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. Students who sucessfully complete the course, will receive $100 credit on their spring billing.

Class size is LIMITED -- register now ! !


Change Your Story – Change Your Life

FYE F100-F01; CRN 76915
September 4 – November 6: Tuesdays 2-3:30pm
Instructor: Leslie McCartney

Aboriginal Canadian writer Thomas King poses in his book entitled ‘The Truth About Stories’ that stories shape who we are and how we understand others. Weaving together personal narratives, historical stories, racist propaganda, stories of social injustices and protests, religion and politics, King explores the deep roots of storytelling and the current and historical relationships between native and non-native peoples. Stories frame our understanding of the world -- “if we change the stories we live by, we change our lives.”

Banned! Challenges to Intellectual Freedom Around the World

FYE F100-F02; CRN 76916
September 4-November 6: Wednesdays 3:30-5pm
Instructor: Karen Jensen

Harry Potter, Fahrenheit 451, Twilight, Captain Underpants… What do all these books have in common? They’ve been banned! Books, movies and other media really do get censored in today’s information-rich world. Join the debate and understand the dilemmas faced by librarians, publishers, booksellers and writers when faced with information that may be “too hot to handle.” Examine the motives for, and means of, censorship in print and online. Discuss why it is difficult – yet vital – for libraries to defend intellectual freedom

Running with the Devil: The History of Evil & the Supernatural in Music

FYE F100-F05; CRN 76919
September 4-November 6: Mondays 10:30-12 noon
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 musicalgenres including classical, jazz, blues, hip hop, rock and other popular music forms, students are invited to enlighten themselves to the dark side of music.

Whodunit: Detectives on Stage

FYE F100-F04; CRN 76918
September 4-November 6: Thursdays 3:40-5:10 pm
Instructor: Brian Cook

Examine the role of the detective in stage productions from the inception of the character type in the 19th century to present day. Read and discuss a variety of plays, films, and articles, and explore how detective characters both entertain and serve to alleviate society's anxieties about crime.

Fact or Fishin’: Critical Thinking in Fisheries Conservation & Management

FYE F100-F03; CRN 76917
September 4-December 18: Tuesdays 3:30-4:30
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.      

Introduction to Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Activity

FYE F100-F06; CRN 79117
September 4-December 18: Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm
Instructor: Barbara Taylor

Learn about the diversity of research at UAF and the opportunities for undergraduate student participation in research and creative scholarship from the researchers themselves. Gain a broad understanding of the significance, process and impact of research and creative scholarship on UAF campuses.

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.

Back to Top