First Year Seminar Oversight Committee
Annual Report,  2008-2009


The First Year Seminar Oversight Committee met 18 times (as of 4/1/09) during the 2008-09 year and will meet at least three more times before the end of the spring term. Stan Crowe was the chair through December 2008. David Redburn assumed the chair position as of January 1, 2009.

In 2008-09, the committee took action on the following matters:

1.  Developed the FYS Student Opinion form and oversaw its first distribution in the fall of 2008. Refined the distribution process for the spring of 2009. The responses to the open ended questions on this form are currently being transcribed and will be evaluated in the fall of 2009.

2.  Had the FYS Website added to the Academic Records Website.

3.   Developed the FYS Sourcebook (Handbook) and had it put on the Website as a Wiki.

4.   Received and approved requests for $105,144 for support of seminar preparation, materials and travel. $9,590 was unused and returned to the FYS account and more will likely be returned at the end of spring term. $14,500 was allocated in each term to fund $250 for each seminar to hold a “bonding” event such as a dinner or other food related event.

5.   Held three wine and hors d’oeuvre social events (October 17, 2008, December 12, 2008 and March 20, 2009) to get FYS faculty together to talk about mutual concerns with regard to the first year of the seminars.

6.   Met with C&IS to discuss setting up an e-portfolio system to collect papers in the spring for the SACS evaluation. Decided to use Moodle and have the students upload a paper from early in the term and one from near the end of the term which will then be evaluated by a team of faculty to ascertain if writing and research skills have been enhanced by the seminars.

7.   Sent two members of the committee to the First Year Assessment Conference in San Antonio in October of 08.

8.   Discussed and approved 23 seminar proposals for the 09-10 academic year.

9.   Developed and carried out a qualitative assessment (Ken Kolb in sociology did this) of two seminars to enhance the quantitative one to be completed in May.

10.   Had Kathleen Yancey, an assessment consultant from Florida State University, hold a workshop on the development of a rubric to be used in our quantitative assessment of the papers for SACS. Twelve people attended the workshop.

11 .  Developed a rubric to be used in the assessment of the FYW seminars in May 2009. Planned the training and recruited faculty to do the assessment in May.

12.   Actively worked to ensure a sufficient number of seminars for the 09-10 academic year.

On behalf of the committee the chair would like to thank Brad Barron for all of his advice and information with regard to the current academic year’s seminars and his invaluable assistance in assuring a sufficient number of seminars for 09-10. We would also like to thank John Beckford, Lori Law, Tom Kazee and Rebecca Looper for their support of the FYS program in so many ways.

The chair would also like to thank the Committee, Diane Boyd (CTEL), Mary Fairbairn (Library), Cynthia King (Communications Studies), Melinda Menzer (English), Marie Watkins (Art), Nick Schisler (Biology), Brad Barron (Registrar) and Shun Griffin (Student) for all of their hard work .

Respectfully submitted,
David E. Redburn, Chair

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