First-Year Seminar Common Questions

What benefits will you receive as a FYS student?

  • Get to know your campus and your new community.
  • Learn what it takes to be a successful college student, how to adjust to the collegiate environment and the resources available.
  • Develop friendships with current students, staff and faculty.
  • Develop habits and skills that foster academic and social success.

What benefits have former FYS students said they received by taking the course?

  • “Being able to bond with other freshmen. The social aspect was the best. It allowed us to share our experiences and get used to the [college] setting much better.”
  • “I feel that I would not be where I am today if it had not been for the First-Year Experience Program, particularly because of Fall Welcome and the FYS class…I am so glad I took part in it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!”
  • “Connecting with other students helped to establish meaningful friendships as well as gave me the skills and tools to adjust to the college lifestyle.”

Is a textbook required for First-Year Seminar?

Yes, a textbook is required that is specifically designed for new and transfer students. The textbook addresses topics that are common to first-year students of a major university.

What is a co-curricular activity?

A co-curricular activity is an experience that takes learning outside of the classroom. Co-curricular activities vary from year to year, but the activities and events will concentrate on subjects that include: community service, cultural diversity, health and wellness, athletics, campus involvement or the arts. This experience gives students the opportunity to form connections outside of the classroom and introduces students to various topics and messages critical to the start of their college careers.

What student qualifies for the First-Year Seminar?

The course is open to all new or transfer students. Students in the following departments and colleges will be participating in the seminar as part of their experience and will have to register for the course.

  • Exploratory
  • TRIO Student Success Program
  • Alpha Program
  • Seita Scholarship
  • Kalamazoo Promise

How does the First-Year Seminar work and what is the content of the course?

  • Seminar students enroll in the two-credit hour seminar during New Student Orientation and participate in planned FYS programs and activities.
  • Students enrolled in First-Year Seminar arrive on Monday, August 25 to participate in Fall Welcome.
  • Most students use the First-Year Seminar course as one of their electives.
  • First-Year Seminar offers limited sections with up to 25 students in each section.
  • Students participate in a common reading experience in which everyone reads a novel based on first-year transitional themes.
  • Students in each section participate in co-curricular activities and complete related assignments.
  • Each section of First-Year Seminar is led by a WMU faculty or staff member and an upper level student leader.