A first-year seminar is a course specially designed to help first-year students transition successfully into higher education. Kennesaw State University’s nationally-recognized, award-winning first-year program offers seminars that are limited to 25 students, allowing you the opportunity to get to know your professor well and interact closely with your Thrive peers. The first-year seminar is designed to help you grow in four key areas: life skills, strategies for academic success, campus and community connections, and foundations for global learning. The Thrive first-year seminars will meet throughout the semester as a group, to benefit from key speakers and topics focused on academic success, career preparation, community engagement and leadership.
A Thrive learning community consists of 20-25 Thrive students who co-enroll in two or more courses that are linked together with a common theme. Some learning communities are developed for specific academic majors, such as business or nursing. Others are suitable for a variety of majors or those students exploring a variety of majors. The courses within learning communities count toward university degree requirements and are taught by faculty dedicated to helping Thrive students achieve academic success.
The academic foundation of Thrive is based on learning communities because they have been proven to contribute to the success of first-year students. Research at both the national and campus levels shows that, on average, first-year students who enroll in learning communities:
- earn higher grades,
- express greater satisfaction with their university experience,
- make more friends and study buddies,
- are more likely to “make it” to their sophomore year,
- take greater advantage of campus services and resources,
- see more connections between what they are learning in and out of the classroom, and
- are more likely to perceive faculty and staff as friendly and supportive.
Many students currently enrolled in the Thrive program state that one of the greatest benefits of participating in Thrive is access to early academic advising and coaching, as well as the first Summer 2017 KSU Orientation and Registration.
To help make your transition to KSU easier, as a Thrive participant you will be offered academic workshops prior to the start of the fall 2017 semester. The workshops will assist you in adjusting to college life, understanding what is required to be successful, and mastering the skills to make that success possible.
As a Thrive student, you will attend a workshop in April 2017 that helps you select your first semester classes and identify the changes you can expect during the transition from high school to college – all before graduating high school. By the end of the workshop, you will be more knowledgeable about the demands of academic life in college and how to select classes for Fall 2017.
July – College Knowledge Workshop
You will also attend a hands-on workshop with the 25 members of your Thrive learning community. At this workshop, you learn proven strategies for academic success in college. After the workshop you will be able to:
- describe your responsibilities as a college student,
- identify essential campus resources,
- discuss the importance of your college course syllabus,
- explain fundamental study strategies,
- identify tactics for reading and understanding college textbooks,
- identify the fundamentals of writing in college, and
- access and use KSU’s online learning management system.
Online Thrive "Course"
Workshops (online and in the classroom) will be available to assist you with college writing, math and science, and basic study strategies.
Access to quick and easy links and resources are set up for Thrivers to access all four years.
Students find that being in Thrive and participating in Thrive Learning Communities opens the door to built in study groups during their first semester in college and oftentimes beyond it.
As a Thrive student, you will be assigned a graduation coach who will work with you for the duration of your undergraduate academic career at KSU. Your graduation coach will meet with you the fall and spring semester of your first year, and as often as needed thereafter.
The mission of your Thrive graduation coach is to facilitate your academic success and help you graduate from KSU by:
- helping you understand and master the expectations, culture, and language of the university environment;
- helping you develop an individual academic plan and goals, as well as action steps for achieving those goals;
- helping you make informed decisions;
- helping you make connections with faculty, staff, students, and campus resources in to facilitate your success;
- helping you develop solutions to personal problems that may interfere with your academic success;
- helping you identify, develop, and use your individual strengths to meet your goals and solve your problems;
- providing encouragement, reassurance, and pro-active follow-up through emails, phone calls, and appointments; and
- serving as a resource for you and your parents during the months leading up to the start of school.
Many Thrive students credit much of their success in navigating the college experience to the support of their graduation coach.
“A graduation coach is someone you can talk to, get advice and information from, and just come by and visit. It’s like having a best friend among the faculty.” Anisha D., KSU Thrive Student, Class of 2017