The University is committed to providing a first-year seminar to aid students in a successful transition to college. All incoming first-year students are expected to take a first-year seminar course during their first semester at FSU. Taking a first-year seminar course is a valuable part of the transition to college experience. It is a course that is designed to provide a foundation for success for first-year students in their first semester. Regardless of your academic experience in high school, all first-year students will find that being a college student is very different. There are new expectations to meet, policies to understand, resources to know, events to attend, friends to be made, responsibilities to have, living experiences to share, and/or commuting intricacies to learn. First-year seminar courses at FSU help new students balance these elements of college life.
Each first-year seminar course is capped at a maximum of 20 students per course, and pairs first-year students with a dedicated faculty member and a student Peer Mentor.
In addition to helping students acclimate academically and socially to the college lifestyle, first-year seminars help students consider their academic path at FSU, with a focus on advising and registering for courses as well as presenting opportunities available to them as FSU students. They also demonstrate the abundant resources on campus and how to use them to their fullest potential. Overall, a first-year seminar course is a vital part of the first-year experience at Framingham State and helps students feel that they are part of the FRAMily!
All first-year seminar courses provide students with support in the transition to college, and students can choose one of two models. Students can choose the option that is the best fit for them. Incoming students are encouraged to talk with faculty advisors to determine which model best suits their needs.
Option #1- FSU Foundations- Students who take part in a Foundations course will have the experience of 3 people who are focused on your success. A seminar that meets weekly for 8 weeks is attached to courses that students already take as part of General Education or their major. The faculty member focuses on the topics associated with the course for 4 hours per week. The Seminar, which meets for one hour per week, is taught by a Facilitator and a student Peer Mentor. Topics covered in the seminar focus on introducing you to resources of campus, adjusting to new expectations and standards, working through the challenges that arise both in and out of the classroom, connecting with other students, inclusion and navigating life as a member of the FSU community. There is a great emphasis in Seminar on establishing connections and solving many of the issues that arise as a new student. The 5th hour seminar is part of the overall grade for the course, much in the same way that a lab is for science courses.
Option #2- RAMS courses integrate material related to a successful transition to college with the academic content of the course, resulting in hands-on learning experiences. Each RAMS course has a thought-provoking thematic focus and is taught by a faculty member with expertise in the topic. The seminar style class structure provides an opportunity for students to form a connection with a faculty member during their first semester. These courses are meant to introduce students to the exciting world of academic inquiry while helping them adjust to college through guidance in topics such as study skills as well as an introduction to key terms, processes, and resources on campus. RAMS courses meet 4 hours per week. A student mentor is paired with each course and serves as a resource and guide for the transition to FSU, as well as offering academic assistance to students in the course.
Peer Mentor Highlights
Junior, Class of 2019
I feel like I have contributed to the FSU community as a Peer Mentor by helping my students learn what they need to know about college, for example campus resources and ways to be successful. I have also become a role model on campus to those students, and someone to look up to.
Senior, Class of 2018
I feel that I have helped multiple students start off their FSU career on a good note and be able to look to their future here positively.
Senior, Class of 2018
I think what we do is extremely important. We are the cushion of the high school to college transition. The lessons that we teach; time management, major & minor decisions, advising and registration, all prepare first-year students for life here at FSU.