NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED567213
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 42
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 275
First Year Experience Courses. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report
What Works Clearinghouse
Based on four studies that meet WWC group design standards, "first year experience courses" were found to have potentially positive effects on credit accumulation, degree attainment (college), and general academic achievement (college) for freshman college students. "First year experience courses", often referred to as college success courses or freshman seminars, are courses for first-year students in 2-year and 4-year colleges. The general goals of "first year experience courses" are to support the academic performance, social development, persistence, and degree completion of college students. Additionally, "first year experience courses" often aim to increase students' sense of campus community and connection to their institutions, while giving students the opportunity to interact with faculty and peers. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) identified four studies of "first year experience courses" that both fall within the scope of the Supporting Postsecondary Success topic area and meet WWC group design standards. These four studies included 12,091 freshman college students in four colleges across the United States. The WWC considers the extent of evidence for "first year experience courses" for freshman college students to be medium to large for the credit accumulation domain and small for the general academic achievement (college) and degree attainment (college) domains. A glossary is included and the following are contained in the appendix: (1) Research details for studies that met WWC group design standards with reservations: (2) Outcome measures for each domain; (3) Findings included in the rating for the credit accumulation domain; (4) Findings included in the rating for the degree attainment (college) domain; and (5) Findings included in the rating for the general academic achievement (college) domain. [The studies that met WWC group design standards with reservations were: (1) Clouse, W. A. (2012). "The effects of non-compulsory freshman seminar and core curriculum completion ratios on post-secondary persistence and baccalaureate degree attainment" (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3523633) (ED545944); (2) Jamelske, E. (2009). "Measuring the impact of a university first-year experience program on student GPA and retention." "Higher Education," 57(3), 373-391 (EJ825726); (3) Shoemaker, J. S. (1995, April). "Evaluating the effectiveness of extended orientation for new, undecided freshmen." Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (ED384303); and (4) Wilkerson, S. L. (2008). "An empirical analysis of factors that influence the first year to second year retention of students at one large, Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)" (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3333787).]
What Works Clearinghouse. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 866-503-6114; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED); Development Services Group, Inc.
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0084