First-Year Seminar


The first-year seminar (FYS) provides an intimate educational experience, integrating knowledge and skills within an academic discipline and connecting students to UCA.

FYS courses are specially designed and address Communications outcomes, including written communication and collaboration, and either the Critical Inquiry, Diversity, or Responsible Living outcomes.

Required content of the FYS includes the following:

  • Written discourse, which will be assessed using the writing rubric Communication Rubric B (Written)
  • Collaboration, which will be assessed using the collaboration rubric Communication Rubric C (Collaboration)
  • An orientation to the UCA Core mission, purpose, and general learning outcomes, which will be integrated into the course and assessed (The assessment rubric title is FYS Rubric – Knowledge of the Core)
  • A focus on the basic principles of the discipline, which will allow the course to fulfill one of the lower-division Core requirements other than communications.

Additional considerations for first-year seminars include the following:

  • Class size must be small (25 students or fewer);
  • Faculty must be selected by the department chair and have demonstrated an aptitude for high impact teaching;
  • FYS faculty will agree to participate in more thorough assessment and additional development as it is made available (e.g. in teaching writing skills, developing collaborative assignments, etc.)

An FYS must be taken in a student’s first year (30 credit hours) at UCA. Transfer students with more than 30 hours of transfer credit are not be required to take an FYS.