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K-State First

Letter from the Director

Gregory Eiselein

Ten years ago this summer, a small group of K-State faculty and student life professionals were putting together the final plan for a First-Year Seminar program. That pilot study which ran in the fall of 2008 with a little over 200 students developed into what became K-State First in the fall of 2010 and now serves over 2,000 students, in addition to supporting our university-wide common reading program known as KSBN and advocating for exciting educational opportunities for all first-year students. Continue reading “Letter from the Director”

Highlights from the 37th Annual First-Year Experience Conference

In February of this year, eight faculty and staff members from K-State attended the 37th Annual First-Year Experience Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Those who attended were the K-State First team members, Gregory Eiselein, Mandi McKinley, Mariya Vaughan, and Brent Weaver, and our colleagues, Dr. Stephanie Bannister, Tara Coleman, Dr. Emily Lehning, and RJ Youngblood. We learned a lot from other higher learning institutions and also presented our own work to emphasize how K-State continues to be a leader in first-year experience programming. Continue reading “Highlights from the 37th Annual First-Year Experience Conference”

First-Year Student Advocate and 2017 KSBN Award Winners

K-State First and the K-State Book Network presented four winners for our 2017 First-Year Student Advocate and KSBN Awards on March 9, 2018, at The Table at JP’s Bar and Grill. The event was hosted by our Housing and Dining partners, and included a brief ceremony to celebrate the success of these amazing students and faculty members. Continue reading “First-Year Student Advocate and 2017 KSBN Award Winners”

KSBN Faculty Thinks “Outside The Box” to merge First-Year Students with a Dance Performance

Julie L. Pentz

Common reading programs, like the K-State Book Network, are popular in many first-year experience programs and one of the core components of K-State First. The activities used to explore the chosen text provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning that promote meaningful interactions and an exchange of ideas. Dance Professor and K-State First instructor, Julie L. Pentz, encouraged this very thing for our 2017-2018 common book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Pentz partnered reading the book with a choreographic dance in her first year K-State Culture seminar course. This was a new opportunity for all involved, as most of her students had little to no dance experiences when they entered into this course. Continue reading “KSBN Faculty Thinks “Outside The Box” to merge First-Year Students with a Dance Performance”

Going Beyond My First-Year Experience with K-State First

Reagan Swank

As a first-generation student I remember coming into college having no clue how my college experience was going to take off. One of the best decisions that I made as a first-year student was enrolling in the Strengths CAT Community. This class impacted my first-year college experience tremendously. I had class with an experienced teacher that challenged my way of leadership and critical thinking skills. My CAT Community helped me with my transition into college. On top of all of this my class organized a Christmas holiday gathering for the Ogden community near Manhattan. This is an impoverished community that my CAT Community was able to assist first hand and make a difference in. We impacted many of the families in the community. Continue reading “Going Beyond My First-Year Experience with K-State First”

K-State First and #KSUnite

K-State First is dedicated to creating a space where all of our colleagues and students are valued and celebrated. We believe this is an essential component for an effective learning environment. This also allows us the chance to demonstrate to our students the value and importance of diverse perspectives to prepare them for the world outside of the university. Continue reading “K-State First and #KSUnite”

Highlights From the 36th Annual First-Year Experience Conference

In February of this year, fourteen faculty and staff members from K-State attended the 36th Annual First-Year Experience Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Three of our core K-State First team members, Gregory Eiselein, Mandi McKinley, and Mariya Vaughan, attended pre-conference workshops as well. We continued to build our knowledge on best-practices from various higher learning institutions, and also presented our own work to emphasize how K-State continues to be a leader in first-year experience programming. Continue reading “Highlights From the 36th Annual First-Year Experience Conference”

K-State Book Network in 2016 and 2017

Hey Wildcats! I love looking back and seeing how KSBN has grown and changed from when we started in 2010 with “The Hunger Games”.

2017 is the year of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”.  The book tells the story of a quirky young man who sets out to discover who killed his neighbor’s dog and along the way discovers more than he ever expected. Continue reading “K-State Book Network in 2016 and 2017”

K-State First Helps First Generation Students Succeed

K-State First strives to help first year students have a smooth and successful transition into college. Gaining support both in and out of the classroom is key to a successful first year for many students. While the transition to college can generally be challenging for first year students being a first generation college student can add a whole new level of challenges. Continue reading “K-State First Helps First Generation Students Succeed”

Student Advisory Council (SAC): A Year in Review

This past year has been very productive for the K-State First Student Advisory Council. We have continued to be successful in recruiting students through speaking with them at booths and following up with them through email and letter writing. We started a new event event called Cookies and Cocoa, which was very successful. We even had a little fun during the year, including our winter holiday party and our new member meeting at Varsity Donuts. Continue reading “Student Advisory Council (SAC): A Year in Review”

What Being a Residential Learning Assistant Means to Me

From some of my earliest memories, I’ve been shaped by stories. Whether I was being read to in family members’ laps or entering a new world through a TV or movie screen, the characters, places, and themes guided me through my childhood and gave me an escape from the routines of my every day life.

When I was growing up, these stories had a singular, introspective nature. It was only when I got older that I began to understand the connections and lessons that they truly gave me, and this realization took on a new dimension when I came to K-State. Continue reading “What Being a Residential Learning Assistant Means to Me”

Letter from the Director

 

Welcome to the inaugural issue of our K-State First newsletter!

K-State First is the university’s first-year experience program. Our mission is to help new students with the transition from high school to college-level learning and college life.

Our four core programs—First-Year Seminars, CAT Communities, KSBN (our common reading program), and Guide to Personal Success (or GPS, a one-one-mentoring program)—provide students with the opportunity to build the foundation for an engaged and successful college career. In everything we do, we are committed to academic excellence, community, diversity, and the empowerment of students, and we believe strongly that a great college experience begins with a great first year. Continue reading “Letter from the Director”