The Crucial First Week: Engagement Approaches to Promote Student Involvement and Success from Day One

Beth Lee
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The first week of classes is crucial for student success. But, how do we successfully reach out to students during the first week and keep them engaged and present in the classroom? Getting students involved in the first week of a class is vital to reach out to their positive well-being and help ensure their retention and success in the course. According to a recent Gallup Poll, “Graduates are 1.4 times more likely to be thriving in five key elements of well-being if a professor cared about them as a person” (Gallup, 2022. p.1). The instructor's tone, clarity, and empathy help to provide students with a positive learning environment and is demonstrated in the instructor’s communication with students. This is crucial in the first week to reach out to the whole student to provide the needed encouragement. Furthermore, providing an engaging environment for students from day one is crucial for their retention and success, as ⅓ of students do not make it through their first year in higher education (Deloitte, 2017). Providing support, opportunities, as well as resources in the first week, can go a long way to keeping our students active and engaged. In this session, we will discuss the importance and suggestions of outreach timing during the first week of classes and examples to help successfully reach out and engage students. Specific examples will include timed announcements, emails, and seminars to help reach out to the whole student and promote engagement and retention in the classroom.
Learn the concepts of the first-week outreach Discover strategies to engage and motivate students Provide opportunities for further learning and direct application into courses