FYE - First Year Experience

Are you a first year student? Sign up for a free First Year Experience seminar (FYE) and choose from a variety of seminar topics to earn one elective credit. FYE seminars are open to incoming freshmen and new transfer students.

As a research university, UAF communicates how research, scholarship and creative expression are conducted -- and we do so early in a student’s academic experience. First Year Experience seminar outcome goals for students are:

  • Learn how scholarship is conducted in a specific discipline
  • Provide an introduction to current areas of scholarly pursuit
  • Introduce students to unfamiliar academic areas (e.g., outside the secondary experience and topics not addressed in current UAF courses)
  • Improve student understanding of academic planning, program requirements, and the student code of conduct

First Year Experience seminars are intended to improve student persistence by connecting students to one another and to a faculty member in a small instructional group setting.  National research has clearly identified first year seminars as a way to improve student graduation rates college grade performance.

First Year Experience seminars are graded pass/fail.  Most seminars are held during the fall semester; however seminars may occasionally be held during spring the semester.


*Tuition and all fees paid. Students who enroll but do not complete the course will be charged $45.

Class size is LIMITED -- register now ! !

For more information, contact your advisor of URSA at 907-450-8772 or www.uaf.edu/ursa.


Banned!  Challenges to Intellectual Freedom Around the World
FYE F100 F02  CRN: 74742
Wednesdays 3:30-5:00pm Sept. 4 - Nov. 6
Instructor: Karen Jensen
Huck Finn, Fahrenheit 451, Captain Underpants… What do these books have in common? They’ve been banned! Have you ever seen a library display for Banned Books Week? It’s not just a publicity stunt; books, movies and more really do get censored in today’s information-rich world.  Understand the dilemmas faced by librarians, publishers, booksellers and writers when faced with information that may be “too hot to handle.” In this course we will examine the motives for and means of censorship in print and online, and discuss why it is sometimes difficult - yet vital – for libraries to defend intellectual freedom.

How Do We Build Sustainable Communities in Alaska?
FYE F100 F03  CRN: 77960
Tuesdays 2:00-3:30pm Sept. 4 - Nov. 6
Instructor: Cindy Fabbri
We will examine what it means to have a sustainable community.  Students will bring their own ideas and examples to the table to help the group explore issues of importance in urban and rural Alaska (i.e. water and sanitation, energy, health, food security, economic development, biodiversity, air quality).  The group will work collaboratively to identify strategies that we can use to make Alaska’s communities more sustainable.

Hidden Mysteries
FYE F100 F04  CRN: 74744
Tuesdays 3:40-5:10pm Sept. 4 - Nov. 6
Instructor: Leslie McCartney
A scroll of papyrus paper containing nine mathematical problems, a stone-age tool, a pot shard, a credit card, a microchip … every object, found in every corner of the globe tells a story of how humans, in just over two million years, have shaped our world and have been shaped by it. We will look at museum artifacts that shine a light on human history worldwide and in Alaska.

Fact or Fishin': Critical Thinking in Fisheries Conservation & Management
FYE F100 F05  CRN: 79708
Tuesdays 2:00-3:30pm Sept. 4 - Nov. 11
Instructors: Trent Sutton & Andy Seitz
Engage in active learning and problem solving about fisheries conservation and management issues by considering current case studies in fisheries management. These case studies will be real-life issues and scenarios that will challenge you to think critically and creatively.

Running with the Devil: The History of Evil & the Supernatural in Music
FYE F100 F06  CRN: 79798
Wednesdays 3:30-5:00pm Sept. 4 - Nov. 6
Instructor: Morris Palter
Explore how and why the Devil, the supernatural, and evil has come to influence such a large breadth of musical activity. Through a survey of musical genres including classical, jazz, blues, hip hop, rock and other popular music forms, students are invited to enlighten themselves to the dark side of music.

Success Curriculum *Required for all FYE 100 students*
Wednesdays 5:30-7:00pm Sept. 9, Oct. 7, and Nov. 4
All students will be required to attend these three additional sessions to complete the Success Curriculum.

More About First Year Experience Seminars

First Year Experience seminars have been offered at UAF since fall 2010.  Each fall semester, the seminars and instructors will share their scholarly interests with first year UAF students.  Learn more about undergraduate research and the First Year Experience seminars at http://www.uaf.edu/ursa/undergrad-students/first-year-seminars/

For more background on First Year Experience seminars, read the original Request for Proposals at the link below.

AY 2011-12 FYE RFP

Here is a small taste of a some seminars that have been offered in the past:

Your Mind and How to Use It, Instructor Barbara Taylor

Through survey of popular and scientific literature, group discussion and reflective critical thinking, you will learn about the emerging science of learnable intelligence; you will learn about your mind, how it works and what you can do to make it work better.

The Pursuit of Happiness, Instructor Alicia Hall

A look at happiness, positive psychology and claims of concrete strategies for increasing happiness. There is considerable debate -- both within philosophy and in psychology -- about what happiness is, exactly. This course will look at what philosophy and psychology tell us about the nature of happiness.

Hunger Games: Could it Happen to Us?, Instructor Kellie Tilton

In 2008, Suzanne Collins published the young adult novel, The Hunger Games, about a dystopian society that sacrifices a dozen children from around the nation to compete in a televised fight to the death as punishment for societal uprisings. The text of The Hunger Games will serve as a starting point to look at how similar situations are occurring throughout the world and if the decisions we are making today could bring about a similar situation.

There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, Instructor Cheng-fu Chen

An introduction to contemporary miniaturization including the most advanced technologies in semiconductors and microfluidics. Technologies have found ways to squeeze more powerful yet smaller components into electronic and microfluidic devices, and they are exploring new ways to squeeze even more. There is plenty of room at the bottom of the scale when it comes to creating smaller devices.

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