University Studies Advisory Committee

First Year Seminar

OVERVIEW:

This document provides a description of the First Year Seminar component of University Studies. In so doing, it differentiates between common component-level student learning outcomes and discipline-specific course-level learning outcomes, offering examples of both types. The goal is to encourage the development of challenging and varied University Studies courses that share common assessable student learning outcomes.

PART I: DESCRIPTION AND RATIONALE

Justification for a required First Year Experience course is derived from the first goal set forth in the UNCW Strategic Plan to "Create the most powerful learning experience possible for our student" and objective five, to "Improve experiences for students during initial entry into campus life and at critical junctures in their education." There are multiple options available under the “First Year Experience” category, but all are committed to accomplishing the learning outcomes below and are characterized by small class size, content and personal attention from instructors committed to involvement in the First Year Experience concept, and structured to support a successful transition to the intellectual and cultural life on campus.

PART II: COMMON STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES ALIGNED TO UNIVERSITY STUDIES GOALS

The following are the Common Student Learning Outcomes for First Year Seminar. These are aligned with the UNCW Learning Goals. Each course in this category must address all of the Common Student Learning Outcomes for the category, and list these Common SLOs along with course-specific SLOs in the course syllabus. Proposals for inclusion in the category will describe the opportunities which will be provided for students to learn the outcome (readings, class discussion and/or activities, applied projects) and list the specific sources of evidence (exams, papers, projects, quizzes, etc.) that will be used to determine the level of student understanding.

The student will:

  • FS 1. Demonstrate the ability to identify, locate and use reference sources and materials necessary for success in a higher education experience. [Information Literacy]
  • FS 2. Participate in discussion of real-life issues as informed, critical members of the group. [Inquiry]
  • FS 3. Demonstrate ability to identify and apply academic strategies for analyzing, synthesizing, and critically evaluating information from all courses. [Critical Thinking]
  • FS 4. Compose purposeful, reflective, written responses related to transitional issues. [Thoughtful Expression]
  • FS 5. (NEW) Demonstrate awareness and understanding of both the University Studies curriculum and UNCW's Honor code and their importance to academic well-being.

PART III: STUDENT COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS

Students are required to take three hours from this component.

[Although much of the curriculum in First Year Seminars is consistent from section to section, some seminars may be associated with academic majors.]