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The Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching, and University Assessment

Faculty Learning Community: Creating Significant Learning Experiences for the First-Year College Student

description: The faculty in this community will band together to design meaningful, significant learning experiences for their first-year students.
amount: Each participant will have $500 to support his or her efforts, for example, purchase of hardware or software, travel to conferences, etc.
eligibility: Faculty, staff, and graduate students currently teaching or slated to teach first-year students.
selection: The FLC's facilitator will choose the FLC members.
submission: Please send an electronic copy of your application to CELTUA and one original application with your signature page via campus mail to CELTUA.
due date: Applications due May 20, 2011.

Purpose and Description

The first year of college is often a time of confusion, disorientation, and even alienation for many students. Nationwide, one in four first-years will drop out before completing the sophomore year. The reasons for this vary, but recent reports suggest that new students often feel overwhelmed and unprepared for the socio-academic challenges of college life.

This Faculty Learning Community will address the needs of first-year students as they encounter the initial academic challenges of college life through the creation of course activities, assignments and human interaction that sets the stage for a meaningful, enriching college experience.


FLC members participate through:

Case Studies:

Each FLC member will be asked to construct a set of case studies on selected members of their first-year class(es).

Collected Teaching Strategies:

Each FLC member will locate, modify, or design at least five proven teaching strategies to share with other FLC members. This collection will be compiled and shared electronically beyond the FLC.

Regular meetings to discuss reading, projects, and other FLC activities will be scheduled.

Regular visits to each other's classes will be arranged.

Effective Syllabi and Course Designs:

After a period of reading and study, FLC members, working collaboratively, will produce a set of annotated model syllabi for First-Year classes.


Individuals from various campus departments and agencies that provide programming and services to first-year students will be asked to FLC meetings.


We will conduct a professional visitation to another institution with a reputation for high-quality first-year programs.

We will participate in the CELTUA Teaching and Learning Forum.

We will attend the Lilly Conference on College Teaching.

Participation as appropriate:

First-year students from Kopp's EDT 190 "Introduction to Education" course (as well as other courses furnished by FLC members) will act as a sounding board to help members gain insight from direct contact with entering students.


Erickson, B. L., et al. (2006).Teaching first-year college students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Nathan, R. (2005).My freshman year: What a professor learned by becoming a student. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP.

Current Members


  • Beth Akers, Recreational Sports Center
  • Vicka Bell-Robinson, Office of Residence Life
  • Anne Chesnut, Education, Health & Society, Student Associate
  • Evan Crawford, Education, Health & Society, Student Associate
  • Jeannie Ducher, Teacher Education
  • Zachary Hornberger, Education, Health and Society, Student Associate
  • Tom Kopp, Teacher Education, Facilitator
  • Mysore Narayanan, Engineering Technology
  • Steven Pauna, Theatre
  • Christin Schillinger, Music
  • Kevin Sequeira, Zoology
  • Jennifer Siliko, Recreational Sports
  • Elizabeth Stoll, Office of Student Affairs
  • Emily Thieman, Education, Health and Society, Student Associate
  • Madeline VanBenschoten, Education, Health & Society, Student Associate

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