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First-year student success is no accident. Student engagement in a variety of intentionally designed educationally-purposeful activities is necessary to achieve desirable learning outcomes. A common feature of institutions with strong undergraduate programs is the creation of clear pathways for student success via enrollment materials, supportive resources, rituals, and in-and-out of class experiences that heighten students’ commitment to academic success. This presentation will highlight these practices and their implications for promoting student success. We will also consider WMU's results from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) as a tool for reflecting on practices related to first year student achievement and how these data and other campus assessment results can guide the development and improvement of the first year experience.


Dr. Jillian Kinzie from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, presented this keynote address at the 1st WMU Assessment in Action Day Conference held on March 12, 2010.