What Are First-Year Seminars?

Spring Semester

First-Year Seminars (FYS) strive to continue the communication skills, critical thinking, ethical reflection, and liberal learning goals of the FYP courses but with a specific focus on critical inquiry and research. Each of you will engage in a research project of significant depth over the course of the semester. Some courses have a Community Based Learning (CBL) requirement.

Withdrawal from an FYS course is not permitted, nor may FYS courses be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. FYS courses may count for department, program, ILC, or distribution/diversity credit.

Our learning goals for that research project include that you:

  • Be introduced to ways of conducting productive and imaginative inquiry and research in order to become a part of the various conversations surrounding issues.
  • Learn to differentiate among the various ways that information is produced and presented, between popular and scholarly journals and books, between mainstream and alternative publications, between primary and secondary sources.
  • Learn how to evaluate and synthesize information, whether gathered from traditional sources, such as books and journals, or from websites or electronic media.
  • Begin to develop the skills of critical analysis in the interpretation and use of information gathered from any source.
  • Be introduced to the ethical obligations that scholars have to both responsibly represent their sources and inform their readers of the sources of their information, as well as learning, and being held responsible for the proper use of, the conventions of scholarly citation and attribution.
  • Present the results of your research through writing, speaking, visual elements, or other multimedia forms in such a way that you demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively using the rhetorical conventions of the chosen form.

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How to Register for FYS