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.
Members of our K-State First team and campus partners presented on a variety of topics related to student success and program identity. Mariya Vaughan presented “Hashtags and Handles: Building FYE Program Identity Through Social Media” which provided an overview of common practices and strategies used by K-State First to connect, inform, and engage with our students, campus, and community through various social media platforms.
Vaughan also presented with Tara Coleman and Gregory Eiselein on “Archiving (for) the Future: Creating First-Year Experience Programs Digital Archives” which highlighted the processes of creating a digital archive to document our program’s history and successes.
Don Saucier and Stuart Miller presented “Trickle-Down Engagement: Maximizing Teacher and Student Engagement in First-Year Courses” that explored the possibility that enhancing the engagement of college teachers will “trickle down” to enhance the engagement (and learning) of their students and the data that supports this model.
Some of our campus partners from the Academic Achievement Center (AAC) and K-State Libraries shared their expertise as well. Heather Moore, an Academic Coach with the AAC, presented “Proactively Preventing the Pitfalls: Requiring Proactive Advising for At-Risk Students”. Charissa Powell and Ashley Stark from the K-State Libraries gave their talk on “Working Together: Orienting Students to Campus Resources the Fun Way”.
Overall it was a great learning experience and a chance to continue our collaboration and partnerships across our own university. We look forward to attending and presenting at the 37th FYE conference this upcoming February as well.