Current Practices Inventory of the First Year
Foundations of Excellence Project
Part 1: Inventory of first-year structures and policies
# of first-
Major structures that students of first-year
uniquely impact first-year served students Assessment of program's
students Division Program description (fall 2003) served ** Key goals effectiveness
Improve the retention rate of
Academic advising and DSP and undeclared students. Maintains the recommended 300:1
advising ratio. Benchmark: to
major and career Assist undeclared students in
bring the retention rates of
exploration for students declaring an appropriate major. undeclared and DSP students to
enrolled in DSP classes, Provide advising information to the university percentage for first-
undeclared students and assigned students enabling year students of 71.3% In Aug. –
students considering a them to make informed choices October, 2003, advisors logged
Academic Support Center SA/EM change of major. 1673 55% about their academic programs. 2,967 student contacts.
97% of students responded "agree" or
Orientation, advising and Provide effective orientation, "strongly agree" to the item "Overall the
registration for first time advising and registration orientation program was helpful in
CUSTOMS Orientation SA/EM enrollees 2856 94% services for new students. preparing me to be a student this fall."
Serves students that have Offer courses in the areas of reading,
been admitted to the writing, mathematics, and learning Fall to fall DSP freshmen retention,
strategies to enable students to 66%; 42% of Fall 2002 graduates were
university but who are
achieve a level of academic former DSP students; 39% of Spring
under prepared for competence that will empower them to 2003 graduates were former DSP
Developmental Studies the college curriculum in work successfully in college-level students; 39% of Summer 2003
program AA specific areas. 1055 35% courses. graduates were former DSP students.
The math and writing labs The key goal of the labs is to offer
are designed to offer assistance beyond what is available in
the class room and in the office of the The number of students utilizing the
academic assistance to
instructor to all labs is examined each semester. Also,
students through tutors, DSP students to enhance their students complete surveys regarding
Developmental Studies computer programs, chances of course success. the tutorial assistance received.
Writing and Math labs AA videos, etc. 544 18%
Assist first year students in
developing as a part of a
Promotes recruitment of community and assist at Approximately 70% of students
new members for the developing life skills for the who participate in Rush join a
Fraternity/Sorority Rush SA/EM campus Greek community. 450 15% future. fraternity or sorority.
Mary C. Dunn Freshman
Scholarship (Biology), Clay M.
Chandler Outstanding Freshman
Award (Biology), Patrick Doyle
Freshman Scholarship (Biology),
Outstanding non-major Freshman
Biology Award, CRC Outstanding
Achievement Award, Outstanding
Achievement awards and Freshman in Computer Science Recognize outstanding
scholarships, Basic and Award, Charles F. Lewis achievement in the sciences No assessment of the program
Applied Sciences AC Freshman Mathematics Award 7 0% among first year students. has been completed.
Freshman Academic Corcoran Scholarship, Recognize academic talent for
Achievement awards and Murfreesboro Credit students studying Economics No assessment of the program
scholarships, Business AC Bureau Scholarship 2 0% and Finance or Business has been completed.
Achievement awards and Support first-year students
scholarships, Education Roddy Scholarship for High studying in the area of Human No assessment of the program
and Behavioral Science AC School Seniors 2 0% Sciences. has been completed.
Freshman Writing Awards
(3), Freshman Music
Freshman Academic Scholarships (2), Recognize academic talent and
Achievement awards and Freshman International support achievement of No assessment of the program
scholarships, Liberal Arts AC Studies Scholarship (1) 91 3% students in the Liberal Arts. has been completed.
Discipline specific first-year Introductory courses for
introductory courses, Basic Aerospace and Construction No assessment of these
and Applied Sciences AC AERO 1010, CM 1010 330 11% Management courses has been completed.
Discipline specific first-year
introductory courses, Introductory course for No assessment of these
Business AC BMOM 1400 100 3% Business students courses has been completed.
Discipline specific first-year
introductory courses, Introductory courses for
Education and Behavioral FOED 1110, HSC 1010, Education, , and Criminal No assessment of these
Sciences AC CJA 1100 457 15% Justice Majors courses has been completed.
