|College transition made easier with yearOne initiative|
|Written by Tim Crisp, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Tuesday, 07 April 2009 18:00|
As any college student knows (or is coming to find out) the first year of college life can be a very trying period.
Whether a student is a freshman or a transfer, adjusting to course work, living away from home and the social aspects of college life offer a variety of difficulties in this transitional period.
That is why ISU has taken the step to make the process easier through the yearOne initiative.
The yearOne initiative looks to organize all the aspects of ISU's programs and services for the first year transition and integrate them into one partnership, according to committee co-chair Danielle Miller-Schuster.
"When you look at our first year, you're going to find that we're doing a really good job, there's no doubt about it," Miller-Schuster said.
"But right now, [programs] are compartmentalized all over, so this makes up all the different programs and units that work with a first-year student whether it's a freshman or a transfer student."
The goal of the program is to help students not only organize the challenges of their first year, but also to prioritize, according to co-chair Danielle Lindsey.
"They not only get the things that are really targeting just first-year students, but they're also getting the same things that juniors and seniors are getting because they're open to all students," Lindsey said.
"I think we're helping to filter that information and present it in a way that's coming at the right time."
Ultimately, the goal is for the yearOne emblem to become a symbol which lets first year students know what is important for them.
"We at Illinois State University believe that the first year of college is a critical time in student's lives," the mission statement reads.
"We work as a diverse community of learners to provide a supportive environment for our first year students during their transition."
The efforts to make the transition easier for first year students involves a trying process for the yearOne committee which includes thorough research of the work being done at other schools and the use of focus groups.
"We have done a lot of research in understanding what those incoming students need at certain points," Lindsey said. "What things do they go through?"
"Anything we do we try to include focus groups of students," Miller-Schuster said. These groups include both freshman and transfer students, as well as juniors and seniors in order to gain a complete perspective on what needs students have.
Right now this is the time where yearOne committee members are looking to find the best means of reaching their goals through the use of an interactive website and technology.
"What we're looking at is how do we best utilize technology to further engage students with the campus community in order to help facilitate their transition throughout the year," Lindsey said. "And that's a big question."
However large the task, it seems the yearOne committee is up for the challenge and are willing to take the time to make sure they reach their goals.
"If we can have students more engaged and more successful as a result, than we've done our job," Miller-Schuster said.