Sept. 23, 2013

ANSON SMITH AT 203-332-5229

Student First-Year Experience
Subject of 9/27 HCC Workshop

Solutions, Best Practices To Be Examined

BRIDGEPORT - The problematic educational experience of first-year college students will be the subject of an all-day workshop Friday, Sept. 27 at Housatonic Community College.

The workshop will be conducted by a national expert on the subject, Dr. Betsy Barefoot, vice president of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Barefoot, who is directly involved with the development of instruments and strategies to address this problem will examine the causes of low student retention and graduation rates both nationally and in Connecticut, and discuss what can be done to improve them..

Nationally, the graduation rate for two-year institutions in 2010 was only 28 percent, while only 56 percent of students moved to a second year of studies from their first.

The reasons for these less-than-ideal graduation and retention rates are many and varied. These include the student “achievement gap” that higher education institutions inherit from K-12 educational systems; the increasing financial constraints on all public and private institutions; the academic and non-academic challenges faced by an increasing number of students; and the problems faced in implementing best practices and strategies.

“We’ll be looking at measures such as giving students more exposure to college survival skills, connecting them with adult mentors as soon as possible, and getting them to focus on career programs as soon as possible,” said David Johnson of the Hartford-based Center for Higher Education Excellence, which is cosponsoring the event
The HCC workshop will be of interest to post-secondary school senior administrators and support service personnel, staff, representatives of community-based agencies concerned about the success of youths they serve, selected secondary school representatives and others.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Events Center in Beacon Hall. The fee, which includes breakfast, lunch and materials, is $150.

To reserve a seat, contact David Johnston at 860-702-8301.

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit1), a block from the Harbor Yard sports complex.