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Learning How to be a Successful Student: Exploring the Impact of First-Year Seminars on Student Outcomes

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This study uses longitudinal data comprised of responses to the Cooperative Institutional Research Program's (CIRP) 2000 Freshman Survey and the 2001 Your First College Year (YFCY) Survey to investigate the impact of first-year seminars on key student outcomes. Specifically, descriptive analyses address the relationship between taking a first-year seminar and the academic and social experiences of first-year students. Further, regression analyses evaluate the direct and indirect effects of first-year seminar participation on students' feelings of personal success at establishing a network of peers, forging meaningful connections with faculty and staff, and using campus services. Ultimately, these findings speak to the effectiveness of first-year seminars as a means of facilitating the transition from high school to college.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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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