This study examined the net effects of participating in a residential first-year seminar (FYS) program by comparing the outcomes of participants with those of non-participants at the point of graduation, while controlling for background and pre-college variables. Outcome variables focused on student academic performance and self-reported gains as a result of their undergraduate education; they included: cumulative GPA; intellectual development; development of problem solving; development of social and civic engagement; institutional preparation for career path, graduate school, and interpersonal relationships and family living/personal development; and participation in faculty-mentored research. The study was based on a sample of 853 graduating seniors at a highly selective liberal arts college. Participation in a FYS was negatively associated with two outcomes--development of problem solving and institutional preparation for career path, on which FYS participants reported significantly smaller gains than non-participants. On the remaining outcome variables, participation in a FYS did not demonstrate any significant long-term effects.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Zhang, Q. and Dong, S. (2017 November 18-21). The Long-Term Impact of First-Year Seminars [Poster]. North East Association for Institutional Research Conference, Jersey City, New Jersey. https://neair.org/