First Year Transformation

Transforming the Early College Experience to Promote Success

Early Alert Expansion

UIC established its early alert system in 2014. The system was developed internally through Banner, the institution’s enterprise system, and targets high enrollment first-year courses, such as first-year math courses. Research suggests that when carefully constructed and implemented purposely, early alert systems can be helpful in increasing student retention and completion rates. Therefore, increasing the scope, in terms of the courses included and the types of alerts, could be very beneficial to students. The revision of the Early Alerts program aligns with UIC’s commitment to increase retention and completion outcomes among its students. This proposed, two-year project will extend and compliment the non-cognitive research and the CPS high school freshman on-track work to identify early impediments to success. Impediments to success can be both academic and non-academic. Academic impediments may include: credits, grades, class attendance, and dropping a class, while non-academic impediments may include: student account balances, lack of involvement in social activities, and off-campus employment hours worked. This project is funded in part by The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation and an anonymous foundation.

Team members involved with this project: Sue Farruggia, Chanel Phillips, Bonnie Solomon, Cheon-Woo Han, and Julienne Palbusa

First-Year Seminar Expansion

Research literature shows that high-impact practices such as first-year seminars help to increase student retention and completion rates. The First-Year Seminar Expansion will assess the level of best-practice curricula utilized within UIC first year seminars. This expansion project will also measure the effectiveness of first-year seminar expansion course offerings to the UIC student population. This project is funded in part by an anonymous foundation.

Team members involved with this project: Sue Farruggia, Chanel Phillips, Tom Moss, Bonnie Solomon, Cheon-Woo Han, and Julienne Palbusa

Noncognitive Student Profile Tool

Based on previous research conducted by the Office for Research on Student Success at UIC, student noncognitive factors, such as academic mindsets, learning strategies and perseverance, have been shown to be associated with important outcomes, such as grades, credits earned, and retention. In order to better understand student success and enhance the way students are advised in the first year of college, we are conducting additional research to identify which noncognitive skills assessed pre-matriculation are the best predictors of success. Then, a student noncognitive profile tool will be developed for advisors to integrate the research findings into their advising practices. This tool will help advisors to see, at a glance, areas of student strengths and areas in which students could enhance, tailoring support to each student’s unique needs. This project is funded by an anonymous foundation.

Team members involved with this project: Sue Farruggia, Julienne Palbusa, Cheon-Woo Han, Chanel Phillips, and Bonnie Solomon