Discipline specific first-year Introductory courses for Social
introductory courses, SW 2510, CDIS 3050, Work, Communication No assessment of these
Liberal Arts AC THEA 2500-02 115 4% Disorders, and Acting courses has been completed.
Introductory courses for
Discipline specific first-year Journalism, Electronic Media
introductory courses, Mass JOUR 1020, EMC 1020, Communication, and Recording No assessment of these
Communication AC RIM 1020 1700 56% Industry courses has been completed.
RLC’s make a large university
Freshman to sophomore
smaller by providing students with
a “home” group. Students learn to
connect their academic and social Fall, 2000-Fall, 2001: 71%
RLC’s link two courses lives, learn to work cooperatively, Fall, 2001-Fall, 2002: 77%
Learning Communities together with a common become interdependent, and Fall, 2002-Fall, 2003: 73%
programs SA/EM cohort of students enrolled. 324 11% collaborative.
Provides formal instruction Ensure an information literate
in the resources, services, student population that can The program is evaluated using
Library Instruction and organization of Walker effectively use and critically the online Walker Library
Program, Walker Library Library 3000 99% evaluate information resources. Evaluation System
Offers assistance to
students in composing and Goals include assisting
completing writing students to effectively complete
assignments for any of assignments, promoting life- Student evaluations of writing
their classes. Located in long writing skills, and assisting assistants indicate an overall
MTSU Writing Lab Peck 325-326. 750 25% campus instructors. average approval rating of 98%.
Provides access to graduate
student tutors for assistance with The goals of the labs are to
a variety of math courses,
Approx. provide additional help to
including Math 1710, 1010, 1720,
1730, and Calculus. Located in 15 students currently enrolled in
KOM 204 and 252. students math classes who are having Evaluation process is not
MTSU Math Lab per week. difficulty. currently in place.
Provide information and
resources to MTSU parents
and students. Provide avenue Parent's Association annually
for MTSU parents to address supports the Thanksgiving
Support group for families student needs through service dinner for students, as well as
Parent/Family Association SA/EM of MTSU students. 400 13% projects for the campus. other student support projects.
The MTSU president, deans,
Book discussion for select This program models life-long
department chairs, administrators
UNIV 1010 courses. learning and a love of reading and faculty members have
Dinner with MTSU to freshmen and helps them to selected books for the book club.
faculty/administrators who make a connection to a faculty They and the students report that
recommended the books member or administrator at it has been a fun and worthwhile
Raider Book Club SA/EM used. 115 4% MTSU. experience.
For 2002-2003 ALC students had
Provide an enriching an average GPA of 2.9685.
Residence Halls: Linked courses plus shared environment for Aerospace Aerospace freshmen not
Aerospace Living Learning residence hall floors for freshmen to increase retention participating in the ALC program
community SA/EM Aerospace 45 1% and academic excellence. had an average GPA of 2.6438
The DSF is designed to assist
students in selecting and declaring
an appropriate major through
Designated floors within the passive and participatory
FYE halls that work with programming efforts on the majors By the end of Spring, 2003,
undeclared students in offered at MTSU, career more than 75% of the students
Residence Halls: Deciding identifying an appropriate opportunities for those majors and on the DSF had declared a
Students SA/EM major field of study. 111 4% the decision making process.. major.
Freshman to sophomore retention
rates: Caucasian FYE
participants, 75.7%; off campus
Caucasian freshmen 67.3%.
Freshman to sophomore retention
Tutoring, academic Assist first year students in rates of African American students
advising and other first- making successful academic, FYE participants, 79.5%; Off
Residence Halls: year services provided in personal and social transition to campus African American
Freshman Year Experience SA/EM designated halls 780 26% the university. students 62.4%.
The Honors Living
Learning Center provides The goal of the Honors LLC is
housing and programming to increase retention by
for high ability students providing an enriching The program had an 83.3%
Residence Halls: Honors enrolled in the Honors community and encouraging retention rate for Fall, 2002 to
Living Learning center SA/EM program. 115 4% interaction with honors faculty. Fall, 2003.
The community is designed to
increase the community of
This semester study groups
students in selected majors and to and a listserv for RIM majors
Residence Halls: educate them on the requirements was established in the
Recording Industry Living Linked courses plus shared for candidacy in the Recording community and is being well
Learning community SA/EM residence hall floors for RIM 81 3% Industry program. used.
