First-Year Experience
Georgia Southern University

First-Year Seminar at the Consolidated Georgia Southern

As the consolidation process moves forward, FYE is committed to engaging faculty and other campus partners about how the First-Year Seminar will develop. Through this website, you’ll find information about organization of the consolidation process, as well as the basic structure of the course approved by the Consolidation Implementation Committee and the First-Year Seminar Implementation Task Force.

FYE Operational Working Group

Armstrong State University
Greg Anderson (co-chair): Director, First-Year Experience
Suzy Carpenter: Associate Professor of Chemistry, Co-Assistant Director, First-Year Experience
Geneva Demars: Lecturer of Biology
Judith Garrison: Head of Reference and Instruction, Assistant Professor of Library Science, Co-Assistant Director, First-Year Experience

Georgia Southern University
Chris Caplinger (co-chair): Director, First-Year Experience
Michelle Cawthorn: Associate Professor, Biology
Francis Desiderio: Associate Director, University Honors Program
Alicia Spence: Assistant Director, First-Year Experience

First-Year Seminar Implementation Task Force

Armstrong State University
Greg Anderson (co-chair): Director, First-Year Experience
Suzy Carpenter: Associate Professor of Chemistry, Co-Assistant Director, First-Year Experience
Cynthia Costa: Senior Lecturer, Art Appreciation and Art history
Geneva Demars: Lecturer, Biology
Judith Garrison: Head of Reference and Instruction, Assistant Professor of Library Science, Co-Assistant Director, First-Year Experience
Keri Mans: Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Sciences
Joshua Williams: Assistant Professors, Psychology

Georgia Southern University

Chris Caplinger (co-chair): Director, First-Year Experience
Michelle Cawthorn: Associate Professor, Biology
Francis Desiderio: Associate Director, University Honors Program
Alan Downs: Associate Professor, History
Leslie Haas: Librarian Associate Professor
Salman Siddiqui: Lecturer, Electrical Engineering
Alicia Spence: Assistant Director, First-Year Experience

Consolidation Implementation Committee Approved Recommendation
The new Georgia Southern University shall require a two-credit hour First-Year Seminar of all students who enter the university except those who transfer in 30 or more earned credit hours. The Seminar shall be taken by all required students their first term of enrollment.
Approved by the CIC on May 10, 2017. See the formal recommendation here with accompanying rationale.
First-Year Seminar Course Description
FYE 1220: First-Year Seminar
Seminar designed to develop foundational information literacy skills and apply them to academic inquiry, academic planning, and campus engagement. Required during students’ first semester at the university (except for transfer students who enter with 30 hours or more); students may not withdraw.
Approved by the Task Force, September 29, 2017. Next step: university curriculum review process.
Two Seminar Models

The FYE courses at both universities have significant overlap, including an emphasis on information literacy. The models for addressing outcomes are different. FYE at the new university will offer both models on both campuses.

Linked Course or Learning Community model (current Armstrong model): The First-Year Seminar is linked to a core curriculum course. Students are enrolled in both courses, and apply the information literacy outcomes through a research project in the core course.

Thematic Seminar model (current Georgia Southern model): Faculty develop a theme that students select based on their interests. Students apply the information literacy outcomes by researching the theme.

Elimination of “Seminar” and “Extended Orientation” Components

Currently, the First-Year Seminar on the Statesboro campus is divided into two components: seminar, which makes up 75% of the course and grade; and extended orientation, which comprises 25% of the course and grade. While most FYE 1220 sections (83% in Fall 2017) have one faculty member teaching both components, some sections are split, i.e., they have one instructor per component. Starting Fall 2018, components of the course will be eliminated, and we will no longer offer split sections. The course will still include outcomes that could be described as extended orientation, but we won’t be formally dividing the course or using that language.

Rationale: While split sections historically allowed faculty to teach the component in which they were most interested, this structure often caused confusion among students, and presented logistical challenges for instructors. Additionally, the term “extended orientation” is not student friendly (while widely used in FYE circles, it’s undeniably jargon). For these reasons and because we’re introducing the complexity of two separate models of the first-year seminar, the task force decided the best course of action would be to eliminate components altogether. Doing so streamlines course administration, and allows students to develop relationships with faculty over a greater period of time.

The following is a draft of FYE 1220 student learning outcomes. The FYE Task Force is currently using faculty feedback to finalize course outcomes.

Students will . . .

      1. Develop and apply information literacy skills in academic and non-academic contexts by:
        • Determining the nature and extent of information needed to answer a question, explore a topic, solve a problem, and/or complete a project.
        • Identifying and accessing sources for their informational need.
        • Critically evaluating information for its currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose.
        • Applying ethical standards in their use of information.
      2. Engage with their degree program, campus resources, and community by:
        • Creating a realistic plan for meeting degree expectations that aligns with their personal goals.
        • Reflecting upon the extent to which campus engagement helps them reach goals and/or overcome personal challenges.
        • Examining the effectiveness of their communication and interactions with members of the university community.

Last updated: 11/13/2017

First-Year Experience • P.O. Box 8145 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-3939 • fye@georgiasouthern.edu