner of the TL building to autism awareness October 21 in recognition of Disability Awareness Month. Students, staff, and faculty are invited to tie a ribbon on the tree to recognize friends, neighbors, classmates, or relatives on the autism spectrum. There is a box attached to the tree with ribbons for use. Club members also hung puzzle pieces with informational facts about autism. The ribbons will remain available through November. Next week, the club plans to dedicate a similar tree at the Delaware Campus.
Dr. Harrison to facilitate What the Best College Teachers Do panel Nov. 4
A panel of recent Distinguished Teaching Award winners will share their experiences in response to the first chapter of the book What the Best College Teachers Do on Thursday, November 4, at 9 a.m. in the Conference Center Ballroom, WD 435. Faculty panelists will be: Tina Berry (2009), Adam Keller (2009) and Leslie Smith (2008).
Don’t miss this opportunity to tell your stories about effective teaching at Columbus State. Pre-register for the discussion. A limited number of books are available to faculty (only) who pre-register.
For more information contact Rich James, program coordinator for Faculty Development.
ACT Center to offer MS Office certification classes
This certification on the MS 2007 Office Platform is the globally recognized, standards-based certification program. This is the premier credential chosen by individuals seeking to validate their knowledge, skills and abilities relating to the 2007 Microsoft Office suite.
The cost for the MS Office application certifications is $99. Anyone who attains four of the five MS Office Specialist Applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, or Outlook) automatically receives the Microsoft Office 2007 Master Certification. The ACT/Talent Development Center is located on the second floor of the Center for Workforce Development (WD) building. Contact the center at ext. 5750 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.