Faculty, staff, graduate students invited May 17 to UNIV 101 instructor development conference

Kevin Clarke

Kevin Clarke

First-Year Experience invites all NIU staff, faculty and graduate students to attend the morning of the UNIV 101/201 Instructor Development Conference, scheduled Friday, May 17, in Barsema Hall 300.

The day will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation by Vice Provost Anne Birberick on “Factors Influencing Academic Achievement for NIU Students.”

Kevin Clarke, coordinator for Faculty Development and Assessment for University 101 Programs at the University of South Carolina (USC), also will present that day.

At USC, home of the National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience, Clarke is responsible for developing and facilitating faculty training, workshops and support resources for nearly 300 instructors, peer leaders and graduate leaders, managing and developing assessment initiatives, and developing lesson plans, assignments and tools to further enhance USC’s first-year seminar, University 101.

This year’s May Instructor Development Conference will focus on academic achievement in the first year and will prepare UNIV 101/201 Instructors to continue to help NIU students reach academic success and be retained as a result of participating in UNIV.

The UNIV 101 class of Andy Small and Connie Storey gathers ouside the Center for Black Studies last fall.

The UNIV 101 class of Andy Small and Connie Storey gathers ouside the Center for Black Studies last fall.

UNIV 101 at NIU is a one-credit, 12-week course focused on helping first-year students develop the essential academic and social skills needed to create a successful transition to NIU. UNIV 201 is a similar course designed specifically for transfer students. Each year, between 55 percent and 60 percent of the freshman class enrolls in a UNIV 101 course. Each class section has an average class size of 18 students to foster close peer and instructor interaction.

NIU faculty/staff members who teach the course are committed to helping first-year and transfer students succeed.

UNIV 101/201 logoEvery May, UNIV 101/201 instructors attend an instructor development conference intended to provide valuable insights into the fundamental areas of first-year student instruction, course strategies for active learning, campus resources designed for student success, and the unique opportunity to get to know other UNIV instructors as they share experiences.

Involvement in UNIV 101/201 is a key principle of faculty development that allows faculty to have a more well-rounded and holistic understanding of the college experience. Meanwhile, students who complete first-year seminars have higher GPAs and are more likely to be retained to graduation.

For more information, call (815) 753-0028 or email firstconn@niu.edu.

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