FYS faculty have a great deal of freedom to put their own spin on the course.  In fact, when faculty participate in the FYS Institute (training to teach FYS), they spend a lot of time and thought on developing a unique course theme which they can use to address the five learning outcomes of the course.  One professor may develop a CSI approach to the class while another may focus on storytelling as a theme.

Regardless of the thematic approach, all FYS instructors follow these course requirements, which have been developed by other FYS faculty since the course’s inception.

All courses should follow these policies and include them in the course syllabus:

  • FYS Catalog Course Description
  • FYS Five Learning Outcomes
  • FYS Attendance Policy
  • FYS Recommended Readings and Resources – at least one reading/resource for each of the five learning outcomes should be included in the course.  Faculty are free to require other readings.
  • Final Project submission (formerly known as GEAR)- Every FYS student is expected to upload one assignment or project they produced in FYS that demonstrates what they have learned in the course and addresses at least one of the FYS learning outcomes. This is a summative rather than formative type of assignment.  CR/NC (students earning NC for the Final Project upload will receive an Incomplete for the course).
  • FYS Final Exam -Every student in FYS will take a common skills-based final exam that is modeled on the CLA (Collegiate Learning Assessment) performance task. You should dedicate 10% of the final course grade to this final exam. As of fall 2014, the FYS Final Exam is administered via MUOnline. After the semester ends, the Office of Assessment will work with MUOnline to get a random sample of students’ exams. (With the previous paper exam version, instructors sent students’ exams to the Office of Assessment right after the semester ended. As with the paper exams, Assessment does not want and will not access students’ grades on the exams. Just the raw data is needed.)
  • FYS Syllabus Template effective spring 2015 for faculty – this includes the course policies as listed above.
  • In fall and spring semesters, FYS is offered twice weekly (75 min per class) or three times weekly (50 min per class).  We have found that the course works best with freshmen meeting for shorter periods of time more often (as opposed to a once weekly class).