The First-Year Seminar class aims to facilitate the successful transition of new students to Penn State through their engagement with other members of the campus community and through their introduction to the use of university and campus resources.

Penn State Harrisburg requires that first-year students take a first-year seminar (FYS). First-year students are defined as those students with less than 19 academic credits transferred. Sections of the seminar are offered both in the fall and in the spring semester and are 1 to 3 credits. The sections are designated S on the course schedule, are limited to about 25 students, and are taught by experienced instructors. The instructor will place emphasis on having students work in collaborative groups on academically themed project(s) deemed relevant to the discipline. In addition to in-class work, students are required to attend out-of-class cocurricular events related to academic, social, cultural, or wellness topics. A Common Reading book is typically incorporated into the FYS class.

The goals and objectives of the First-Year Seminar are:

Goal 1: to engage students in learning and orient them to the scholarly community from the outset of their undergraduate studies in a way that will bridge to later experiences in their chosen majors, and

Goal 2: to facilitate students' adjustment to the high expectations, demanding workload, increased liberties, and other aspects of the transition to college life.

Objective 1: to introduce students to University study

Objective 2: to introduce students to Penn State as an academic community, including fields of study and areas of interest available to students

Objective 3: to acquaint students with the learning tools and resources available at Penn State

Objective 4: to provide an opportunity for students to develop relationships with full-time faculty and other students in an academic area of interest to them

Objective 5: to introduce students to their responsibilities as part of the University community


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