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Abstract

Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black university in North Carolina, created a Case Manager Program for their Freshman Academy Learning Community. This case study describes how the program was designed, implemented, and assessed. Case Managers are neither faculty nor student affairs professionals yet they are an integral part of the Freshman Academy initiative where thirty students are blocked into a cohort, each enrolled in 15 or 16 credit hours—one of which is the weekly freshman orientation class designed to help students transition from high school. Case managers assist team leaders and faculty members with students who need additional support or guidance related to class attendance, accessing campus resources, referrals for services, and co-curricular activities. A discussion of mentoring as a student engagement strategy to promote successful student persistence and retention is included as are implications for mentoring practice and research in the first year of college.

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