University College

Class with students

FYS Instructors

Why Teach a First-Year Seminar Course?

First-Year Seminar is taught by UNCW faculty, staff, and administrators who are dedicated to first-year student learning and success. UNI faculty find this experience personally and professionally rewarding as it provides them an opportunity to contribute to first-year persistence and offers them a deeper understanding of student perspectives and needs.

Assisting students in developing effective self-management and study strategies can often mean the difference between success and failure in the first year, regardless of academic aptitude or preparation. By fostering increased self-awareness, enhancement of critical thinking skills, and early engagement with the UNCW community, FYS faculty can have a significant positive impact on student success. Research also indicates that academic habits and attitudes established in the first year of college remain respectively stable through subsequent semesters, so the first term becomes a critical period in which approaches to learning can be shaped to best serve the student.

Click here for research related to First-Year Seminar.

How to Become a FYS Instructor

Recruitment of FYS faculty is ongoing with an annual call for instructors distributed campus-wide in January. First-Year Seminar instructors are drawn from the ranks of the full-time or part-time faculty, academic advisors, university administrators, and student affairs professionals. Currently, our instructors represent over thirty UNCW offices and departments. The minimum qualifications to teach FYS are:

  • A Master's degree or higher academic degree from an accredited institution (official transcript(s) required)
  • Prior experience in college teaching, student services, academic advising, or counseling
  • Interest in supporting new student transition and the unique needs of first-year students
  • Approval of supervisor or department chair

All new instructors are encouraged to complete a FYS Information Session between November and January. If no information session is available please review the Information Session Powerpoint to learn more about UNI 101. The information sessions cover UNI as part of University Studies, the curriculum of UNI, and instructor expectations. New instructors are required to attend two half-day Orientation Sessions (March), and UNCW's First-Year Studies Conference in April.


Applications for FYS will only be accepted after attendance at an FYS Information Session or proof of review is submitted from the powerpoint slides. Applications can be accessed below. You will be able to download your cover letter and/or resume/vitae via the online application. Please complete the appropriate application:

Interviews for new instructors will be scheduled once the cover letter, resume, and application have been received and reviewed. Returning instructors will not need to interview but must submit an updated resume via the online application. If you have questions about the First-Year Seminar instructor position, please contact Kelsey Axe, UNI 101 Coordinator at (910) 962-3166 or email

First-Year Seminar Information Sessions

UNI instructors who taught in semesters prior to Fall 2017 and all new applicants must attend a First-Year Information Session prior to submitting an application. All Info Sessions will be held in DePaolo 1017. 

  • In-person information sessions for interest in teaching Fall 2020 have passed; please review the powerpoint
  • Information Session Powerpoint
    • Complete survey at the end of the powerpoint for proof of review

FYS Instructor Development

Teaching a UNI section is contingent upon attending all instructor development sessions. All returning instructors must complete a questionnaire and application in order to be eligible to teach in Fall 2020.

Instructor Orientation and Instructor Workshops

New instructors are required to attend two half-day instructor orientation sessions. For Fall 2020 instructors the training will take place from 1-4:30pm in EB 246 on March 27th and April 3rd, 2020. 

Both new and returning instructors are required to attend the First-Year Studies Conference and the Annual FYS Kick-Off (TBA).