The Gardner Institute has identified nine areas essential to creating an exceptional first year experience. As we conduct our self-assessment and devise ways to improve our students' first year with us, committees will follow these Foundational Dimensions:
We will approach the first year in ways that are intentional and based on a philosophy/rationale of the first year that informs relevant University policies and practices.
We will create organizational structures and policies that provide a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated approach to the first year.
We will deliver intentional curricular and co-curricular learning experiences that engage students in order to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors consistent with the desired outcomes of higher education and Suffolk’s philosophy and mission.
We will make the first college year a high priority for our faculty.
We will facilitate appropriate student transitions through policies and practices that are intentional and aligned with Suffolk’s student-centered mission.
We will serve all first-year* students according to their varied needs.
*In this context, freshmen=first-year students
We will ensure that all first-year students experience diverse ideas, worldviews, and cultures as a means of enhancing their learning and preparing them to become members of pluralistic communities.
Roles and Purposes
We will promote student understanding of the various roles and purposes of higher education, both for the individual and society.
We will conduct assessment and maintain associations with other institutions and relevant professional organizations in order to achieve ongoing first-year improvement.
Adapted from the Gardner Institute website.