The Freshman Benchmark

Getting to Know Brooklyn College

The faculty of the Department of Educational Services/SEEK has developed a list of goals or benchmarks for your freshman year. These benchmarks detail the behaviors and skills necessary to succeed at Brooklyn College.

Academic Benchmarks

I will:

  • learn to follow a course syllabus and fulfill course requirements,
  • learn the techniques of critical inquiry:
    • annotating text
    • asking questions about a text
    • summarizing a text
    • applying these techniques to texts in my other courses
  • learn and comply with Brooklyn College's policy on academic integrity, and will provide specific examples of what constitutes plagiarism and what constitutes cheating,
  • develop college writing skills to write well-organized essays by:
    • planning my essay using pre-writing techniques, including outlines
    • rereading my text myself as well as using peer review for editing and proofreading my work
    • using academic conventions in preparing my work including footnotes and bibliography
  • learn to use the Brooklyn College Library and conduct research using print and Internet resources,
  • learn to use Blackboard and Brooklyn College e-mail,
  • register for the Brooklyn College WebCentral and CUNY portals,
  • complete the Brooklyn College and SEEK Department Fall Community Read, Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama, and participate in the related activities,
  • complete Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) writing assignments on time according to schedule, and
  • complete my speech screening and have my foreign language requirement evaluated in my first semester.

College Life Benchmarks

I will:

  • learn to acknowledge the need for tutoring and accept the responsibility for participation in it,
  • fulfill the requirement of attending SEEK tutoring at least twice a week for writing and another subject,
  • learn where to go for student support on the Brooklyn College campus (e.g., financial aid, health services),
  • attend a workshop at the Magner Career Center to learn about career-planning resources,
  • meet with my counselor regularly to begin to plan a program of study, and to learn and review the college regulations, expectations and requirements in the Brooklyn College Bulletin,
  • begin to develop a support network of friends, tutors, counselors, CUNYCAPS and mentors,
  • submit my FAFSA and other financial aid documentation by Jan. 31, 2010,
  • attend a college event relating to a background other than my own,
  • participate in a college club or organization open to all students,
  • attend an academic lecture and event,
  • participate in a volunteer activity on or off campus for at least two hours during the summer and fall semesters, and
  • complete the Brooklyn College electronic evaluations of my teachers and classes in the fall semester.

Personal Benchmarks

I will:

  • sign up for CUNY Alert through the CUNY portal,
  • obtain my own public library card,
  • learn how to demonstrate appropriate college dress and decorum,
  • develop a monthly budget in order to manage personal finances, credit cards, loans and financial aid awards,
  • employ good health and safety practices,
  • master strategies for balancing work, study, family and fun,
  • develop an appreciation for fellow students and diverse cultures by sharing and learning about a culture other than my own,
  • obtain model résumés from the Magner Career Center and create my own résumé,
  • demonstrate by my efforts my commitment to conserving the environment, and
  • participate in cultural events in New York City, including concerts, theater performances and museum visits.

Assessing Your Progress

Beginning with the "Lunch and Learn" sessions, your counselor and our CUNYCAPs and instructors will introduce these benchmarks to you. During the academic year, you will meet individually with a CUNYCAP to discuss your personal progress.

You will keep a journal of your achievements. At the end of each semester, you will write an assessment of your personal progress in each area: academic, college life and personal growth benchmarks. Your counselors and CUNYCAPs will be available to help you meet your goals and expectations. On Nov. 16, you will electronically submit your portfolio and your analysis of your progress before registration for spring 2010.