Philosophy and Goals

First-Year Program Philosophy and Goals

passed by the FYP faculty on March 25, 2021

The core of the First Year Program since its founding in 1987 has been its living-learning community; thus, the program continues to affirm the value of holistic learning that occurs both inside and outside the classrooms of the First Year Program (FYP) and First Year Seminar (FYS) courses. Throughout FYP and FYS classes, in advising conversations, and in co-curricular interactions in the residential community, the program seeks to help students grow in six key areas: critical capacities, oral and written communication, research, interpersonal skills, belonging and community citizenship, and sense of purpose.

  • Critical Capacities: You will demonstrate your ability to identify, collect, and evaluate evidence; to construct arguments; and to think critically and creatively about challenging problems and questions.
  • Oral and Written Communication: You will demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly, to argue convincingly, and to use evidence to support your position in writing and speech.
  • Research: You will demonstrate your ability to find, evaluate, interpret, and synthesize evidence and data; to differentiate between the ways information is produced by scholars and researchers and conveyed to its intended audience; and to responsibly incorporate the ideas of others into arguments of your own.
  • Interpersonal Skills: You will demonstrate your abilities to collaborate on a shared goal, handle difference and disagreement, and negotiate conflict.
  • Community and Belonging: You will practice responsible participation in the Laurentian community, grow your ability to forge connections with others, and foster inclusive relationships across difference.
  • Purpose: You will practice the skills necessary to create academic, co-curricular, and career plans; to persist in the face of challenges; and to seek, adapt, and respond to feedback.

To ensure that the program is meeting its stated goals, all FYP and FYS syllabi are read by other faculty in the program to determine if they include a variety of assignments that foster the goals of the program.  All FYP and FYS courses have to be approved by faculty in the program before they are offered.