About First Year Seminar
The First Year Seminar (FYS) program is built upon Daniel Willingham’s assertion that “memory is the residue of thought.” The purpose of all FYS courses is to support the construction of new knowledge, foster intellectual habits, and build strong academic skills necessary for success across the Liberal Studies Program, the students’ majors, and beyond.
FYS courses inspire thinking that is analytical, evaluative, curious, and involves the synthesis of diverse information and concepts across cultural, creative, and aesthetic works.
Critical thinking is generated by experiences where students:
- wrestle with ambiguity
- make sense of the relationship between context and creative expression
- examine diverse and contradictory sources
- answer essential and enduring questions
Critical thought is actualized in regular classroom exercises harnessing effective oral communication and civil discourse, an intentional focus on developing a strong writer’s practice through regular writing-as -thinking exercises, and three core writing experiences.
Liberal Studies At NAU
The mission of the Liberal Studies Program at NAU is to cultivate informed, responsible, productive, and self-reflective citizens of the world.
Traditionally, a Liberal Studies education has been regarded both as the education that is fitting for citizens of a free society and the education that best fits citizens to be free. In fact, the term “liberal” comes from the Latin word for freedom, so liberal studies can be understood as the acquisition of knowledge that can enrich human freedom or guide the wise use of it.
The Liberal Studies Program provides opportunities for you to develop a rich interdisciplinary perspective on life that complements the focused disciplinary capabilities you develop in your major.
The purpose of the Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry requirement is to involve students in the study of the human condition through philosophical inquiry, ethical reasoning, and analysis of the various forms of creative expression. Courses in this block provide guided opportunities for students to develop a working understanding of:
- the relationship between context and human creative expression
- major conceptual frameworks utilized to make sense of the creative arts
- how human experience and values are expressed through creative endeavors, as well as the multiple facets of the human condition