Course Dates:
Oct. 20 - Nov. 14, 2014

Registration Deadline:
October 15, 2014
Fee: $425.00

Course limited to the first 25 registrants










Our Invitation to You

The National Resource Center is pleased to now offer online courses on current topics related to the first-year experience and students in transition. Online courses are designed to come as close as possible to providing students with the same course content and opportunities for interaction with classmates and with the instructor as traditional or classroom-based courses as well as take advantage of pedagogy and teaching techniques that are not possible or uncommon in a traditional format. Our online courses will take place during a four-week period with the majority of instruction occurring in an asynchronous environment. Asynchronous instruction is neither timebound nor place-bound and does not require the simultaneous participation of all students and instructors. It utilizes toolssuch as email, threaded discussions/forums, listservs, and blog


Stephanie M. Foote

Catherine F. Andersen
Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
University of Baltimore
Fellow, John N. Gardner Institute on Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Stephanie M. Foote

Catherine F. Andersen

Catherine Andersen is presently the associate provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Baltimore where, among her many roles, she is responsible for curriculum, accreditation, and assessment. Prior to this position, she enjoyed a long career at Gallaudet University, serving as chief enrollment and marketing officer, associate provost, dean of Enrollment and General Studies, director of the First-Year Experience, and chairperson of the Communication and Developmental Studies Department. Anderson served on the national advisory board of the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, currently serves on the national advisory board for Teagle Assessment Scholars, and is a fellow with The Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.  In 1994, Anderson was awarded the honor of Gallaudet's Distinguished Faculty of the Year, and 1997, she was named one of the nation's Outstanding First-Year Advocates.

Common reading programs, defined for the purpose of this course, occur when groups of incoming first-year students read the same book(s) and participate in activities that create a common intellectual experience. These programs are becoming an important component of first-year experience initiatives and are most frequently designed to provide new students an introduction to the intellectual expectations of college in formal and informal gatherings. High-impact programs go beyond book discussion groups and include students, faculty, staff, and the larger community in an array of social, intellectual, and civic activities. Individuals in this course will discuss the benefits and goals of a program; learn about the various types of programs; and explore how programs differ in scope, impact, and cost. Participants will design a comprehensive plan for their own campus that includes goals and outcomes, an assessment plan, a budget, book selection criteria, and curricular and cocurricular programming.


As a result of completing in this course, participants will

  1. Participants will identify the rationale and characteristic of common reading programs.
  2. Participants will identify the variety of programming opportunities for common reading programs.
  3. Participants will develop a common reading program plan specific to their institution that includes program goals, book selection criteria, event promotion strategies, curricular and cocurricular opportunities, a budget, and an assessment plan.


This course supports the development of inquiry, especially as it relates to “the development of new knowledge through theory and research.” While data collection is a central component of inquiry, the act of analyzing, synthesizing, and disseminating findings through writing is also important. This course will offer participants strategies for shaping and delivering the products of their inquiry for a range of different audiences.


Laufgraben, J. L. (2006). Common reading programs: Going beyond the book (Monograph No. 44). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.

Courses will take place during a four week period and participants will earn 1.5 continuing education units.