Curriculum

Required and Elective courses

  • FYS 5000 - Introduction to First-Year Studies
  • FYS 5100 - Methods and Assessment of First-Year Programs
  • FYS 5200 - History of First-Year Studies
  • FYS 5300 - Fundamentals of Designing First-Year Programs and Experiences
  • FYS 5400 - Cognitive Development of First-Year College Students
  • FYS 5500 - Development and Organization of First-Year Programs
  • FYS 5600 - First-Year Student Success: Theory and Practice
  • FYS 5700 - Multiculturalism of First-Year Students
  • FYS 5900 - Directed Study (Elective)
  • FYS 6000 - Practicum: Teaching a First-Year Seminar (Elective)
  • FYS 6100 - Seminar on Current Topics in First-Year Studies (Elective)
  • FYS 6200 – Thesis
  • Proposed Timeline for Completing Degree (Full-Time Student)

    • 1st Semester - 9 hours
      2nd Semester - 9 hours
    • FYS 5000
      FYS 5100
      FYS 5200
      FYS 5300
      FYS 5400
      FYS 550
    • 3rd Semester - 9 hours
      4th Semester - 6 hours
    • FYS 5600
      FYS 5700
      FYS 6200
      Elective Course
      FYS 6200

     

  • Click here to view the Master of Science in First-Year Studies degree plan.

Course Descriptions

  • Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in First-Year Studies or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course provides the foundation for the practices, concepts, structures, themes, theories, and trends of first-year programs and experiences. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of the discipline. It will also discuss current structures, such as the Foundations of Excellence® self-studies and benchmarking trends.

  • Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in First-Year Studies or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course introduces students to the principles and procedures of qualitative and quantitative methods utilized in interdisciplinary scholarly research and in both course and program assessment to improve the quality of learning in first-year initiatives. In addition, this course will address assessment as an essential tool to understand what first-year students are learning, to explore the extent to which faculty are meeting teaching goals, and to improve the quality of learning in First-Year Experience® initiatives.

  • Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in First-Year Studies or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course begins with the development of the trivium, then the quadrivium in classical Greece and Rome, then progresses through John Dewey before focusing on recent changes in higher education to explain the development and growth of first-year programs. Topics include general history and trends regarding The First-Year Experience® and the development of first-year studies as a discipline.

  • Prerequisite: FYS 5000 and 5100 or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    In this course, students develop a program-level understanding of The First-Year Experience® (FYE) initiatives with an emphasis on curriculum development and course design. Students evaluate, critique, and discuss theoretical components of integrative learning, active learning, and experiential learning as applied in courses designed specifically for first-year students. Connections between courses and other elements of FYE initiatives are evaluated in terms of strategic purpose and organizational structure.

  • Prerequisite: FYS 5000 or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course provides a general developmental and psychological perspective of first-year college students and influences on their behavior by examining human behavior through the life cycle to explain the unique characteristics of first-year students. It describes the physical, cognitive, and psycho-social aspects of human development while exploring individuals in social contexts, social roles, group processes and inter-group relations, conformity, attitudes, and motivation – all specifically related to entering college students.

  • Prerequisites: FYS 5000 and FYS 5200 or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course utilizes the case study method to examine the development, maintenance, and growth of first-year programs within distinct educational environments: community colleges; private institutions; small, public universities; and large, research universities. The course reviews structural options, faculty/staff supervision, budgeting, and assessment practices related to programs specifically designed for first-year students.

  • Prerequisites: FYS 5000 and FYS 5100 or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course investigates characteristics of campus environments while highlighting how institutions understand and design environments to help first-year students succeed in college. Policies, programs and practices that enhance first-year student achievement will be examined to show the benefits to first-year student learning and educational effectiveness that can be realized when these conditions are present.

  • Prerequisite: FYS 5000 or permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course provides students with a broad examination of cultures and diverse populations represented in first-year students. Additionally, this course introduces theories, research, and practices related to multiculturalism while encouraging students to explore how these may be applied in the transition to college.

  • Prerequisites: Admission to the graduate program in First-Year Studies and permission of the FYTS Graduate Program Director.

    This course provides students an opportunity to explore a topic of interest at a more in-depth level than covered in a core or elective class or to explore a topic not specifically addressed in a regular course offering. Students may take no more than six hours in Directed Studies.

  • Prerequisite: FYS 5300, successful completion of 18 hours of graduate credit in First-Year Studies, and permission of the Director of First-Year Seminars.

    This course is designed to give students supervised, practical experience in the classroom application of graduate studies in by providing them the opportunity to teach a first-year seminar course.

  • Prerequisite: FYS 5300

    This elective course exposes students to a broad range of current topics in the area of first-year studies, introduces them to the most recent advancements in current practices in the discipline, and informs them of emerging trends. Seminar discussions also focus on the impact the advancements/trends have had on the discipline and in the first-year classroom. Topics vary and are updated to reflect new directions of the discipline.

  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of 18 hours of graduate credit and approval of topic by thesis advisor.

    This course supports and guides master’s candidates in the implementation of their research and the development and defense of their thesis. Students conceptualize, design, and conduct an original research project related to first-year programs and experiences. Students draw on knowledge acquired from their course work to create a research project as the basis of their thesis. This course provides individual time with the thesis advisor and committee members.

 

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