Framingham State Included in Nationwide Effort to Reimagine the First Year of College

Framingham State Included in Nationwide Effort to Reimagine the First Year of College

Feb 12, 2016

Framingham State University has been selected to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) three-year “Re-Imagining the First Year of College” (RFY) project, a major initiative with the unique mission of broadly transforming the first year of college to increase student success and retention.

“We are pleased that these AASCU institutions will commit their enormous talent and knowledge to the success of this initiative, which I believe will have a profound effect on undergraduate education in the 21st century,” said George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change at AASCU.

The first year of college has emerged as a critical barrier to student success, the point at which undergraduate institutions experience the greatest loss of students. Framingham State is one of just 44 colleges and universities across the country selected to participate in this comprehensive effort to address this issue.

“We know dropout rates are the highest during the first year of college,” says Framingham State President Javier Cevallos. “We need to find new approaches to support these students through this critical period in order to set them on a path toward graduation. We are very excited about this opportunity.”

The RFY initiative entails a comprehensive, “top-down, bottom-up” 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. Over the coming three years, Framingham State will be implementing evidence-based strategies addressing these four areas. The University will also will be participating in a “learning community” with the 43 other state colleges and universities selected for RFY, sharing ideas, successful strategies and lessons learned with each other.

“The state colleges and universities we selected for RFY represent a broad swath of the institutional landscape and exhibit strong leadership and other qualities that are conducive to effecting broad-scale and sustainable change,” said Mehaffy. “Together, with the engagement of all campus stakeholders – from students to academic leadership – we will strive to transform the first-year student experience and ensure student success.”

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.