WMU News

Facilitators sought for First-Year Experience

April 19, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Faculty facilitators will be critical to the success of Western Michigan University's new First-Year Experience initiative, Provost Linda Delene said in an April 4 letter to the Deans' Council.

Faculty members are needed to facilitate some 30 FYE groups of about 21 members each for the 2005-06 academic year. These groups, called sections, will start and finish their first academic year together. It is anticipated that having a good start at WMU will help the students persist in their studies through graduation.

"Such coordination from the June registration session through the August program and the academic year should create a sense of community with continuity for students as they begin their collegiate careers at WMU," Delene wrote.

"We hope to attract colleagues from across disciplines who understand the importance of faculty to student interaction and the impact building this relationship has on student persistence."

Facilitators will mainly be responsible for leading FYE seminars and mentoring the students in their sections. They will be assigned an upper-level student assistant to work with them.

For the fall semester, facilitators will have the opportunity to chose either a professional development grant worth $1,500 or to be paid a $1,500 stipend over the course of each semester.

Nominations should be sent by e-mail no later than April 23 to John Beacon at <john.beacon@wmich.edu>.

Expections for faculty facilitators

Attend a half-day training session in early May (student support staff will also attend)

Attend the first day of Fall Welcome where they will meet their assigned students and attend convocation as a group

Teach one FYE course section

Attend four co-curricular activities each semester with their students

In tandem with their student support staff, conduct on-going mentoring

Identify students experiencing difficulties and make referrals to support services and advisors

Attend meetings at the end of each semester and engage in program assessment

Expected benefits for students

Enhance essential academic skills

Strengthen academic and co-curricular program linkages among participants

Improve understanding of the value and elements of the University's general education program

Develop an appreciation for and involvement with the creative and visual arts

Develop an appreciation for and understanding of the value of diversity

Encourage student self-assessment and goal clarification

Reduce student attrition

Improve student pride

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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