Strategic Planning Consultation


Recent research has provided evidence that First-Year Seminars (FYS) of any credit type (i.e., 1-, 2-, or 3-credit) benefit entering students; however, students who are typically at additional risk (i.e., first-generation and male students, students of color, and conditionally admitted students) achieve more at the higher credit levels (Vaughan, Pergantis, & Moore, 2019).  I start with this research to highlight several points. When deciding to incorporate or modify an FYS program at an institution, multiple factors need to be considered. For example:

  • Is a 1-credit extended orientation model sufficient or is a 3-credit research-based academic model more appropriate to help students successfully transition and meet the expectations of your institution? 

  • Does your current program align with your institution’s vision, mission, and goals? If not, would a different approach align more closely?

  • Are the needs of the specific student populations balanced with the institution’s available resources (e.g., budget, faculty, staff, etc.)?

  • Does the institution plan for increased enrollments of different populations? Would an FYS program provide an additional recruiting tool?

  • What is the financial benefit to the institution based on increased retention versus recruitment?

  • What has been the effectiveness of current programs? Short or long-term? Are there gaps that can be addressed or is another approach more appropriate?

  • Do current programs have buy-in from various stakeholders (i.e., faculty, administrators, students, etc.)? Why or why not?

These are only a small number of the necessary considerations. At VALC, we have the skills to guide your strategic planning to support increased student success. Furthermore, almost all of the services provided by VALC will typically incorporate this type of analysis and planning to ensure programs align with the institution’s vision and mission. 

We look forward to hearing how we can support your institution! Please fill out the free consultation request below to begin the planning process!


VALC is offering a FREE 60-min Consultation!

Email us for more information! 

(970) 616-4014

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