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Introduction

 

Welcome to Students’ Pathway to Success: A Faculty Guide, our collection about ways to make teaching a more positive, productive and enjoyable experience.  Written collaboratively by the Top 40 Academy, a faculty professional learning community at UNC Charlotte, this book began as a new student induction effort aimed at the 40 or so largest courses on campuses with the greatest number of new student enrollments.

 

This book intends to prepare faculty who teach students new to the university to help create a positive academic experience for both first-time students and students who transfer in.

 

This book is based on five educational assumptions about teaching for success.  A teacher must

 

  1. Inspire a commitment to success that helps students set goals and strategies for achieving those goals.
  2. Initiate an inquiry process that makes students responsible for their own progress.
  3. Instill  cultural awareness so students will be aware of  cultural and experiential differences.
  4. Create a way to help students determine where they  belong and how they can make their mark through community awareness.
  5. Introduce a knowledge of resources students can use to enhance and support their college experiences.

 

The Center for Teaching and Learning at UNC Charlotte brought together 34 faculty members from different colleges and departments to combine their efforts to write Students’ Pathway to Success: A Faculty Guide and to share their knowledge and experience with other instructors who teach new students on our campus. Seven multidisciplinary faculty teams worked collaboratively to write the chapters. The goal of this book is to inform and assist faculty in implementing the best practices to help their students succeed at UNC Charlotte. We hope that it will serve as both a resource guide and an encouragement to all who wish to teach deeply and meaningfully.

 

The book is divided into two sections: “Expectations” and “Opportunities.” The chapters in “Expectations” discuss  the practices and policies that students in Top 40 courses should experience. These chapters focus on the new student induction goals of Commitment to Success and Resources.

 

Top 40 courses also create multiple opportunities to engage students in the learning experience. The chapters in the” Opportunities” section reflect the three new student induction goals of Inquiry, Cultural Awareness and Community. 

 

We would like to acknowledge Dr. Meg Morgan in the English Department and her students IN ENGL 4183/5183  for the editing of the chapters and Ms. Somaly Kim-Wu in Atkins Library for the digital publication of the guide.