By Mackenzie Farmer:
Amarillo College has made some changes to the one course that nearly every student will take. The class is called the First Year Seminar (FYS), or EDUC 1100 or Learning Frameworks.
The idea behind FYS is to help students in their first year of college to build a strong foundation that will last even after they graduate.
“The seminar relies heavily on critical thinking and information literacy and strives to answer three basic questions: ‘Who are you?,’ ‘Where do you want to go?’ and ‘How are you going to get there?’’’ said Sarah Uselding, redesign team member, assistant professor and program coordinator of the criminal justice department. “The idea is that through the process of answering these questions, students will also learn their strengths and weakness and the role they play in their success.”
Starting this semester, AC has implemented changes to the course, such as the adoption of the success team model. Each section of FYS has a team attached to it.
“Each success team consists of the FYS instructor, an adviser, peer mentor and an AC employee,” said Uselding.
“This team acts as support team for each student and can help them navigate the college environment in addition to helping them in any way necessary.” Uselding said that the limited feedback they have received has all been positive.
“I feel like having the mentors there is smart,” said Madison Tercero, an education major. “They are there if you need any help or if you have any questions.”
Along with adding the success team, Uselding said AC has chosen to focus more on the relational aspects of the class.
“I believe the course is more rigorous, but also more engaging,” said Uselding. “The lecture sections closely follow a flipped classroom model, which has proven to be very effective in the learning process.”