First Year Seminar
An Innovative Gateway to NAU’s Liberal Studies Program
FYS is a three credit, topics-based seminar with 25 students per section, taught by highly engaged faculty from across campus. Each course includes a Peer Facilitator that works together with the faculty member to create a supportive and creative learning environment.
This program serves as an entry point for NAU’s interdisciplinary Liberal Studies program, promoting students’ progression towards graduation. All FYS courses are academically rigorous, support the intent of the First Year Learning Initiative (FYLI) and provide students with growth mindset, critical thinking skills, and content knowledge transferable to their ongoing academic career at NAU.
The First Year Seminar Program is guided by the following four goals:
- To foster a diverse, inclusive academic community through high touch engagement with interdisciplinary faculty and students from diverse backgrounds
- To construct a student-centered teaching and learning experience in small classroom settings that focus on engaging, relevant topics with a strong emphasis on developing critical thinking and oral communication skills through a shared process of inquiry
- To build student resilience and success by creating a strong sense of academic community and belonging by actively engaging students in their learning experiences
- To provide students with an introduction to the mission and four goals of a liberal education at NAU by exploring contemporary, meaningful topics aligned to majors and interests which partially fulfill their Liberal Studies Degree requirement
The classes are small, relatable and fun. They are designed to bring students, peer mentors and excellent faculty, teachers and scholars on campus together to explore rich and engaging topics based on student interest and current issues.