Key Initiative 10:
First-Year Experience:
Preparing Women for Leadership

The First-Year Experience at Cedar Crest College will be a program designed to engage traditional students in their first year and prepare them for a rich and satisfying college experience.

The program will include a variety of issue-oriented course options that involve students in active learning about important topics such as women’s leadership, globalization, or the environment, within the framework of a liberal arts education. First-Year Experience courses will focus on scholarship: students will learn to pose appropriate questions, uncover information, make connections, evaluate knowledge, and present findings.

Self-directed inquiry is an important component of the First-Year Experience, and students will be responsible for producing knowledge. First-Year Experience courses will focus on leadership: through group projects and individual contributions to the course, students will discover the value of women’s education and begin to develop their leadership potential.

First-Year Experience courses will help students become better writers, speakers, critical thinkers, and presenters through a variety of assessment tools. They will encourage students to make connections: among various fields of study, with one another, to their peers, to the institution, and to their world.

An essential component of the First-Year Experience program is the involvement of Peer Leaders, who will serve as mentors for students, modeling appropriate academic behavior, answering questions, and assisting in the learning process. They will also serve as a source of information for the instructor, providing ongoing feedback on student progress and general course issues.

The program will also encourage students’ social development in the critical first year. Each student will establish connections to a faculty member, a peer leader, peers, and the institution, creating a social fabric that will support her throughout her four years at Cedar Crest.

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