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Wednesday, March 8, 2006
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Betsy Barefoot to speak at Ohio University

ATHENS, Ohio (March 8, 2006) -- Betsy O. Barefoot will speak at Ohio University at 10 a.m., Monday, March 13, in the 1804 Lounge of Baker University Center. She will present "Creating a More Effective First Year: The Foundation for Undergraduate Education." The event is free and open to all.

Barefoot is visiting Ohio University as part of the university's participation in the Foundations of Excellence program, a yearlong, guided self-study and improvement process for the first year of college.

Betsy Barefoot is co-director and senior scholar at the Policy Center on the First Year of College, located in Brevard, N.C. The basic mission of the center is the improvement of the beginning college experience through enhanced learning, success and retention of new students. The mission is grounded in the belief that an institution's first-year policies and practices are the foundation for the attainment of the larger goals of undergraduate education. The center was founded in 1999 with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts and continues with grants from The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Lumina Foundation for Education.

Barefoot's publications include the recent Jossey-Bass books "Challenging & Supporting the First-Year Student: A Handbook for Improving the First Year of College" (with M. Lee Upcraft and John N. Gardner) and "Achieving & Sustaining Institutional Excellence for the First Year of College" (with several authors).

Before participating in the founding of the Policy Center for the First Year of College, Barefoot served 11 years as co-director for research and publications at the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina. She holds a bachelor's degree from Duke University and master's and doctoral degrees in higher education from the College of William and Mary.

Ohio University is one of 26 four-year colleges and universities nationwide to be competitively selected to the inaugural class of the Foundations of Excellence program. The principles of the effort were developed in collaboration with 300 institutions across the country. The inaugural cohort includes New Mexico State University, the University of Akron and Wright State University. Ohio University's self-study and improvement process through the Foundations of Excellence is also tied to the university's Academic Quality Improvement Project for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

For more information, contact either co-chair of the Task Force on the First Year of College: David Descutner at (740) 593-1935 or descutne@ohio.edu or Marc Cutright at (740) 593-4459 or cutrighm@ohio.edu.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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