Cardinal Cadence Spring/Summer 2012

New success initiatives launch

LAMAR 1101 logoLamar University has always been dedicated to preparing students to succeed—in the classroom, in their careers and as lifelong learners enhancing their communities.

A Washington Post column even advised students to “Forget Harvard and think Lamar,” recognizing the strength of LU’s core curriculum in providing students with a valuable, broad base of essential knowledge. This commitment equips students with a well-rounded, competitive education upon graduation.

Lamar University’s core curriculum will grow even stronger this fall with the introduction of “Lamar 1101: University Success Seminar,” a one-credit, cross-disciplinary, interactive course that meets twice each week. Readings, activities and discussions will focus on critical thinking and communication skills, quantitative literacy, social and ethical issues, campus resources, and academic and career exploration. In addition, another initiative—the Undergraduate Advising Center—will help students stay on track with meeting degree requirements each semester and accessing resources they may need to stay focused.

“Student success has always been at the forefront of our efforts at Lamar University,” said Senior Associate Provost Kevin Smith. “Our mission of preparing students for leadership and lifelong learning includes our commitment to provide each Lamar University student every opportunity to succeed in their academic endeavours.”

Lamar 1101—the essential course for first-time Lamar University students

Many top universities offer a first-semester course that entering freshmen look for so they can learn the best ways to successfully navigate life and study on campus. Through Lamar 1101, new students will gain knowledge indispensable not only to their first year of college but also to each year thereafter as they work to walk across the stage and accept their hard-earned diplomas.

The course also assists students by giving them an opportunity to build friendships that can help them develop an on-campus support system through group activities. It introduces them to university resources and opportunities that they might not recognize on their own and helps them build a network of peer advisors and faculty mentors so they have a personal contact to go to throughout their academic career.

Course content includes additional strategies to make an easier transition from high school to college: time-management tactics to successfully juggle academic and social demands, note-taking and study skills to earn the grades needed to get a degree, as well as financial planning information to make sound monetary decisions.

Undergraduate Advising Center

The Undergraduate Advising Center focuses on student success through access, advising and referral services for freshmen and sophomore students beginning this summer. The new director, Daniel Bartlett, has extensive experience in the areas of advising, core curriculum, student success and college readiness, having led the university’s Center for College Readiness since 2008.

The center will provide advisement, scheduling activities and student services referrals to lower-division and transfer students to ensure students have early guidance in making the right decisions about course loads and degree requirements.

The Undergraduate Advising Center and Lamar 1101 are two of several initiatives undertaken in support of the recently formed Division of Strategic Enrollment Management. These initiatives demonstrate LU’s commitment to providing students with the tools they need to be successful, from the time they enter Lamar University until they earn their diplomas.