September 12, 2012
By Bailie Myers
The First Year Seminar gives students an avenue for understanding college and just what it takes to make it through successfully.
FYS was developed by faculty and student services personnel as a way to help students gain the college readiness they need.
FYS is the focus of Amarillo College’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a three-credit-hour, academic-level class that is taken half in person and half online, required for all general studies and undeclared majors. It also is required for recipients of the ACT scholarship. It is taught by faculty from several departments.
Students taking FYS will learn about different learning styles and strategies as well as how to do research.
FYS has been studied in other schools for 30 years and has been proven to be an effective strategy for success.
“Research indicates that students who complete an FYS course are more likely to complete other courses, earn better grades, have higher overall GPAs and obtain degrees,” according to the Center for Community College Student Engagement.
Serenity Hoffman, an emergency medicine major, has taken FYS, Hoffman said the class taught her how to maintain a schedule so she didn’t overwork herself. She said the most important thing she learned from the class was study skills.
The class requires student sot complete a job shadow or an interview with someone in their field of interest. Jill Gibson, FYS curriculum coordinator, said, “We are giving them a chance to investigate a prospective career.”
Gibson said that when students are just starting college, they are not always ready for college-level work and that FYS is a bridge for them. “Nationwide, most all colleges and universities are establishing the FYS as a best practice,” Gibson said. “multiple studies have found that the seminars increase academic performance and persistence and boost degree attainment.”