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First-Year Experience (FYE) Seminar

The Fitchburg State FYE seminar is a course designed for incoming first-time and transfers students in their first year. Each section is arranged thematically, with faculty choosing the topics.

The course helps students build academic skills and mindsets, and it prepares them to become effective self-advocates in a college setting. The core skills include:

  • Self-reflection and self-advocacy
  • Active reading and listening
  • Information literacy
  • Intentional planning
  • Effective communication

FYE Courses, Fall 2018

“Asking Questions,” by Dr. Anne Howard

The Right Question Institute has created a technique that has proven to be very powerful in improving the capacity of students to think more clearly and more deeply, and to take greater ownership in their own learning. In this section of the First-year Experience Seminar, students will learn this technique as they refine their abilities to comprehend academic texts, use campus resources, and plan for their future. Since all students in this section are planning to become educators, they will also design and implement a lesson using the Asking Questions technique.

“Cultivating Resilience,” by Dr. Karen DeAngelis

This semester we will seek to answer the question, how can resilience be cultivated in academic settings? Through our exploration of this theme, you will also be acquiring and practicing a variety of skills that will be essential to your academic success during your time at Fitchburg State University and beyond.

“Is Everyone Equal?” by Dr. William Cortezia

This semester we will seek to answer the question, Is Everyone Equal? Since education is an issue we often think about in personal terms, we will use our own insights as a starting point. From there we will expand our knowledge by studying how this question has been answered in the past, including at Fitchburg State University. We will conclude by examining current debates about the purpose and value of critical social justice. Our readings draw from both the pedagogy and social sciences. Through our exploration of social justice, you will acquire and practice a variety of student success skills that will help build your intellectual confidence and assist you in making the transition to the University.

“Science of Happiness,” by Dr. Laura Garofoli

This semester, our course theme is HAPPINESS, or what many psychologists refer to as subjective well-being. Through our exploration of this theme, you will also be acquiring and practicing a variety of skills that will be essential to your academic success during your time at Fitchburg State and beyond.

“Seizing Opportunity,” by Dr. Christa Marr

What are the Costs of our Choices? Throughout the semester, we will be examining opportunities and their associated costs. More specifically, our course will explore how to seize opportunity and measure opportunity costs (or tradeoffs) of our decisions as they relate to college, career, and life in general.

“Sound Thinking,” by Dr. Jonathan Harvey

This seminar uses the study of music to help students develop reading, information literacy, communication, and help-seeking and planning skills. Students will explore the ways that music communicates and carries meaning, using a variety of sources, from the Medieval era through Kendrick Lamar. Students will also develop a vocabulary for describing musical sounds in writing.

Fall Semester 2018 Events

FYE Contest (September-October)

This contest gives students the opportunity to try out important campus resources during the first few weeks of fall semester.  Students participating in the contest will complete a list of tasks related to student success, including:

  • Attend an academic success or career exploration workshop
  • Meet with a tutor
  • Attend a coaching session
  • Attend a campus event with the peer mentor
  • Visit a professor’s office hours

Students who complete all of the tasks October 26th will be entered into a drawing for one of 3 $100 bookstore gift certificates. 

Food for Thought Program (September-November)

At Fitchburg State, we believe that building connections to faculty is a vital part of the first year experience.  The Food For Thought program encourages students to engage in casual conversation with a faculty member over lunch.  Your FYE faculty member will be announcing opportunities for you to sign up for a small group lunch with your professor during the fall semester. 

Staff Bios

Susan Beddes: I have an M.Ed. from Boston University and a background in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and advising first year students.  I enjoy working with students on developing effective study habits and setting goals for academic success and career preparation.  In my free time I enjoy dancing, hiking and travel.

Lindsay Carpenter Connors: Lindsay Carpenter Connors majored in Sociology and minored in Spanish for her undergraduate degree at Clark University. She then received her Master of Arts Degree in Community Development and Planning from Clark University as well. Outside of work, she enjoys snowboarding, gardening, and watching movies with her cats.

Andrew Linscott: Andy began his professional career in Admissions before transitioning to Academic & Career Coaching. He is passionate about working with students to develop the mindset, self-regulation habits, and practical skills that enable them to achieve their academic & career goals. Outside of work, Andy enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife & children, studying philosophy & religion, and reading poetry & literature.

A Look Ahead at Fall Semester 2019

Check back for more details on fall semester events!  Here’s a sneak peak of events we have planned:

  • First Year Day of Service- join your peers in a day of community service
  • Peer Advising Night- talk to upper classmen about your intended major, classes, professors and strategies for success