The First-Year Experience Program, or FYE, is designed as a shared learning experience for first year students to help successfully manage the transition to college and to help set a solid path towards degree completion. The goals of the program are to help students:
- develop strategies to maximize academic success
- become familiar with campus resources
- cultivate positive relationships with faculty, university staff and other students
All first-time, full-time undergraduate students are required to participate in FYE, with some exceptions, including Global Campus (online only), part-time, transfer, non-degree, certificate, diploma, and the following associate degree students: Automotive Service Technology, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Climate Control Technology, Computer Numerical Control Technologies, Indoor Agriculture, and Industrial Maintenance Technology.
The goals of FYE are met through the delivery of two main components: a blocked schedule approach and successfully completing the modules of the FYE Online Tutorial. Both components are required as part of the FYE Program.
The mission of the First Year Experience (FYE) Program is to enhance student satisfaction, persistence, and success. Through various programs, FYE staff are committed to working collaboratively through the university community to provide students with opportunities to succeed academically, to adjust to college life, and to become familiar with university and community resources.
FYE Blocked Schedule or “Blocks”
FYE blocks are pre-built course schedules for the initial semester of enrollment that are related to a student’s academic major. Approximately 20-25 students are assigned to a single block and enrolled in the same courses. Major courses and general education courses are included in each block. The blocks are developed in consultation with academic departments and professional advising staff and are intended to allow students to easily make acquaintances, form study groups, share notes, etc.
FYE staff assign students to blocks after their orientation registration is confirmed and usually before students arrive on campus for orientation. The blocks and the courses therein are finalized during orientation after meeting with the assigned academic adviser. Blocks are full-time, complete schedules.
NOTE: Substituting courses within a block is typically not allowed; to change courses within a block defeats the purpose behind a blocked schedule, namely, a shared learning experience. That being said, it is still sometimes necessary to substitute courses, with FYE staff and adviser approval, for coursework completed elsewhere, advanced placement credit, etc.
Sample FYE Block
The following is a sample block for a criminal justice major and includes a description of why the particular courses were selected for the block. The sample depicts a typical block of 16 total credit hours.
Course Name (Credit Hours)
Introduction to Criminal Justice (4)
Required first course in major.
College Composition I (4)
Meets the first portion of the Written English Competency requirement for graduation; meets one of two required courses in Effective Communication component of the General Education Program.
Introduction to Psychological Science (4)
Recommended by Criminal Justice department; meets one of two required courses in Scientific Inquiry component of General Education Program.
Meets the first portion of the Social Responsibility in Diverse World requirement for graduation; meets the World Cultures course component of the General Education Program
Frequently Asked Questions
How am I enrolled in my FYE block?
Once a student’s orientation registration is confirmed, FYE staff assign them to a block of courses based on their intended academic major (or into a general block if undecided on a major). The blocks and the courses therein are finalized during orientation after meeting with their assigned academic adviser.
Why do you pre-assign students a course schedule rather than letting them choose their own first semester courses?
There are a number of reasons we make the block assignments for students, including logistical considerations and the success of FYE over time. Here are some other reasons:
- Block schedules are developed by professional advising staff in conjunction with academic departments to ensure that students take the most appropriate courses possible.
- The pre-assignment process helps eliminate the issue of courses in the blocks being closed by the time the student attends orientation. There is no guarantee, but the FYE staff work hard to determine need and then reserve seats for FYE students in selected courses.
- Many first-year students are unfamiliar with academic degree requirements, pre-requisite coursework, electives, etc. We remove the guesswork by providing each FYE student with a course schedule that will definitely meet degree and other requirements.
- Our past experience working with new students tells us that many times first-time students at orientation become overwhelmed with the choices available, confused on what to take, and frustrated with not knowing the requirements of their academic program.
What if I have yet to declare a major?
Undeclared students will be assigned a “general” block consisting of general education courses. This allows flexibility as general education courses are required with every major. Undeclared students will also be assigned an academic adviser that works with undeclared students. That adviser will provide advice, opportunities to explore various majors and careers, and opportunities to complete career and other assessments designed to help students find a “good fit.”
What if I would like to double-major?
Students who wish to double-major will be assigned a block based on their primary major. Double-majors should make sure that they speak with their assigned adviser at orientation regarding the addition of a second major.
NOTE: Students sometimes suggest double-major combinations that are somewhat unrealistic or unreasonable. If a double-major combination is so daunting that it will delay a student’s graduation within the timeframe for a typical bachelor’s degree, these students shouldn’t be frustrated if the assigned adviser advises against the combination.
What happens if I wish to change my major after orientation?
Students will have met their assigned academic adviser at orientation and the adviser will provide their contact information for this very purpose. Please feel free to contact the assigned adviser or the Academic and Career Advisement Center, if the adviser is unavailable.
Do Honors Program students participate in FYE?
Students electing to participate in the Honors Program are still assigned an FYE block based on their intended academic major. It is possible for honors students to work with their assigned adviser at orientation to add an honors course(s) to their block as long as the honors courses do not conflict with courses required in the major or minor.
May I substitute a course in my block?
Substituting courses within a block is typically not allowed; to change courses within a block defeats the purpose behind a blocked schedule, namely, a shared learning experience. That being said, it is still sometimes necessary to substitute courses, with FYE staff and adviser approval, for coursework completed elsewhere, advanced placement credit, etc.