The success of Columbia College's First-Year Student Success Team (FYSST) hinges on the cooperation of faculty and staff from Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. To ensure that every first-year student can be as successful as she wants to be, FYSST meets every other week to monitor the progress of first-year students, focusing particularly on attendance in first-year courses. The team depends on input and intervention from peer mentors such as Orientation Leaders, Resident Academic Advisors, and Student Engagement Mentors; Faculty Advisors; and selected faculty who teach typical first-year classes.
Envisioned to address the needs of first-time, first-year students, the program simultaneously benefits transfer students who enroll in entry-level courses and first-year seminars. The program has been credited with increasing fall-to-spring persistence of students--especially those who struggled academically during their first semester--and increasing the fall-to-fall persistence of first-year students. The purpose of this presentation is to outline the procedures and interventions of the team's attendance monitoring initiative and describe the results of our efforts.