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first year students, student experience, higher education


A Sheridan student’s first year is a critical period and plays an important role in future success. While some students are transitioning from high school, others are transferring from other postsecondary institutions or coming to Sheridan from the labour market. Students are faced with the challenge of adjusting to a new environment in the midst of life changes such as re-locating to a new community or a new country. All of our first-year students are learning to navigate new institutional policies and processes in addition to establishing new friends and support networks. The critical nature of investing in the first-year experience is evident in Sheridan’s call to action to develop a First-Year Experience Strategy accounting for the “diversity of our students and the differences in life experiences, perspectives and circumstances that inform their learning” (Academic Plan). This paper is the first step in the development of this framework. Its purpose is to

  • map out the current state of the first-year experience (FYE) at Sheridan
  • provide a brief review of the practice and scholarly literature on FYE in higher education
  • identify current Sheridan promising FYE practices
  • recommend a theoretical framework and conceptual model to guide the development of the FYE Strategy at Sheridan
  • identify immediate enhancements to FY programming


Danielle Palombi edited the paper Understanding the Sheridan First Year Experience: An Integrated Approach.


Student Affairs

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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