Training for faculty who wish to teach the First Year Seminar

Fall 2017 Faculty Institute:

First Year Seminar in Critical Thinking (FYS 100)

Do you have a great idea for an interdisciplinary course that invites students to investigate a problem or cluster of problems, like “Wikileaks,” “The Fear Factor,” “Apocalypse,” or “Garbage”? 

Would you like to structure a course around student inquiry, discovery, and design, like “Life Unlimited?” “Dystopia,” or “Huntington”?

The Core Curriculum at Marshall University requires that all first year students complete nine hours of emphasis on both critical thinking (Core I) and the MU Degree Profile. At the core of that Core is FYS 100: First Year Seminar in Critical Thinking. FYS 100 emphasizes inquiry, intercultural thinking, information literacy, life-long learning skills (metacognition) and integrative thinking. Limited to an enrollment of 22 students, FYS courses are active, energetic, hands on. They involve debate, asking essential questions, experimentation, writing to learn, the leveraging of failure, and adaptation.

We invite you to join the FYS Faculty at Marshall University. Each semester, the Center for Teaching & Learning and the Office of First Year Seminar co-facilitate a faculty institute to assist future FYS instructors in developing an effective interdisciplinary course design and in teaching the course for the first time.


When should I plan to participate in FYS Institute training? If you’d like to teach the course for the first time next spring 2018, you are invited to join us for the Institute this fall.  (If you are not able to teach FYS in spring 2018, we invite you to join us for the next FYS Institute training in spring 2018 which would prepare you to teach in fall 2018.)

Faculty should select to participate in the Institute in the semester immediately prior to teaching the course. There are good reasons for this, in part because this way we avoid a nearly one-year gap between the training and the teaching of the course.  So, if you want to begin teaching in spring, you are invited to participate in the FYS Institute in the prior fall semester.  If you want to begin teaching in the fall, you are invited to participate in the FYS Institute in the prior spring semester.


Upon completion of the Institute and submission of a complete syllabus and course design plan, participants will receive an $1800 stipend. Active FYS faculty will also receive a new or lightly used iPad for use in the classroom. (Please note: the iPad remains university property.)  By completing the FYS Institute, you agree to teach at least four sections of FYS (which you map out on the Intent to Teach form below) and to follow FYS course policies.

The Institute begins with a half-day Friday retreat early in the fall semester and continues over a seven-week period with online work and two additional F2F meetings (dates and times to be determined based on trainees’ schedules). All F2F meetings are required.

The TENTATIVE schedule is as follows:

  • F2F meeting – Sept 15. : 2 – 5pm: Half-Day Retreat, Location: Smith Hall 330
  • Week of Sept. 18: Online Module 1
  • Week of Sept. 25: Online Module 2
  • Week of Oct. 2: Online Module 3
  • F2F meeting– week of Date and time subject to trainees’ schedules
  • Week of Oct. 9 Online Module 4
  • Week of Oct. 16:Online Module 5
  • Week of Oct. 23: Online Module 6
  • F2F meeting –week of 23. Date and time subject to trainees’ schedules
  • Week of Oct. 30 Online Module 7
  • 17 = Due date for submission of all FYS Institute materials**Note: Faculty commitment to teach FYS in AY 2016-17 or thereafter will require chair and dean approval. The course may be taught in-load or out of load; your chair/dean will assist you in making that decision.  Compensation for teaching an overload section of FYS in fall and spring semesters = $1800 per section.

To register for the FYS Institute

You need to do TWO things:

1. Please complete the FYS-Intent-To-Teach-rev-9-1-15 jns, which must be received with all signatures in Academic Affairs by Monday, Sept. 11Academic Affairs recommends walking the FYS Intent to Teach form through rather than using campus mail. 

2. Complete the following online registration form:

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