Last spring, as the College of Charleston celebrated its 250th anniversary, the institution rolled out a new, 10-year strategic plan that will transform the College in ways that will help it realize the success of students and the community.

The plan has three pillars — student experience and success, academic distinction, and employee experience and success. For students, transformation starts with creating a support system to improve engagement and access to the myriad services available on campus. By making CofC not only more welcoming and inclusive, but also more navigable, the student success committee aims to help students achieve their current and future personal, academic and professional goals.

As part of its decade-long marathon, the committee already has two projects in play, starting with the introduction of the Second Year Experience (SYE) in the fall. “Second-year students can find themselves unengaged and rudderless,” explains Page Keller, director of the Center for Excellence in Peer Education. “First-year students have the First Year Experience, and juniors and seniors get a lot of attention in preparation for graduation.

“The Second Year Experience will create something unique for our second-year students,” she adds. “We want to make sure they are getting the attention they need and are aware of all the resources available to them as they move toward graduation.”

In line with SYE is an IT tool that will allow advisors, faculty and anyone else serving the needs of CofC students with access to a student’s progress — from the first year to graduation.

“This tool will increase staff efficiency by unifying student performance visibility to both faculty and staff,” says Christine Workman, executive director of student involvement. “With greater team integration, we will be able to better engage with our students so they will have a better experience at the College.”

Second Year Experience Highlights

  • Events and activities designed specifically for SYE students
  • Workshops/seminars to introduce SYE students to high-impact CofC activities – such as internships, study abroad and peer education – that enhance the student experience and help pave the way to graduation
  • SYE website with pertinent information for SYE students to achieve success in and out of the classroom

Photo by Mike Ledford