Teaching Resources

Catalog Course Description

The First Year Seminar (UCO 1200) provides students with an introduction to the four goals of a liberal education at Appalachian State University. Specifically, students will practice (1) thinking critically and creatively and (2) communicating effectively. In addition, students will be introduced to the learning goals of (3) making local-to-global connections and (4) understanding responsibilities of community membership.

While each First Year Seminar course engages a unique topic examined from multiple perspectives, each course also introduces students to a common set of transferable skills. As such, First Year Seminar facilitates student engagement with: fellow students, the university, the community, and the common reading; essential college-level research and information literacy skills; and the habits of rigorous study, intellectual growth, and lifelong learning.

Note: UCO 1200 or an equivalent "First Year Seminar" course (such as HON 1515, Freshman Honors Seminar, or WGC 1103, Investigations: Local) is required of all freshmen completing General Education requirements. It is also required of all transfer students with less than 30 semester hours of transferable work or who graduated from high school less than one year before their matriculation date. Transfer students with 30-59 semester hours of transferable work are eligible to enroll, but it is not required. Students with 60 or more earned hours are not eligible to enroll without permission from the Office of General Education.

Broader Description

First Year Seminar (UCO 1200) introduces first year Appalachian students (freshmen and transfers) to rigorous academic study at the University level through interdisciplinary engagement with a variety of disciplines and perspectives, the foundation of the university’s General Education program. First Year Seminar students and faculty engage in a shared process of inquiry around a broad, interdisciplinary topic or question. These small seminar-style classes are taught by experienced faculty who use varied and engaging pedagogies to help students make the transition to academic life at Appalachian by developing creative and critical thinking abilities, cultivating effective communication skills, and introducing students to a variety of research tools and methods. Appalachian’s First Year Seminar course also provides students the opportunity to make connections with faculty and other students, to discover the wide range of resources Appalachian provides its students, and to become part of the university and local community.

Common Expectations of First Year Seminar

First Year Seminar offers a wide array of topics taught by faculty from various disciplines. In order to provide a measure of consistency, as well as meeting General Education learning outcomes we ask all faculty to:

  1. Utilize at least two different modes of inquiry.
  2. Use engaging pedagogies and involve students in a shared process of inquiry.
  3. Involve students in problem-based learning with a research/library component.
  4. Help students make connections with faculty, other students, their courses, and the university through an intentional focus on community building and co-curricular involvement (e.g. service learning, cultural events, outdoor programs, etc.).
  5. Require the use of the Common Reading Program book.
  6. NOT be narrowly focused or an introduction to a specific discipline.

Please click here to see what the university requires you to include on your First Year Seminar syllabus. By clicking this link you can also see sample FYS syllabi.


FYS Learning Outcomes and General Education Goals:  

 This document describes the relationships between the General Education goals and the aims of First-Year Seminar learning outcomes.  FYS faculty will address learning outcomes from each of the four General Education goals

Spring 2018 Syllabus Calendar Templates

Monday/Wednesday Spring 2018 Calendar

Monday/Wednesday/Friday Spring 2018 Calendar

Tuesday/Thursday Spring 2018 Calendar 


The Scholarly Teacher, a blog applying evidence-based strategies to enrich student learning:   http://scholarlyteacher.com/

The College STAR Professional Development Modules for Faculty (these offer great ideas for engaging students with a variety of learning styles):    https://www.collegestar.org/faculty

Technology for Teaching 

Technology has become an integral part of our lives & our teaching & learning. Technology empowers teachers to:

  • Provide greater course access
  • Provide greater course flexibility
  • Embrace a greater diversity of learning preferences
  • Provide more opportunities for innovation & creativity
  • Increase the authenticity & meaningfulness of learning activities
  • Diversify the opportunities to engage students
  • Support a broader range of learning needs
  • Communicate in more ways
  • Embrace cultural trends, interests & needs 
  • Be more creative
  • Provide a learning space that maximizes all learners capabilities
  • Never have to cancel class meetings

For technology or any other teaching approach to be effective, it needs to be MEANINGFULLY INTEGRATED into the learning experiences of the course. Thoughtful course design increases the likelihood that technology or any other strategy will be effective & result in significant learning. Click here to access the technology page. 

Using Co-Curricular Activities in Your Course

Each class has a per-semester budget of $10 per student plus $10 per instructor and 1 IA to spend on a co-curricular acitvity. Instructors are encouraged to seek out and support free campus and community events and activities. Learn more about how instructors have incorporated co-curricular activities in their courses and links to free and paid events. Please contact Sheryl Mohn at mohnsc@appstate.edu for details about how to access this money. 


Common Reading Selection


Counseling Center Liaison to FYS Faculty

As you prepare for the semester, we encourage you to engage your students in a discussion regarding their mental health. We are all aware of the struggles our students face in regard to stress, anxiety, depression and high-risk behaviors. The Counseling Center has trained a group of students to talk with their peers about mental wellness and encourage them to seek help if they are struggling. Please consider inviting our Mental Health Ambassadors into your classroom or club meeting by going to www.MHA.appstate.edu and requesting a program or directly contacting Dr. Kate Fishman in the Counseling Center at fishmankm@appstate.edu or 828-262-3180. Together, we can promote mental wellness and safety on our campus. 

Kate Fishman, Ph.D.
Appalachian State University Counseling and Psychological Services Center

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located on the main floor of Anne Belk Hall, room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Faculty Coordinator of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

QEP Global Learning