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The Role of Preceptors in First-Year Student Engagement in Introductory Courses

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The preceptor program at the University of Hartford was designed to increase engagement among first-year students and to provide role-modeling opportunities for upper-class students. Data from the first two years of the program were examined. In the first year, 611 undergraduate students in 40 introductory-level courses (26 with preceptors, 14 without) participated in the study; in the second year, 664 undergraduate students in 52 introductory-level courses (35 with preceptors, 17 without) participated. First-year students in preceptor courses reported significantly greater engagement than first-year students in non-preceptor courses, although there was some evidence that the preceptor effect was greater in professional courses than in liberal arts courses. Testimony from both preceptors and faculty suggested that the preceptors were effective role models for good student habits. Suggestions for future research and for program implementation are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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