WISE (women in science and
engineering) participants have
been recognized as an official
organization. Dr. Judith Iriarte-
Linked courses plus shared Programming and community Gross is the WISE chapter and the
Residence Halls: Women residence hall floors for development are designed to community advisor. They have
in Math and Science Living women in math or the increase retention to the participated in several social,
Learning Community SA/EM sciences 47 2% university and the sciences academic and service activities.
Assist the student-athlete in
Provides academic making sound academic and
support, enhances life personal decisions as they
skills, and monitors NCAA progress toward their degrees Graduation rates of athletes
Student Athlete academic rules compliance while they are participating in their consistently exceed the all
Enhancement Center SA/EM for student-athletes. 100 3% chosen sport. student graduation rate.
designed to provide Provide opportunities for all The majority of Freshman
freshmen students freshman students to become Forum members move on to
Student Organization: leadership and community involved in on campus activities other leadership positions
Freshman Forum SA/EM service opportunities. 50 2% and service. within the university.
65 Phi Eta Sigma members have
reached graduation. 24% of these
members graduated Summa Cum
Phi Eta Sigma is a national Encourage and reward Laude, 33% graduated Magma
Student Organization: Phi honor society for college academic excellence among Cum Laude and 13% graduated
Eta Sigma SA/EM freshmen. 50 2% first-year students Cum Laude.
To provide a unifying experience
Each year a common text for the entering class of students,
is chosen for all incoming to partner with Murfreesboro
students to read over the community organizations, to
encourage intellectual interaction
summer before the
among students, to provide
beginning of the Fall term. students with the opportunity to
The author is customarily read and personally interact with In Fall, 2003, the summer
the convocation speaker. critically-acclaimed authors, and to reading text was used in over
The text is used in many affirm the importance of reading to 100 sections of freshman level
Summer reading program SA/EM first-year courses. 3037 100% a successful and fulfilling life. classes.
Gathers data designed to
improve the programs and
services offered by the To determine students'
Division of Student Affairs.
awareness and utilization of
The survey assists in
implementation of the
programs sponsored by
institutional effectiveness Student Affairs, and to
plans adopted by the division determine whether the division Unknown at this point as the
as a whole and by the is adequately meeting the survey will not be administered
Surveys: A Closer Look SA/EM individual departments. 3037 100% needs of students. until early Spring 2004.
To assess satisfaction in 15
MTSU has improved significantly
Factor areas. To compare on 14 of the 15 factors assessed.
results with national norms, (Dining services was the only area
selected peer institutions and not improved.) For the Fall, 2002
Surveys: ACUHO-I for Satisfaction survey for longitudinal data from previous administration, the survey had a
residence hall students SA/EM residence hall students 1841 61% administrations. 70+% return rate.
Gathers data regarding
student satisfaction with
orientation and Provide planning data
advisement, plans for regarding campus activities and
involvement in various services. Provide feedback Data collected is used annually
student activities, and and planning data regarding to make adjustments to help
plans to use various orientation and advisement campus programs and services
Surveys: CUSTOMS survey SA/EM campus services. 2692 89% services. become more effective.
Gathers data regarding how
students spend their time,
what they feel they've gained
from classes, their The NSSE provides information
assessment of the quality of about MTSU's strengths, areas in
their interactions with faculty The NSSE is designed to which the educational experience
and friends, and other provide reliable and credible of students may be improved, and
important measures of information about the quality of an opportunity to compare MTSU
Surveys: NSSE SA/EM student engagement. 1500 49% the undergraduate experience. to national benchmarks.
National Merit Finalist, Chancellor,
Academic Service, Provost, and
Raider Scholarships for incoming
freshmen. Foundation Support MTSU attendance by
University Scholarships for scholarships and privately funded students with demonstrated
first-year students SA/EM scholarships are also available. records of academic excellence.
The University Seminar 1010 program
aims to assist students in making the
transition to active membership in and Program will assess students' learning
Provides information to appreciation for the community of and development of college success
ease the transition to scholars at Middle Tennessee State skills as measured by responses on
college during the first University; enhance academic skills; the U1010 Exit Survey on items related
provide growth through self-awareness, to increased clarification of educational
semester on campus.
opportunities for participation and and career goals and items indicating
Helps students develop knowledge and use of resource tools; learning to use University resources.
strategies for a successful increase student success both in Exit survey administered end of Fall
University Seminar 1010 AA college career. 1493 49% college and after college graduation. 2003 semester.
