Now in its third iteration, CRST also offers a host of cocurricular resources and experiences, such as engagement with the city, help with the details of registration and writing support to better equip students to thrive in a college environment.
Students who have earned As, Bs or Cs in the course have retained to the second year at rates 3 percent and 9 percent higher than the current and 10-year institutional averages, respectively.During the year 2015–2016, 30 percent of CRST instructors were administrative staff members.This paper considers closely the role of the individual instructor in helping students adjust to and excel in a new environment. We contend that academically trained staff and/or administrators are uniquely able to facilitate students’ transition to college by bringing a decidedly student-centered perspective to the classroom.Administrators who also teach carry with them an awareness of students’ lives beyond the classroom, an oftentimes intimate knowledge of the social, emotional, cultural and even financial obstacles a given student may face.The paper presents an example of a course that illustrates how this sort of integrated perspective necessarily informs pedagogy, resulting in an approach to teaching that foregrounds self-direction and agency, equips students to assume more responsibility for their own learning and helps them see themselves as part of a community in which they play an essential role, all of which have been found to be key contributors to students’ success.The CRST seminar poses the question, “What does it mean to be human?
” Students ponder what makes for a life well lived, wrestle with their own experiences of personal growth and discovery and learn how the act of telling or sharing one’s story with others can itself be transformative.
Each CRST course conceives the question of “humanness” within the framework of a particular discipline or disciplines.
North Park University (NPU) is a small, private, Christian liberal arts institution located in Chicago with an undergraduate student body that is 53 percent commuter, 47 percent residential, 50 percent Caucasian, 21 percent Hispanic, 7 percent African American, 7 percent Asian, and 15 percent Other.
Following the lead of colleges and universities across the country, NPU introduced the first-year seminar with the aim of helping students successfully navigate the transition to college (Padgett, Keup and Pascarella 2013).
As the foundational course of the General Education Program, the Cornerstone (CRST) seminar seeks to prepare students for successful learning across the liberal arts curriculum.
Among its chief strengths is its integration of concepts and methods from fields as varied as world history, philosophy and psychology in its exploration of significant and enduring questions of human experience.