University College

Students in Class

FYS Curriculum

The curriculum of First-Year Seminar involves topics that will help students make a successful academic, social, and personal transition to UNCW. The information and skills students gain will help them beyond their first-year into their major and career. FYS students participate in class discussions, engaging assignments, group work, out-of-class activities, guest presentations, and exciting projects.

Even though there are a variety of formats within FYS, all sections include the following goals and topics at their core. 

FYS Learning Goals

  • 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.

Select Topics Covered in FYS

  • Expectations in College vs. High School
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Strategic Learning
  • Time Management
  • UNCW Resources and Support Services
  • Health and Wellness
  • Stress Management
  • Motivation and Goal Setting
  • Academic Advising Information
  • Choosing a Major and Career
  • Diversity and the College Experience
  • Leadership and Citizenship

Common Course Components

The goals and student learning outcomes of First-Year Seminar encourage consistency across sections, while allowing faculty flexibility in designing and implementing the curriculum. Each section will include the following common components:

  • Common Syllabus
  • Common Textbook
  • Common Instructor Resources
  • Information Literacy Instructional Session with a UNCW Librarian
  • Academic Advisor, common to all 25 students in each course section
  • Seahawk Link/Peer Mentor
  • Major and Career Exploration Session with Career Services
  • Study Abroad Session with a representative from Office of International Programs
  • Participation in Events Beyond the Classroom
  • Group Project and Individual Paper
  • Reflections