Recommendations for Institutions Planning a Self-Study of the First-Year Experience
- Invite several "stakeholders" to participate in the self-study. Stakeholders represent programs and offices who work directly with first-year students and who have enough institutional influence to involve the larger community and, if applicable, to implement change. CoFYE found it crucial to bring together representatives from student life and academic divisions.
- Involve a balance of "thinkers" and "doers". Gathering information, deepening the inquiry, and disseminating information requires both types of people.
- Before beginning a self-study, read the Foundational Dimensions developed by the Policy Center on the First Year of College. If possible, send several "stakeholders" to the Annual National Conference on the First-Year Experience. Borrowing responsibly from already existing models of inquiry, benchmarks, and objectives can save time and effort.