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Background of the FYE Course

Overview of FYE in the United States and at UW

First Year Experience: Southern Roots

Since the 1970s, significant efforts have been made to improve student transition experiences on U.S. campuses. A variety of campus programs have been developed to meet the needs of first-year students and help them become successful academics. The University of South Carolina is the first school to offer a class associated with the first year experience. The original goal of USC’s University 101 was simply to “improve the educational experiences of first-year college students.” This course provided the impetus for a movement to improve the first year experience for students.

By 1982, 175 universities had convened at the first Annual Conference on the Freshman Year Experience. The National Resource Center was established at the University of South Carolina in 1986 to provide research on student transitions in higher education. In 1998, the name changed to the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. The mission of the Center is “to advance and support efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education.” For more information and research, click here.

 

First Year Experience at the University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming offered its first year transition course in the 1991 University Studies Program requirements. University Studies 1000 “Intro to University Life” UW’s answer to the first year experience. This course was a one-credit graded course that included visits to various areas around campus, an introduction to academic skills, and alcohol awareness training. This Freshman Seminar was discontinued in 2003 in lieu of a more comprehensive orientation in the summer.

In 2015, a new freshman course, the First Year Seminar (FYS), was introduced into the University Studies requirements. Its focus was unlike that of the 1991 Freshman Seminar. Rather than an introduction to academic skills and campus resources, the six student learning outcomes in the 2015 FYS emphasized critical thinking, communication, and research skills. The missing pieces that some students expected from a first year university course were those that were included in the 1991 one-credit seminar. To compensate, some instructors added pieces of time management, campus resources, and wellness skills into their own syllabi. However, the focus of the current FYS remains that of developing analytical skills rather than skills to aid in the transition into university life.

 

2019: Introducing STEP 1102

In Fall 2017 plans were underway to create a First Year Experience course to capture college transition skills that the FYS does not cover. Academic Affair’s LeaRN program was tasked with its inception, and the first offerings of the STEP 1102: STEP into College will be offered in Fall 2019. The FYE course is meant to complement the FYS.

First Year Seminar (FYS) Learning Outcomes Shared Course Goals Step into College (FYE) Learning Outcomes
  1. Access diverse information through focused research, active discussion, and collaboration with peers.

  2. Separate facts from inferences and relevant from irrelevant information, and explain the limitations of information.

  3. Evaluate the credibility, accuracy, and reliability of conclusions drawn from information.

  4. Recognize and synthesize multiple perspectives to develop innovative viewpoints.

  5. Analyze one’s own and others’ assumptions and evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.

  6. Communicate ideas in writing using appropriate documentation.

  • Explore a network of social, professional, and academic connections that last throughout college

  • Develop appreciation for diversity and inclusion on campus and in life

  • Develop confidence in  communication skills

  1. Develop practical and metacognitive skills to better understand the learning process, including:

    • goal-setting

    • mindset

    • time management

    • note-taking

    • study skills

  2. Engage in and reflect on a common, university-wide experience by establishing relationships with faculty, advisors, student support services, and campus organizations.

  3. Develop skills that help with personal growth and wellness, such as:

    • strategies for managing personal finance

    • Evaluating issues of living in a diverse society.

    • Developing academic interests and career pathways

 

Semester Learning Options

In addition to full-semester offerings of the FYE course, there will be one section that will be available after the Early Alert process when advisors can identify students who may be missing the the transition skills that can help them succeed.


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Principles of STEP 1102

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Instructor Qualifications

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Course Approval Process

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Sample Course Syllabus

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Course Guidelines

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Course Modules

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Course Approval Form

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Meet the Instructors

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Contact Us

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Benefits to Teaching STEP 1102

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