What is the First Year Learning Initiative?

FYLI course stamp 




The First Year Learning Initiative (FYLI) is a unique, locally-developed and faculty-driven program for building academic success in the early college career. There are currently over 75 FYLI-certified courses, including many of the highest-enrollment, highest-impact gateway courses at NAU. Typically, over 97% of first year students are enrolled in at least one FYLI course. 

FYLI is based on the fact that students need – and want – high standards in their lower-division coursework. They also need to have those standards clearly communicated from the first moments of engagement with a course. To be successful, students need support, guidance, highly engaging pedagogy, and clear, frequent feedback. Through the FYLI development process, course coordinators collaboratively reshape their courses in order to meet these needs, focusing on three critical areas:

  • Socializing students for excellence
    FYLI courses establish the attitudes, skills, and behaviors that enable students to succeed in the first year and beyond. Critical aspects include increased rigor and excellence and providing effective scaffolding for students to succeed.
  • Design
    FYLI courses maximize student engagement through critical design features. These include requiring substantial student engagement beginning in the first week, setting high standards, and effectively using the learning opportunities in both the classroom and in the co-curriculum.
  • Coordination
    Multi-section courses will also have clear coordination plans in place. Important practices are captured in a course Syllabus of Practice.