First-Year Experience
Georgia Southern University

Specifics: Faculty Qualifications and Expectations; Meeting Format

Sections of FYE 1220: First-Year Seminar cap at as close to 22 students as possible; recent increases in the size of the first-year class have necessitated sections as large as 25. Individual sections are identified by their section theme (as determined by the seminar faculty), which will appear in the course title. Seminar faculty provide a 50-125 word description of their theme which will be available to students online and during the SOAR registration process.

Seminar Component

The seminar component is designed to introduce students to college-level inquiry in a thematic environment that will engage them. A secondary goal is for students to develop a relationship with a faculty member and other students with whom they share an interest in a small classroom setting. For this reason, it is typically taught by full-time faculty or administrators with faculty rank. However, other full-time staff/administrators with a master’s or terminal degree (adjunct faculty) may also teach the seminar. Adjunct faculty must complete a one-time process to add this status and are required to work with an FYE teaching mentor the first time they teach the seminar component (see below).

The seminar portion comprises 75 percent of the course which equates to 1.5 contact hours or an average of 75 minutes per week. 75 percent of the course grade also derives from the seminar.

Faculty Expectations
Three student learning outcomes shape the common content for the seminar, which are typically addressed through readings, class discussions and exercises designed to help students evaluate resources. See the Resources for Seminar Faculty for links to various resources to reach these ends, including consultations with and/or presentations by Henderson library faculty, information sessions on teaching information literacy, on-line resources, and Folio modules for use in the course. Faculty have a great deal of latitude in creating additional outcomes and the structure of the course around the chosen theme.

Faculty meet individually with each member of the class at least once during the semester.

Extended Orientation Component

The extended orientation component of FYE 1220 provides an introduction to university resources and a set of competencies that is necessary for success at the collegiate level. Full-time faculty or staff with master’s degrees and one year of experience on campus may teach the extended orientation component of FYE 1220. As with seminar faculty, adjunct faculty must complete a one-time process to add this status and are required to work with an FYE teaching mentor the first time they teach the EO portion (see below).

FYE also uses peer instructors, who are advanced undergraduates with previous experience as peer leaders, to serve as teaching assistants for this portion of the course. Peer instructors receive additional training and are closely supervised by the FYE staff.

The extended orientation component of the course comprises 25 percent of the course, which equates to .5 contact hours, or the equivalent of eight 50-minute class sessions.

Faculty Expectations
As for the seminar component, addressing the student learning outcomes for the course is the primary responsibility for those teaching the extended orientation portion of the course. See the Resources for EO Faculty for links to various resources. Faculty for this component are required to use Folio at least minimally, in part because one of the program outcomes of the course is to expose students to the platform, but also because it is important to ensure some consistency in regard to academic policies and requirements. Many faculty use most or all of the extended orientation modules because all but one can be assigned for completion completely outside of class, thus freeing up class time to reinforce the student learning outcomes in other ways.

First-Time Adjunct Faculty

Individuals teaching FYE 1220 for the first time must add adjunct faculty status. The required components are described here.

Prior to teaching FYE 1220 for the first time, adjunct faculty also work with an FYE teaching mentor, a highly-regarded faculty member with experience in both FYE and the broader classroom environment. New faculty submit a syllabus to them for comment and feedback no later than August 1. The mentor will also observe a class and serve as a resource for other questions the new-to-FYE faculty member has. Generally, adjunct faculty only have an FYE teaching mentor once. They are assigned a teaching mentor a second time if they initially teach the EO portion of the course and then later teach the seminar portion.

Course Meeting Times

Sections of FYE 1220 are established one of two ways, depending on whether or not the faculty member teaching the seminar also teaches the extended orientation component of the course.

When the faculty member for the seminar is NOT also teaching the extended orientation component, the seminar meets for 75-minutes once a week for the entire semester. The extended orientation component for this section meets for 50 minutes for the first eight weeks beginning at the same time as the seminar on a “companion” day (Monday, Wednesday and Friday are companion days; Tuesday and Thursday are as well). For instance, if the seminar meets on Tuesdays from 9:30-10:45 (all semester), the extended orientation component would meet on Thursdays from 9:30-10:20 for the first eight weeks.

When the faculty member for the seminar IS also teaching the extended orientation component, dividing the time between the two components becomes the responsibility of the faculty member teaching the section. Typically classes run two days each week for 50 minutes (e.g., MW 9:05-9:55). Where faculty have a strong preference, there is a possibility that classes may run for one hour and 40 minutes one day a week, but this format makes it more difficult to schedule rooms and for students to construct a schedule, and because of this, the two-day-a-week format is preferred.

Last updated: 1/19/2017

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