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Best Practices

Our college-wide focus on Best Practices in Teaching and Learning will enhance our effectiveness in teaching first-year students and will provide worthwhile professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. The Best Practices program will include workshops, publications, opportunities for interdepartmental support and communication, and the development of shareable resources such as a Best Practices database. The program will be designed to provide faculty and staff with useable, innovative strategies for working with students in their first year at Pellissippi State.

Common Academic Experience

By offering our students a common academic experience, we hope to help first-year students recognize the connections between disciplines and to see the benefits of participating in a variety of curricular and co-curricular activities. The central element of the common academic experience will be a common text utilized in English 1010, developmental reading and writing courses, and other courses where meaningful connections can be found. The common text will also serve as a springboard for a number of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities including conversation cafés, film discussions, and author visits.


Students who establish relationships with each other and with us are more likely to persevere through the unknowns and the unique challenges of the first year of college. Their academic success is directly influenced by the strength of these connections. Our emphasis will be on establishing focused and coordinated communication with our first-year students that is consistent, timely, and accessible. Early and intentional connections with faculty, staff and current students help first-year students make the transition to college, understand our expectations and their own motivations, set goals, find resources and create their own networks of support to achieve personal and academic success.

Academic Momentum

We will refine and expand our system and supporting processes for helping students avoid and recover from academic difficulties. New strategies to identify and address issues common to first-year students will be developed. The goal of this effort is to assist students in establishing patterns of achievement and in disrupting cycles of failure through early feedback, warning mechanisms, and accessible support services. Primary emphasis will be given to the first semester and the transition from first to second semester.

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