The First Year Seminar class or FYS as it is known around campus, has recently undergone changes that many returning students may not be aware of. After many polls and a lot of student input, the class is now first come first serve for topics opposed to the past where the topics were given to the student by dorm assignment.
The idea for this change had been discussed for quite some time, but only recently voted into effect, according to Director of Academic Advising Gretchen Potter and Associate Proffesor of English and FYS Director Brent Johnson. In May of 2017, the old way of selecting themes for the FYS program was voted to be changed to a new format by the FYS faculty. It was voted to act as a pilot project in the fall of 2017 according to Johnson.
Potter said she supported and agreed with this change due to the number of students complaining about the lack of choice in their FYS class.
“When students are forced into a specific theme, it could make it tougher for them to want to be there,” Potter said. “We wanted students to be in a theme where they wanted to learn.”
Johnson brought the possible change to the attention of the FYS Faculty to be approved.
“Our hope is that providing students an opportunity to choose FYS sections based on their thematic foci will increase the student’s level of intellectual engagement,” Johnson said.
While it seems the change was done to increase the effort put forth by students in their classes, Potter said she hopes the change can make the FYS class become a more meaningful and enjoyable experience for the students. As far as any future changes possibly coming to FYS,
Potter said there is nothing serious going around, but added there are always conversations going on, mostly ones that have already been around for a while.