The university is one of 44 institutions participating in the Re-Imagining the First Year of College initiative launched Feb. 1 by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
The 44 institutions will work together for three years to develop a comprehensive institutional transformation that redesigns the first year of college and creates sustainable change for student success. The initiative focuses on especially improving success rates for low income, first generation and students of color.
“Historically, AASCU and its members have been committed to student success with a particular concern for those students who have shown great promise but who have encountered stumbling blocks along the way,” said AASCU President Muriel Howard.
The first year of college has emerged as the critical barrier to college success, the point at which colleges experience the greatest loss of students. This project recognizes that no single intervention will solve student performances. The project seeks to inspire redesigned approaches that work effectively for all members of an increasingly multicultural, undergraduate student body, eliminating achievement disparities that have plagued American higher education for generations.
— Adam Klepetar, Interim Assistant Provost of University College
“Being a part of AASCU’s Reimagining the First Year Project connects St. Cloud State University students to the best thinking of 44 institutions from all across the country,” said Adam Klepetar, interim assistant provost of University College at St. Cloud State. “Our participation in this work will position St. Cloud State University students to participate in high impact practices that will help them to reach their personal and academic goals.”
The participating institutions will form a learning community that reviews and shares evidence-based practices, programs and implementation strategies. The Re-Imagining Initiative focuses on a comprehensive approach that engages the whole campus in focusing on four key areas to help first-year students succeed: institutional intentionality, curriculum redesign, changes in faculty and staff roles and changes in student roles.
The initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USA Funds. St. Cloud State is one of two Minnesota State College and Universities (MnSCU) institutions participating in the initiative along with Minnesota State University, Mankato.