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9 April 2007

Update on Parsing the First-Year of College Project
(Penn State Study)

Fall 2006, Jacksonville State University, along with 34 colleges and universities nationwide, was selected to participate in the Parsing the First Year of College Project study (a.k.a. Penn State Study) conducted by the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State University. This study supported by a grant from The Spencer Foundation is a three-year research and development project that maps the comprehensive influences affecting student learning and persistence among new students during their first year of college. The Study examines first-year student success as it is shaped by students’ experiences, the peer environment, faculty members’ values and activities, and internal institutional structures, practices, and policies. The Study involves students, faculty members, and senior administrators on each campus.


At JSU, the Study is proceeding as planned. In December 2006, 43% of the JSU faculty members responded to the Study’s “Survey of Faculty Activities and Perceptions”, 7% higher than the median response rate across all 35 participating institutions. Currently 66% (168) of students selected from 16 English 101 and 102 classes have completed three instruments: the Critical Thinking component of the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP), National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and CAAP Supplemental Student Survey, were administered in class April 2 through 5. Data collection for the Writing Skills component will take place every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on April 10 and 11, on the 11th floor of the library. All students who have completed the first three instruments are invited and encouraged to participate. Students who complete the Writing Skills component will be awarded a red JSU book bag and a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from Best Buy.


For more details about the Study, please contact the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at 8144.


See related article concerning JSU's participation in this study of student retention: "JSU Joins Study of Student Retention".

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