The First-Year Success Seminar (Univ104) is part of Washington State University’s office of First-Year Programs, which includes Common Reading and First-Year Focus a living-learning communities program.First-Year Success Seminar is a two-credit elective course offered through the Office of Undergraduate Education that students can take their freshman year, ideally in their first semester.  In First-Year Success Seminar, students can expect a small class size, many opportunities to get to know their classmates in small group discussions, and opportunities to connect with the parts of campus that they care about most. Most importantly, this course will help students to make meaningful connections between what is important to them and their opportunities at WSU. Work in this course will help first semester freshmen learn to advance from simply being a student to being a more self-directed learner.

First-Year Success Seminar emphasizes students making connections between their values and goals, making connections with faculty and other students, making positive choices about taking care of themselves, and developing an understanding of why they are in college—and at WSU in particular. Each seminar meets twice a week for fifty minutes. Students will engage in small group discussions stemming from reading Becoming a Learner and WSU’s Common Reading selection for the year. Additionally, they will work on time and project management, as well as study and note-taking strategies. The final project is a social learning group project that gets students in conversation with the WSU community about something they care about. First-Year Success Seminar also utilizes WSU’s Common Reading Program, reading the book and attending presentations on campus that relate to this year’s book and theme (which will be announced in spring 2017).

First-Year Success Seminar will give students structured opportunities (and academic credit) for doing the work that every student must do in order to make a successful transition to college. Some of these tasks include thinking about time management, considering personal reasons for attending WSU, values exploration, setting goals and taking steps in the first semester toward reaching them. Data shows that students who engage in the course material earn a higher GPA in their first semester and are more likely to return than those who don’t take the course.

To find out more about First-Year Success Seminar, visit the First-Year Experience website or contact the office of First-Year Programs at firstyear@wsu.edu. First-Year Programs is a part of WSU’s office of Undergraduate Education.