The First-Year Seminar Program: Our Philosophy

The purpose of the First-Year Seminars (FYS) program is to help students make the transition to university courses and college-level learning. In this effort, the FYS's focus attention on the intellectual skills that students need to flourish at the university. As a place to ask questions about the University and practice the skills needed to succeed as a first-year student, these courses provide support for the transition into college life and the K-State community.

Emphasis on first-year students

The small seminars enroll only students in their first-year at K-State.

Academic content

Each seminar is a special FYS of a regular, academic, general education class. Although the academic content varies among the seminars, each seminar focuses on a distinctive, college-level academic subject. The most important goal of these seminars is to provide fundamental support to K-State's academic mission and its focus on student learning.

Common elements

The FYS's are connected to each other as parts of a larger FYS Program. All seminars are designed to introduce students to the academic standards of college-level work and the University's undergraduate student learning outcomes. The FYS's emphasize critical thinking, communication, community building, and the application of learning. They also provide students with the opportunity to engage in at least three co-curricular activities.

High-quality instruction

The FYS Program has a strong, skilled, and dedicated faculty. These faculty members are part of a team of instructors who are coordinated at the university-level and work with each other to plan, design, teach, and assess the FYS Program. These instructors, drawn from all over campus, are pedagogically excellent, experienced, and interested in undergraduate education at K-State. They are among the best instructors at the university.

Active learning

With their small size and community-focus, the First- Year Seminars (FYS) invite and encourage an active learning environment. The seminars devote significant portions of class time to hands-on learning, group discussions, problem solving, inquiry-based learning, and activities that provide students with opportunities to develop their critical thinking and communication skills. The FYS's are also academic spaces that encourage students to collaborate, interact, and develop relationships with their peers and professors.