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our, one-credit courses have been
created and offered this semester
under the umbrella of "The First-
Year Experience." With the first
year of the project funded by a grant from
the Massachusetts Department of Higher
Education's statewide Vision Project, the
program is being piloted in years one and
two, and will be fully implemented in year
As part of the Vision Project the master
plan to establish Massachusetts' public
higher education system as a national
leader in college attendance, graduation
rates, student learning and assessment,
success in meeting workforce needs, and
closing achievement gaps MCC's new
First-Year initiative incorporates nationally
recognized high-impact practices. These
teaching and learning experiences have
been documented as contributing to
increasing student retention, persistence,
graduation and transfer. (See next page.)
The First-Year Experience started this
semester and builds on the successes being
achieved through the college's existing
Strategies for Success Title III grant
program a collegewide initiative that
promotes achievement, cultivates
persistence and retention, and encourages
engagement among Middlesex students.
The comprehensive effort was co-directed
by Provost and Vice President of Academic
Affairs Phil Sisson and Vice President of
Enrollment Services, Research & Planning
Lois Alves.
The new first-year courses were developed
by curriculum design teams that included
representatives from faculty, advising,
student affairs and academic support. All
four courses were offered free to students
who must take them within their first 30
credits. When the program is fully
implemented as planned, all first-time
MCC students will be required to complete
three one-credit course experiences.
The new courses are: First-Year Experience
Seminar/Linked Learning Communities
supervised by Associate Provost Clea
Andreadis; Leadership, supervised by
Assistant Dean of Students Rebecca
Newell; Service-Learning, supervised by
Promising Possibilities
The First-Year Experience Project: An Innovative Pilot Program
The courses offer creative
ways for students to
acclimate to college,
integrate into the campus
community, and enjoy
academic success.
In the fall, we plan to offer
several sections of each
course on both campuses,
days and evenings, so all
students can participate.
Clea Andreadis
Associate Provost
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