College 101 Courses for Applied Learning and Student Success
College 101 courses—also called student success, introduction to college, orientation to college, or freshman experience courses—provide students with information about college and campus services, assistance with academic and career planning, and techniques to improve study habits and personal skills. This study investigated College 101 courses at three community colleges in Virginia through interviews with 169 college staff members, faculty members, and students combined with observations of 19 course sections. Although College 101 courses were found to be widely supported by stakeholders, contextual factors made implementation challenging and undermined the courses’ potential to create long-lasting impacts on students’ outcomes. College 101 courses provided students with important information, but they did not offer sufficient opportunities for in-depth exploration and skill-building practice. However, the authors found strong evidence of the worth and promise of College 101 courses and identified ways to optimize them and generate long-term results.
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