The first-year seminar program serves a unique and central role in Furman University’s core curriculum. Divided into two courses—the first-year seminar (FYS) and the first-year writing seminar (FYW)—the program provides Furman students transitional (you’re not in HS anymore) and foundational (preparing you how to learn and communicate) opportunities for their entire college experience—and beyond.

  • First-Year seminars are not introductory courses for a particular department or field. They introduce you to the whole liberal-arts experience.
  • Seminars incorporate content specific to the topic of the course primarily as a means to spark your intellectual curiosity and reinforcing your analytical and communication skills. They are not experiences designed to address a major field of study or an eventual career.
  • The first-year seminars should encourage you to be an agent of your own learning. They are an introduction to the ways of thinking, reading, and writing that will enable you to succeed at Furman.
  • Writing is a form of thinking and ideas are inextricable from their written expression. First-year writing seminars will provide you many opportunities for critical thinking and logical argument through writing and revision.
  • Writing seminars strive to develop your writing and revision techniques through the use of writing workshops, student-teacher conferences, peer-editing, with lots of time devoted to teacher and peer feedback during the drafting process.
  • The first-year writing seminars will also address other key information associated with academic writing, such as research skills, citation formatting, grammar and punctuation, and academic integrity.

Seeing First Year Seminars Again for the First Time” provides a more detailed discussion of the purpose and pedagogical approaches considered as best practices for both FYS and FYW seminars.

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