First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar (UCO 1200) introduces first-year Appalachian students (freshmen and transfers*) to a liberal arts education at Appalachian through interdisciplinary engagement with a broad topic or question. Experienced faculty engage First Year Seminar students in a shared process of inquiry in small (with an average class size of 22) seminar-style classes. Students in First Year Seminar practice thinking critically and creatively, communicating effectively, developing intercultural competence, and developing information literacy competence. Students in First Year Seminar also engage with the common reading book, and are exposed to university resources and activities, explicit expectations for college-level work, and the purpose of a liberal arts education. In addition to examining distinct topics from multiple perspectives, all classes equip students with a common set of transferable skills. In particular, First Year Seminar facilitates student engagement with fellow students, the university, and the community, and the development of the habits of rigorous study, intellectual growth, and lifelong learning. 

Every First Year Seminar course is designed by an individual faculty member on a topic of their choice that integrates the aforementioned common learning goals. Prospective First Year Seminar instructors propose their course and describe how it will meet the common learning goals to an elected faculty committee, who review proposals about a year in advance, and whose approval is required before a course can be taught.

*Effective Fall 2023, the First Year Seminar requirement in General Education (which is satisfied by UCO 1200, HON 1515, or WRC 1103) can be waived by students who (1) graduated from high school at least one year prior to entering Appalachian, (2) are classified as transfer students by Admissions, AND (3) have earned at least 24 transferable semester credit hours at postsecondary institutions prior to entering Appalachian. Credit by exam or for military or life experience is excluded from the 24 semester credit hours. Students whose First Year Seminar requirement in General Education is waived might have three fewer semester credit hours of General Education.

Meet the Core First Year Seminar Faculty

The First Year Seminar Core Faculty are dedicated Lecturers in First Year Seminar. They are award-winning faculty members who are innovative in their teaching methods and deeply committed to Appalachian's first-year students.