The George Washinton University's Freshman Transition Initiative

What is the Freshman Transition Initiative {FTI}?

Started as a Grassroots Effort

The Freshman Transition Initiative was founded in 2004 by Dr. Rebecca Dedmond as a grassroots effort to address the critical need for a classroom-based, comprehensive guidance effort, in either the 8th or 9th grade, to stem the rising tide of dropouts (both high school and college). Working with some of the top experts in the field and the best state standards, she developed the Course Standards for Freshman Transition Classes. Realizing that institutional change required focused leadership and systems, the 10- Step Plan was developed and featured in:

Techniques Magazine
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Principal Leadership
If you are a middle or high school principal, teacher, curriculum developer or school counselor, you share our goal of increasing school retention and the success rate of the youth in your schools. To this end, The George Washington University's Freshman Transition Initiative, housed in GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development's School Counseling Program, has studied and identified the most noteworthy and rigorous state standards in this area to develop what it considers to be a definitive set of Course Standards for Freshman Transition Classes.

As schools, districts and states consider various high school reform strategies, we expect these standards will:
  • Provide policy makers with a vision of what types of intervention strategies are possible
  • Provide a curriculum roadmap for teachers
  • Guide administrators in upgrading district or state standards
  • Encourage professional curriculum developers and textbook/software publishers to update or create appropriate commercial resources for the classroom

Since 2004 the FTI has created and produced:

  • The Course Standards for Freshman Transition Classes
  • The 10-Step Plan for institutionalizing a Freshman Transition Initiative within a school
  • Standards Correlations to curriculum and course tools
  • An extensive planning manual: The Project Planning Guide for Implementing A Freshman Transition Initiative
  • Articles and briefs in various magazines and newspapers
  • 2 and 3-day Freshman Transition Leadership Institutes
  • A variety of conference and workshop presentations
  • Research formats
The Freshman Transition Initiative's Proposed Program