The First-Year Council (FYC) builds upon the work of the Foundations of Excellence (FoE) Task Force in academic years 2007-08 and 2008-09. The FoE Task Force documented a need for better coordination of all campus units involved in “the First Year at San Marcos,” and proposed that a First-Year Council be convened so that there would be a coordinating body that would work through existing organizational structures. The composition of the council is expected to evolve over time, but the council includes individuals who are responsible for orientation, advising, first-year courses, remediation, assessment, and special academic and student life programming. The Chair of the First-Year Council reports to both the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs on FYC activities.
Loosely speaking, the scope of First-Year Council is anything and everything that affects our first-year students. The FYC will function, in part, as a clearinghouse for exchanging information about what various units are doing, but it is expected to do more than that; it is expected that it will provide direction and guidance to all units involved in the First-Year. Where the council sees a need for action that falls entirely within the jurisdiction of a single unit, it will ask that unit to undertake the activity; where an action spans various units, the FYC will convene and lead a team composed of individuals from those units.
In prioritizing projects and activities to improve the First Year at San Marcos, the First-Year Council’s decision criteria are:
- Demonstrated Need
- Direct Impact on First-Year Students
- Cost/Benefit Analysis