First Year Seminar instructors form a dynamic group of instructors across disciplines. By clicking below you will find statements that are required on your syllabus, opportunities for extra-curricular activities for your class, instructions on how to apply to receive money for class functions, and other useful information for teaching your course. View teaching resources here.
Common Expectations of First Year Seminar Faculty
First Year Seminar can be the most impactful course of a new student's first year at Appalachian. First Year Seminar faculty are expected to teach engaging courses that meet the learning objectives of the First Year Seminar Program as a whole, and to this end design meaningful assignments and activities, and give feedback to students in a timely fashion so that they can become more aware of their strengths and deficits. First Year Seminar faculty are expected to point students to relevant campus resources and co-curricular events for a successful and transformative experience of college.
In addition, all Appalachian State faculty are guided by the basic instructional expectations listed in our Faculty Handbook. The university requires all instructors to post certain policy statements on their syllabi. These statements, which can be found on the Academic Affairs website, and include policies on the Academic Integrity Code, Disability Resources, Attendance, and Student Engagement with Courses, can be copied and pasted or described and linked directly in syllabi.
First Year Seminar Office Hours Policy
All instructors at Appalachian are mandated to schedule 1.5 office hours weekly for every 3-credit hour course they teach in a regular (fall or spring) semester. For First Year Seminar classes, office hours should be held based on the course delivery method as follows:
- For classes that meet fully face-to-face, office hours would ideally also be held fully face-to-face. As an accommodation for instructors who do not live near campus or are not able to be offered office space, up to half of required office hours may be held online. Online office hours must be held live iwth active video (i.e., not just via monitored email or by appointment), and the means of access must be included on course syllabi.
- For classes that meet fully online, office hours must also be held fully online, live with active video (i.e., not just via monitored email or by appointment), and the means of access should be included on course syllabi.
- For classes that meet with a mix of face-to-face and online meetings, office hours should be split with the same mix between face-to-face and online. As an accommodation for instructors who do not live near campus or are not able to be offered office space, up to half of required face-to-face office hours may be held online. All online office hours must be held live with active video (i.e., not just via monitored email or by appointment), and the means of access must be included on course syllabi.
Class Meeting Requirements
Faculty are required to hold class meetings with their students for all of the contact hours of a semester, including their final exam period even if they are not giving a formal final exam. Faculty must notify the First Year Seminar Office any time they are not able to hold class meetings, regardless of the reason or the presence of a substitute instructor or alternative assignment.
Peer Reviews in First Year Seminar
Appalachian State University requires peer reviews of all instructors, at the rate of one per academic year for those on teaching contracts of one year or less, or one per contract for those on teaching contracts of longer than one year. Peer reviews of First Year Seminar teaching are important not just because they are required prior to contract renewals and to ensure quality instruction, but also because it provides the chance for instructors to see what others are doing with their classes, and allow others to see what they are doing, which will hopefully encourage the spread of effective and innovative teaching practices.
Requesting a Contract to Teach First Year Seminar
Requests for contracts to teach First Year Seminar must be submitted in writing, in a letter submitted electronically along with a current CV. While the letter can be short and straight-to-the-point, and does not need to be on letterhead or signed by hand, for accreditation purposes it must include at least the following:
- a statement confirming the requester has been or will be peer-reviewed during the previous academic year,
- a very brief reflection on the requester's recent First Year Seminar student evaluations, and
- a very brief summary of any professional activities (e.g., training, workshops, conferences, etc.) that the requester has done or plans to do during the previous academic year with the intention of enhancing their instruction.