As early as 1998, it was clear that some students entering Nipissing University were not fully prepared for the academic demands or the life transitions of university. As a result, the student services department and the faculty of arts and science developed a program to help first year students adjust to university life. Designed to help students develop the skills they need to succeed in university, UNIV 1011: Student Success: Theory and Practice was an optional, for credit course that provides supplementary training to first year students on a variety of topics from study tips to career planning.
Nipissing University’s evaluation of UNIV 1011 found that:
- Students who complete UNIV1011 enjoy the course and feel it is valuable as it helps enhance their skills and allows them to be successful at university.
- There is a correlation between successfully completing UNIV1011 and Year 1 to Year 2 retention.
- There appears to be little correlation between UNIV1011 and overall university marks.
- Very few students at the university know about UNIV1011 and its objectives, and the primary method for students to find out about the course continues to be the course calendar.
The evaluation utilized five sources of data including the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI), student course evaluation forms and a student survey, nearly a full decade of administrative data, and focus groups.