Proposing a Seminar

The application cycle is closed. Stay tuned for Fall 2019 applications!

Application For Fall 2018 

First Year Seminars are low-enrollment, high-engagement, topic-driven versions of lower-division GE courses already offered at Stan State. First Year Seminars allow experienced and proficient faculty members to tailor their research and scholarly passion by dedicating a section of an existing lower- division GE course to a first-time first year student environment. Support and cohort-building activities will guide this elaboration.

First Year Seminars are capped at 25 students, are open to students from all majors, and will enrich first year studies by providing direct contact with an experienced faculty member sharing an area of study that excites their own intellectual passion. The seminar format and special topical focus encourage greater student engagement through individual and collective immersion in these courses and enhance academic engagement and student performance. Up to twenty First Year Seminars may be offered in the Fall 2018 cohort.

First Year Seminars will align with the new GE Goals and Outcomes appropriate to the GE Area. Instructional activity will emphasize the effective use of significant resource materials and improved student confidence and proficiency in critical reading, writing, speaking, and thinking. Low class size will promote broad collective engagement among students and personal attention to the evaluation and discussion of course assignments.

Faculty members invited to join the program will be experienced in teaching lower division general education courses and eager to share their projects in the particular environment of the first time, first year classroom. The spotlight on their work will allow invited faculty to explore different ways of making the process of scholarly discovery accessible to developing scholars. A support environment will be provided to guide curricular and pedagogical development of the seminars, and to support faculty cohorts through the curricular design and assessment design processes.

Along with the goals and outcomes appropriate to the GE Area within which the course is offered, First Year Seminars have a common goal, elaborated during the development period after invitation. The goal for the 2017 cohort was to provide a guided introduction to intellectual life at the University. Students will be able to adopt and demonstrate appropriate learning and academic skills; understand the university structure and identify opportunities within it; and articulate academic, professional, and life goals. Invited faculty will develop assessment materials within their cohort that are appropriate for their area.

Participants will:

  • Convene in a retreat during January to learn, plan, and re-dedicate a section syllabus
  • Help design assessment tools applicable to the GE Area for the course
  • Consult and take heed of Faculty Director of GE and GE Subcommittee recommendations
  • Meet over spring to continue refining course plans
  • Convene during summer as a cohort
  • Contribute to New Student Orientation recruiting activities
  • Deliver the course in fall 2018
  • Participate in any cohort-based/co-curricular activities
  • Participate in assessment of program goals and of student learning activities
  • Report to program coordinator on lessons learned at the end of fall 2018 semester


  • Full time faculty with appropriate terminal degree
  • Experience teaching lower division GE and/or First Year Experience
  • RSCA agenda and desire to introduce that activity to first-year students
  • Existing course, approved for GE Areas B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2, E1; OR a course already in the approval process
  • Desire and commitment to participate in the community of learners engaged with the project
  • Support of department as evidenced by Chair approval on the application


  • Up to $1000 for new faculty participants (subject to 125% rule for Unit 3 faculty)
  • Up to $500 for continuing faculty participants (subject to 125% rule for Unit 3 faculty)

Operational Budget

Access to professional development and activity funds (can apply individually or collectively)

Selection Process

Open call issued to campus. Interested applicants complete the attached form and submit by October 20, 2017 with a letter of interest describing qualifications and a snapshot of the proposed section, and a sample syllabus for prospective course to Program Coordinator. Applications will be reviewed by the Program Coordinator and the ASC Faculty Fellows. Priority will be given to prior participants. Invitations will be made by November 30, 2017.