Convocation is required of new
Convocation serves as the students, and families are
academic welcome to new Introduce academic traditions urged to attend. In 2002,
students and official of the university, showcase the approximately 5000 attended;
opening of the new author of the book used in the in 2003, approximately 3500
University Convocation SA/EM academic year. 2000 66% summer reading program. attended.
Provide events that are fun and will
assist students in getting to know one
another and the campus community.
Activities range include a Street Fair,
Provide welcome activities
picnics, athletic events, comedy
to assist new students and showcase, student organization fair, Focus groups report high levels
their families in acclimating Volunteerism fair, and fair with local of satisfaction with Welcome
Welcome Week programs SA/EM to the MTSU campus. 3000 99% Murfreesboro merchants. Week activities.
*SA/EM--Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
**Fall 2003, total first time freshmen: 3037
# of first- of first-
Major policies that year year Description of enforcement.
uniquely impact first-year Description of policy. When was students students Who has authority to Assessment of policy's
students policy established? affected? affected? change/cancel policy? effectiveness
Freshman admission is guaranteed to
applicants who completed the 14 required units The University Admissions and
plus a minimum 3.0 GPA OR a minimum Standards Committee makes New freshman enrollment
composite ACT of 22 OR a minimum 2.7 GPA recommendation to change numbers validate the
and minimum ACT of 19 OR satisfy the NCAA
standards for student athletes who are
admission standards. TBR effectiveness of this policy.
qualifiers or partial qualifiers under Division I approval is required before Fall 2004 enrollment not yet
Admissions requirements guidelines. all 100% implementing new standards. available.
Degree-seeking students 21 years or less are Students are able to challenge
assessed for DSP placement based on valid
their placement through
ACT scores. Other students may present valid
ACT scores or complete assessment tests in subsequent testing. Policies
reading writing, and math. Students required to and guidelines governing
take DSP courses in two academic areas must Developmental Studies are Approximately 40% of MTSU
also take the DSP Learning Strategies course. established by the TBR and are graduates each semester have
Students required to take DSP courses must do
so upon their initial terms of enrollment.
enforced by the DSP had at least one
Developmental studies Program established 1985. department. Developmental Studies course
requirements 1055 35% during their academic career.
Students must complete with a C- in order to All students in English This policy can’t be The English department
progress in their English Department 1010 and 1020 are contravened. There are no believe that the policy ensures
requirements. Students who complete all the
work and meet attendance requirements, but
held to this policy. exceptions. Any change in the that students will have a higher
fail to write well enough to pass the class, Approximately 10-15% policy would need to be initiated rate of success in their
receive a grade of N. The N grade requires the of the students in 1010 in the English Department and subsequent courses; however
repeat, but it does not affect Quality Hours and, fail the course and forwarded to and approved by no objective assessment has
therefore, the students’ gpas. Established 1995.
approximately 10-15% the University Curriculum been completed
of the students receive Committee and Admissions
Grading policy for ENG an N. personnel.
1010 and 1020
Policy established by the Tennessee
Board of Regents. A registration hold
Any student admitted without is placed on students with high school
completion of the 14 high school units deficiencies. This hold interacts with
required by the TBR must complete the A89 screen in SIS to enforce the
registration for a course to complete
those courses with a minimum grade
the deficiency. College
of C- within the first 64 hours of Counselors/Academic Support Center Deficiency is most often in the
High School Deficiency enrollment. TBR policy enacted in can release this hold on a semester areas of foreign language or
policy 1989. 243 8% basis. performing arts.
Eligible students include entering freshmen who Will be assessed by the
1.) are Tennessee residents for one year prior number of eligible students and
to application 2.) have an unweighted 3.0GPA
the number who maintain
AND a college core unweighted GPA or 3.0
AND completed all college core and university
Policy established by the eligibility and are retained to
Hope Scholarship track courses OR 19 ACT/890 SAT. Program Tennessee Education Lottery graduation.
requirements began fall 2004. 2580 85% Scholarship Program (TSAC).
