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What Are the First Year Experience Components?

In their first year, students take a set of three courses: the First Year Experience (184) course, an Academic Writing I course, and a Quantitative Reasoning course.

  • General Education First Year Experience (184)

    Special topics selected by faculty introduce scholarly approaches to problem solving and methods of inquiry. These small classes emphasize mentorship and incorporate writing, critical thinking, oral communication, and information literacy.

    Outcomes:

    1. Explore methods of academic inquiry through engaging subject matter.
    2. Discuss concepts effectively with peers.
    3. Use writing-to-learn strategies to clarify ideas and understand new concepts.
    4. Communicate effectively through oral presentation.
    5. Recognize and apply critical thinking strategies used in a discipline.
    6. Engage in a library-led information literacy session and apply best practices for evaluating information sources in scholarly research.

    Assessments (these statements correspond to the 6 outcomes):

    1. Accuracy and quality of generated conclusions.


    2. Active participation in exchange of on-point information and ideas.


    3. Interpretation of new concepts and corresponding level of comprehension evidenced in written assignment(s).


    4. Demonstration of delivery coordination: audience alignment, information, ideas, pacing, eye contact, grammar, projection, articulation, supporting materials, professional approach.


    5a. Articulation of critical thinking strategies representative of a discipline.

    5b. Demonstration of discipline related critical thinking strategies, emphasizing one or more components (such as purpose, questions, concepts, assumptions, information, inferences/conclusions, implications/consequences, or points of view).


    6a. Evidence of participation in library-led information literacy session.

    6b. Ability to find, determine credibility of, interpret, and use scholarly works based on established criteria.

  • Academic Writing I

    Academic Writing I prepares students with the skills necessary for critical reading and academic writing, including summarizing, reading sources critically and responding to them, synthesizing multiple perspectives, and using academic writing conventions, including grammar and mechanics.

    Outcomes:

    1. Read college-level texts critically and rhetorically—distinguishing central ideas from evidence; identifying the author’s purpose, assumptions, and attitudes; and locating issues or topics in need of further research.
    2. Summarize college-level texts objectively, accurately, and ethically—referring to all key ideas and excluding unnecessary details.
    3. Respond to college-level texts—evaluating their reasoning, currency, thoroughness of research, or reliability of findings.
    4. Synthesize responses to issues, various perspectives on a topic, or solutions to a problem and draw reasonable conclusions based on this synthesis.
    5. Express ideas in clear and coherent sentences and paragraphs, following the conventions of Academic English—citing sources and demonstrating control of grammar, usage, and punctuation rules.
    6. Cite and document sources precisely and effectively according to the guidelines of a specific style manual.
  • Quantitative Reasoning

    Courses in this category focus on quantitative reasoning and its application. Students will explore various quantitative and statistical processes in order to evaluate and interpret data. Students will develop the ability to identify, analyze, and apply different principles and empirical methods to concrete problems.

    Outcomes:

    1. Explain and interpret information presented in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, basic statistical measures).
    2. Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, basic statistical measures).
    3. Make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on quantitative analysis.
    4. Make and evaluate assumptions in estimation, modeling, and data analysis.
    5. Analyze and critique claims involving quantitative information.
    6. Perform college-level arithmetical and mathematical calculations.