Call for Case Studies

New Volume on First-Year Seminars in Learning Communities

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition and the Washington Center are collaborating to produce a new scholarly practice book on the intersection between first-year seminars and community colleges. Lauren Chism Schmidt, director of Themed Learning Communities at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Janine Graziano, faculty coordinator of the Integrated Studies Program at Kingsborough Community College will serve as co-editors for the new volume, which is scheduled for publication in late spring 2015.

The editors invite high-quality case studies describing the integration of first-year seminars into learning communities. For the purposes of this volume, we define these educational initiatives in the following way:

A first-year seminar is a course designed to “assist students in their academic and social development and in their transition to college. A seminar, by definition, is a small discussion-based course in which students and their instructors exchange ideas and information. In most cases, there is a strong emphasis on creating community in the classroom” (Hunter & Linder, 2005, pp. 275-276).

Learning communities enroll cohorts of students in purposefully linked courses, designed to promote connections between disciplines and beyond the classroom. While structures and instructional teams vary by institutional context, generally learning communities foster close connections between students, faculty and staff as active participants in the learning process. Programs may include a residential experience, student mentors, discussion groups, and a variety of other methodologies.

Cases will be selected to represent a variety of seminar types, learning community models, and institutional contexts. Preference will be given to those cases that describe assessment results beyond academic performance (i.e., GPA) and retention.

The deadline for case submission is January 14, 2014.

To review complete case guidelines or submit a case study, visit the National Resource Center publication webpage.