First-Year Experience Course Criteria


A proposal for a First-Year Experience course should identify an existing course or propose a new course with the following features: 

  • First-year courses will have academic content and be offered for academic credit (either as GUR or elective credits)
  • First-year courses will be taught in small sections, with an expected maximum enrollment 30
  • First-year courses will restrict enrollment to first-year students
  • The course may be a stand alone course or offered as part of a link or sequence of courses
  • The course may be letter-graded or pass/fail if it is not offered as a GUR course

First-Year Experience (FYE) offerings are intended to:

  • Give first-year students a small group experience to help them integrate into university life
  • Give first-year students the opportunity for more interaction with faculty, fostering a stronger sense of academic community
  • Communicate high academic expectations to students
  • Help students recognize and take advantage of the roles that various campus resources play in their academic lives
Learning Outcomes

First-year courses should be designed to meet at least two of the following learning outcomes: 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of inquiry and creative processes from disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary perspective(s)
  • Articulate individual learning goals in the context of a liberal arts education and identify means for achieving these goals. 
  • Enhance competency in academic skills including: framing questions/posing problems, critical literacy, evaluating information sources, writing, oral communication, and collaboration
 Proposal Development
  • Courses in this group can be altogether new courses or special offerings of existing courses.
  • Additional learning outcomes are strongly encouraged in the first-year courses, and a comprehensive listing of the most common first-year learning outcomes and appropriate assessment methods will be available online to faculty as they design their first-year course.


Page Updated 11.22.2017