Kansas State University


K-State First

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.

We’ve gone through a lot of changes since the founding of the program in 2010 and our initial pilot studies in 2008 and 2009. We’re hoping that a newsletter might be one way to keep our alumni, friends, and faculty up to date with some of those changes as they happen.

K-State First continues to have a positive impact on students’ persistence and graduation rates as well as their engagement with the college experience and their overall academic performance. We enrolled nearly 2,000 students in our First-Year Seminars and CAT Communities this year, and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was a big hit as our KSBN book selection for 2017-2018.

We’ve also experienced some major changes over the past year. In 2016, we merged with the University Experience and Pilots programs to create a single first-year experience program at K-State – K-State First. We continue to work closely with Housing & Dining on the Residential CAT Communities and the Beyond the Classroom faculty series. But we have also significantly expanded our partnership with the Academic Achievement Center on a variety of projects from Orientation and Enrollment and the creation of our new Student Success CAT Communities to the re-design of EDCEP 111 University Experience into a First-Year Seminar course.

In January, we hired a new Learning Assistant Coordinator, Brent Weaver, who has jumped into his new role with an incredible amount of energy and vision. Welcome, Brent!

Finally, we are delighted to report that we have moved our offices from Leasure to Holton Hall (rooms 014, 016, and 016A). The relocation doubled the size of our office space and helped us adjust to our significant growth over the years. Even more importantly, it put us in the same building as our vital partners, the Academic Achievement Center and Student Life, and thereby helps us promote our collaboration and interaction with them in the newly created University Success Center.

Thank you, our alumni and friends, for your support of K-State First as we grow and become an essential part of the first-year experience at K-State.

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