Federal regulations require that At MTSU we provide for such
disbursements to first-time freshmen students by issuing a voucher
Loan disbursement for first borrowers cannot be made to the for them to use for book/supply
time borrowers student until thirty days into the term. 1215 40% purchases at Phillips Bookstore.
The freshman meal plan has been a The plan is sold by Housing to The freshman meal plan is an essential
requirement since the early 1960's, and it has exempt students from sales part of the foodservice picture. It gives
been modified four times since 1988. dining services and MTSU needed
tax. Housing makes some
Modifications have provided more dining base revenue and serves as a
options (meal plans and flex dollars) and
decisions regarding guarantee to freshman parents that
Meal plan requirements for increased venue access due to lack of newly exemptions, but most decisions their child will have some meals during
first-year students constructed facilities. 1450 48% are referred to ARAMARK. the critical first year.
MTSU notifies the parent/guardian when
students under the age of 21 have been found Policy is enforced by the office
responsible for possession of drugs or drug of Judicial Affairs and
paraphernalia. A third violation of the alcohol Mediation Services and can be
policy results in the notification of changed with approval by the
parents/guardians as does a situation where
the health or safety of a student has been
Vice-President for Student
threatened either by the student's own acts or Affairs and Vice-Provost for Effectiveness of policy has not yet
Parental Notification policy the acts of others. 2795 92% Enrollment Management. been evaluated.
All students have the right to appeal
an academic suspension. If approval is
granted the student does not have to
sit out of school for the suspended
period. However, appropriate notations
are entered on the student's transcript.
Students who attend another institution
Academic retention standards are set during their suspension from MTSU will
be readmitted if they have raised their
by MTSU with approval of TBR. Upon
cumulative grade point average
the first suspension from any school (including MTSU work) to 2.00 or
(transfer institutions included) a greater, or have completed a minimum
student must remain unenrolled at of 12 semester hours at the
MTSU for one term. Summer term instiutions(s) attended since MTSU
enrollment with a grade point average
does not count as a term to serve of 2.00 or higher.
suspension. Upon multiple
Readmittance suspension suspensions a student must remain
policy unenrolled at MTSU for an entire year.
All freshmen are required to receive Policy decision was determined Effectiveness of policy has not
academic advising prior to registration in conjunction with Deans and yet been evaluated. Positive
Required advising prior to for their entering term. Established Provost. Provost is overriding impact on retention and
first time registration 2003-04. 3037 100% authority. graduation rates is expected.
Developmental studies students, students in
some specific majors, and undeclared students Computerized assignment of
are required to see their academic advisor prior
Required advising for to registration for second term of the first year.
Policy is set by chair, Dean or registration permission
special populations prior to Policy established at various times for particular director of the particular provides to up to 100%
continuing registration. areas. 2600 86% department, college or area. compliance.
Freshmen who have earned less than 30 hours
must maintain a 1.5 GPA or will be placed on
academic probation. Failure to meet the GPA Data indicates that students returning
requirement after one semester of probation will after suspension do no better
result in suspension. Students previously academically than students who are
Retention standards for suspended are not eligible for probationary not required to sit out suspension (due
freshmen status. to successful appeal of their status.)
Institutional scholarship requirements are set by
MTSU. Beginning Fall 2005 basically all
scholarships awarded by the Financial Aid University policy is set by
Office will require a 2.75 for the first semester Division of Student Affairs and
and a 3.00 thereafter to retain the scholarship. Enrollment Management.
Foundation scholarships awarded by individual
departments or private donors may have some
Foundation or departmental
University Scholarship requirements in addition to the minimum grade scholarship policies are set by
eligibility point average. the funding agencies.
UNIV 1010 has a demonstrated
Undeclared freshman must enroll in positive impact on retention and
UNIV 1010. A hold placed on their academic success. Referrals are
made to career specialists in the
record enforces the policy reinforced Director of Academic Support
Academic Support Center. ASC
University 1010 by the academic advisors in their Center may waive the advisors present workshops on
requirement for undeclared advising meetings. Policy requirement on a case-by-case registration and the decision making
students implemented by Provost, 1999. 1898 62% basis process to all U1010 classes.