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First Year Seminars Effectiveness in Developing Competencies in Critical Thinking Learning Objectives Between Bridge and Non-Bridge Students at the University of Wyoming

Ralston, Brett
Simon, Alexander
First year seminars have been adopted at many higher education institutions, their purpose being to increase retention rates and student success. At the University of Wyoming there is a Bridge program for underprepared students, many of which have below university admissions guidelines, and a corresponding Bridge program First Year Seminar (FYS). The FYS courses that the University of Wyoming provides makes sure that all FYS courses taught, teach the six learning objectives described in the 2015 USP requirements. The question that this study aims to answer is, “Does the FYS course for non-Bridge program students effectively teach the six learning outcomes described in the 2015 USPs equally or better than the FYS courses for non-Bridge students?” Using surveys designed in the summer of 2018 a pre- and post- survey was given to FYS courses. A likert scale of 1(not at all competent)-5(Very competent) was used to measure student competency of learning objectives before the FYS and after the FYS was taken. The data from this study suggested that, at least at the University of Wyoming, non-Bridge program students overall benefit more than Bridge program students from FYS courses. This finding did not support our hypothesis, which was, “The FYS curriculum will affect student’s learning objective competencies more, as the risk of first-year failure increases and level of learning objective competency decreases. Supporting that students who are already at-risk, and who have less experience with learning objective outcomes, need the current FYS curriculum more than other groups of first-year students.”
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University of Wyoming. Libraries