During the period 2002-2004, Middle Tennessee State University participated as an AASCU Affiliate Institution in the Foundations of Excellence in the First Year of College project. The Foundations of Excellence project is a national study that seeks to define characteristics of excellence in institutional programs and services provided to first year students. The primary components of MTSU's self-study included completion of an extensive Current Practices Inventory; a review of MTSU's success in meeting nine performance indicators outlined by the project; and participation in two surveys: the National Survey of Student Engagement, and a faculty survey being carried out by the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) at Pennsylvania State University.
As an Affiliate Institution, MTSU worked with a three phase approach to measuring, evaluating, and improving the first year—all based on the work of the 125 institutions that participated in Phase I. This unique approach provided the basis for a year-long formative review of the first year at campuses around the country. Throughout this year-long review, MTSU received ongoing guidance from the staff of the Foundations of Excellence in the First Year Policy Center as we used the provided materials and processes. As a result, MTSU became better positioned to enhance the success and retention of first-year students by measuring learning outcomes and taking action steps toward improving the first year.
The Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year project was launched on September 5, 2003 with funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies and Lumina Foundation for Education.
For more information on MTSU's participation in the Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year project, please contact us.