Promoting First-Year Student Success Across Campus: Seven Universal Principles & Unifying Practices | Dr. Joe Cuseo
Texas A&M’s new, university-wide, first-year experience program is an extensive and innovative student-centered initiative worthy of emulation by other universities in the A&M system and large research universities nationwide. The diversity of practices that comprise the Aggie First-Year Experience is a signature strength that enables the program to reach thousands of new students transitioning to A&M annually. One way to create programmatic unity amidst these diverse practices is by grounding them on a set of powerful and pervasive student-success principles. Decades of higher education research point to seven enduring, cross-contextual principles that promote the success of undergraduate students in general and first-year student success in particular: (1) personal validation, (2) self-efficacy, growth mindset and grit, (3) meaning and purpose, (4) active involvement (engagement), (5) reflection, (6) social integration, and (7) self-awareness. These timeless and transferable principles can provide the underlying foundation for an effective, student-centered, first-year experience program united by a universal language, common goals, and collective energy. This session will explicate the aforementioned seven principles and illustrate how they may be transformed into high-priority, high-impact educational practices at A&M.
About Dr. Cuseo: Joe Cuseo is Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Marymount California University. He was a 14-time recipient of the “faculty member of the year award” on his home campus—a student-driven award based on effective teaching and academic advising, a recipient of the “Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award” from the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and a recipient of the “Diamond Honoree Award” from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) for contributions made to the field of student development and the Student Affairs profession.
- Joe has served as an educational advisor to AVID for Higher Education—a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the college access and success of underserved student populations, and an academic program advisor for UThrive—a psychoeducational program designed to integrate positive psychology, mindfulness, and self-compassion into the college curriculum.
- Joe has delivered hundreds of campus workshops, conference presentations and keynote addresses across North America, as well as Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.
- He has authored numerous articles and books on student learning, student retention, and faculty development, the most recent of which are:
- Thriving in College and Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic Success & Personal Development
- Diversity & The College Experience
- Student-Faculty Engagement: Research & Practice
- Peer-to-Peer Leadership: Research-Based Strategies for Peer Mentors & Peer Educators