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USG First Year Seminar Workshop Preliminary Agenda

Workshop Goals/Outcomes

This workshop on first-year seminar (FYS) courses is being hosted by the University System of Georgia (USG), in coordination with the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience (NRC) and Georgia Tech. After participating in this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify resources, trends, and promising practices for first-year seminar courses
  • Share experiences, ideas, and curriculum across the USG institutions
  • Network with USG peers and colleagues who teach and support first-year seminars

Intended Participants

USG faculty, administrators and staff who direct, coordinate, and/or teach First-Year (and other transition year) Seminars or who work closely with these seminars on their campuses, including Orientation and Transition Programs, Centers for Teaching and Learning, Student/Academic Success Centers, and Advising and Student Affairs.



Printable version




Registration, Breakfast, Gathering


Opening Session

  • Welcome (Jonathan Hull, USG)
  • Overview of Workshop & Introduction of Speaker (Steven Girardot, Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Opening Plenary: “A Foundation for Success: The ‘Who?’ ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ of First-Year Seminars” (Jennifer Keup, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition) (NRC)




Breakout Sessions I
Building Blocks for an Effective First-Year Assessment Plan
Jennifer Keup, NRC
Salon 4, 5, 6

What Makes a First-Year Seminar High-Impact? Exploring Conditions That Count
Tracy Skipper, NRC
Conference Room D

By Your Powers Combined: The Essential Elements of Dynamic First-Year Seminar Classrooms
Rico Reed and Laren Hall Rippy NRC
Conference Room E


Lunch and Networking (Resource Sharing)
Participants bring copies of syllabi, textbooks, marketing resources, to display/share
Conference Restaurant, First Floor


Breakout Sessions II
Faculty Development Programming for FYS Instructors
Ryan Bronkema, University of West Georgia
Salon 5

Strategies for Supporting Underrepresented Students in First-Year Seminars
Nikki Simpson and Erin Weston, Georgia College & State University
Salon 6

Continuing the Conversation: Assessing your FYS Course and Program
Justin Jernigan and Catherine Thomas, Georgia Gwinnett College
Conference Room D

Strategies for Effectively Incorporating Peer Mentors into your FYS
Lacy Hodges, Georgia Tech
Chris Caplinger, Georgia Southern University
Conference Room E


Breakout Sessions III
Faculty Development Programming for FYS Instructors (Repeated)
Ryan Bronkema, University of West Georgia
Salon 5

Supporting Students Beyond the First-Year
Nirmal Trivedi, Kennesaw State University
Salon 6

Engaging Campus Resources and Partners in the First-Year Seminar
Justin Jernigan, Georgia Gwinnett College
Conference Room D

Leveraging your LMS and Other Low-Cost Resources in your First-Year Seminar
Chris Caplinger, Georgia Southern University
Conference Room E




Closing Q&A Panel
Moderator: Steven Girardot, Georgia Institute of Technology