Launching the First-Year Experience Movement

By: John N. Gardner

This book argues that today more than ever we need new and more student success leaders to step forward to make the changes that students need, and it offers the story of one such leader in the belief that it will help others see how they can make their own contribution to this movement. The author relates a story about events and individuals that launched a national and international movement to enable many more college students to proceed beyond the beginning college experience and complete the credential they are seeking. It is also the author’s personal history – how he ended up spending his whole life in college, and how college can make us wiser and more successful than when we started the journey.

John Gardner brings 55 years of professional experience to telling this story. He begins with the story of how colleges can and do introduce students to life changing perspectives and ideas. In Gardner’s case it was a matter of being introduced to the question: “what is justice?” and then spending his entire professional life seeking ways to bring justice to underserved college students by making changes from the inside of the higher education system.

An on-line compendium accompanies this book, which includes prompts for guided reflection and questions and topics for discussion, as well as additional material on the author’s background and personal philosophy.

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