K-State First helps every K-Stater have a great first year
There’s a stereotype that at a public university, students don’t get the personal attention they might at a smaller school. But that doesn’t hold true at K-State, a university with a decades-long tradition of putting students first.
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that K-State would create programs to ensure that students’ first-year experiences are the best they can be. Like K-State First—a program that helps freshmen establish a great foundation for the rest of their college career.
"We want every student to have a great first year,” said Professor of English Greg Eiselein, Coffman University Distinguished Teaching Scholar and director of K-State First. “K-State First is an integrated effort to create an outstanding university experience for first-year students. Students love being in the small classes, getting to know professors outside the classroom and being part of a social support system.”
K-State First includes four programs, including:
- CAT Communities, where small groups of students with similar interest take courses together.
- First-Year Seminars that feature small classes with lots of interactions.
- K-State Book Network, the all-university reading program that’s bringing together students through reading a common book.
- The GPS Program, which matches students with K-State faculty members, staff and alumni who take an interest in each student personally
Based on program’s growth over the last five years, it’s making a difference at K-State. In 2008, 270 students participated. For the 2013-24 academic year, a projected 1,500 students will participate in the programs’ First-Year Seminars and CAT Communities alone.
The program is also improving first-year retention rates, a major benchmark in the university’s effort to enhance the undergraduate experience as part of K-State 2025’s visionary plan, said Emily Lehning, assistant vice president for student life and director of New Student Services. Lehning also serves as a director of K-State First.
“One of the things that makes K-State First successful is that it truly is a collaboration between academics and student life,” said Lehning. “But it goes beyond that. Parents and alumni love it, too. They like reading along with the students in the K-State Book Network. We are all united in this idea that we are part of a learning community.”
To learn more about K-State First and how you can get involved, including information on this year’s K-State Book Network selection, visit the K-State First website.
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