First Year Seminar
What is the First Year Seminar?
The First Year Seminar (FYS) is designed to introduce students to the adventures of learning in a college context. The challenge and excitement of intellectual exploration of a topic of shared interest is its prime purpose. Below are some important things to know about the FYS:
- The only prerequisite to an FYS is a genuine interest in the topic and a willingness to contribute to the success of the course through effort and enthusiasm.
- Students are encouraged to take a seminar outside of their major area of interest (Please note that education majors are the exception — EDU 150: Schools in Society is required).
- The FYS provides a bridge between learning inside and outside the classroom by incorporating museum trips, field excursions, service experiences, invited lectures and other relevant activities.
- All incoming first-year students must complete an FYS in the fall or spring semester of their first year.
Information for Faculty
First Year Seminar Budget Information
Faculty teaching a First Year Seminar (FYS) are invited and encouraged to plan events and local excursions to supplement learning being done in the classroom. The hope for these events is to broaden the educational experience offered within individual courses while also helping students acclimate to college-level learning. FYS faculty are allotted up to $15/student registered in their course for this unique class component. Faculty will work with a member of the Iñigo First Year Experience committee to plan, develop and execute their particular program.
Faculty members are invited to review the resources below and submit the "FYS Student Engagement Activity Form" to start making arrangements for such events. Please also review our memo about First Year Seminar expenses.
- Research plans for trip or event.
- Complete and submit the "FYS Student Engagement Activity Form." Once the form is submitted, a member of the First Year Experience committee will contact you within two business days to confirm receipt of the form and clarify details if necessary (e.g., help with booking transportation).
- Complete planning details (be sure to retain all receipts for reimbursement).
- After the event, please submit reimbursement documentation to The Success Center via interoffice mail (Bellarmine Hall, G10). This documentation should include:
- All receipts related to the event (write your name on each receipt).
- Completed SJU Request for Funds Form (only fill out the “Payee is:” block of the form; the FYE committee will complete the rest and add the fund numbers)
There are many transportation options available to Saint Joseph's faculty and students (e.g., University vans, University buses, SEPTA). Most transportation needs should be arranged well in advance of any University event. A member of the First Year Experience committee will work with you to price out and secure transportation for your program (if applicable). Please be sure to indicate the need for transportation on your FYS Student Engagement Activity Form.
- Dr. Ken Weidner took his “Serious Comedy and Social Justice“ class to a local mosque to learn about Islam through a presentation and discussion featuring the imam and members of the Mosque. Funds covered the cost of the bus travel to and from campus to the mosque.
- Dr. John Neiva has taken his "Cultural Diversity and International Business" class to the National Constitution Center in order to explore the importance and value of diverse societies. Funds covered the cost of the bus and tickets to the NCC.
- Dr. Diane Phillips utilized a site visit to Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park with students in her "People, Planet, Profit" FYS. The students explored sustainability in the context of a highly lucrative professional sports organization.
- Dr. Julie McDonald taught "Food, Justice and Sustainability" and utilized funds to expose students to the actual sustainable, fair trade and socially conscious food products and techniques they were exploring in class.
- Dr. David Carpenter used funds in his "Asian Spiritualities" FYS to provide students with access to meditation cushions and hosted a yoga instructor in the classroom.
- Dr. Jo Alyson Parker took her “A.I. in Fiction, Fact, Film” class to see the play The Hard Problem at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia.