First Year Experience Program

Bringing Theory To Practice Demonstration Site Grant

The purpose of the proposed activities is to create an integrated, innovative and pedagogically sound learning experience for all first-year students enrolled in the Introduction to University Life (UNIV 101) course at CSU, Chico that enhances student well-being (by decreasing student involvement in high-risk drinking behaviors), and deepens commitment to, and direct participation in, democratic processes. 

There are two primary goals of the proposed project.  First, we intend to build on existing work with freshman year seminars, living/learning communities and thematically linked courses centered on civic engagement and extend efforts to all students enrolled in CSU, Chico’s Introduction to University Life course (UNIV 101).  Second, we aim to assess these efforts as a way to explore the connections between engaged learning, student civic engagement, adjustment to college, and dangerous drinking behaviors among first-year students at CSU, Chico.  

Project Activities And Associated Timeline

Project activities will be carried out over the three-year term of this grant. The principal activities include:

  1. Implementation and assessment of the pilot program funded by the Civic Learning Institute mini-grant and feedback of ideas into the Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) project. (Year One only)
  2. Coordination of efforts with:
    1. Housing to set up residence hall component of “living-learning communities,”
    2. the Registrar to set-up easy registration process for linked courses,
    3. the Summer Orientation program for student outreach and recruitment,
    4. the Student Affairs’ Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center for the development and implementation of assessment processes to track the impact of our program on student alcohol-related behavior, and
    5. Institutional Research for design of overall assessment data collection strategy.
  3. Curricular design, faculty recruitment and training, design of civic engagement and service-learning course content and other tasks associated with the creation of integrated thematic curriculum.
  4. Development of high-quality community partnerships that meet community needs, provide hands-on opportunities for to learn course content, and foster civic engagement among students.  Examples include working with the local school district on the issue of math and science education, participating in a North State collaboration aimed at designing and building a park that serves as a demonstration site for sustainability, and others.
  5. Ues of focus groups or other participatory methods to engage students and faculty in the discussion, definition and determination of themes for BTtoP project
  6. Consultation with America Speaks and campus and community stakeholders to define technology needs, training materials and other logistical support for 21st Century Town Hall meetings for each theme.

Publication and other dissemination strategies designed to share insights gained into the interaction between residence, curriculum, pedagogy, civic engagement and student well-being.