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Why the First-Year Seminar Matters: Helping Students Choose and Stay on a Career Path provides an overview of the Guided Pathways movement and the critical role that the first-year seminar can play in setting the stage for student success. After reviewing the extensive history and research on first-year seminars, Harrington and Orosz suggest that the time is right for colleges and universities to re-imagine the first-year seminar course within the Guided Pathways framework. More specifically, by increasing the focus on career exploration and decision-making and addressing key success skills students need, the first-year seminar can serve as an essential foundational element of Guided Pathways. Readers will find the practical suggestions on how to engage in backward course redesign and the making the case data helpful as they aim to address equity gaps and require this course of all incoming first-year students.
Christine Harrington is a national expert in student success and teaching and learning. She has been teaching the first-year seminar for almost 20 years at Middlesex County College and is the author of a widely-used first-year seminar textbook, Student Success in College: Doing What Works! 3rd edition which is aligned to Guided Pathways.
Theresa Orosz has 26 years of experience in higher education at Middlesex County College and possesses expertise in the areas of career services, academic advising, and academic and student affairs. She has 10 years of adjunct experience teaching cooperative education courses and the first-year seminar.