Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is the Course Cap for an FYS section?

  2. The course cap is currently 22. The classes often use computer labs for various in-class activities, and FYS101 is often paired in a learning community with a writing-intensive course or developmental math, which both have caps of 22. We anticipated expanding such pairings in the scale up. Embedded sections of existing 100-level courses with caps higher than 22 could potentially lower their cap to match that of the theme-based or program specific sections.

  3. How will you handle scheduling for increased FYS enrollments?

  4. Pending a report from IR for exact numbers, of the 1300 new students in fall 2016 approximately 900 would have taken a required FYS course this semester after exemptions or part-time status. There were a similar number of possible enrollees (percent per total enrollment) when CSS last scaled up in fall 2012; this is how the scheduling was accomplished then:

    A schedule of class sections was created to accommodate 880 students anticipated to take CSS101 in 40 sections, including shadows. The schedule made use of rooms available throughout the day, including the afternoon “dead” time when there are fewer other classes scheduled. 11 sections were part of paired learning communities with developmental courses. 28 sections ran across the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses, plus 2 contract sections and 2 early college sections off campus, with a total enrollment of 574 students – significantly fewer than predicted. What was learned through the process of registration is that students who are part-time typically postpone taking CSS101 until their second semester. Although it was a requirement for those dual and triple developmental students, they often ended up not taking CSS101 at all. If FYS101 (or equivalent) becomes a graduation requirement, registration in the course will become easier to track through DegreeWorks. This will help us better predict enrollments each term.

  5. How will you handle staffing for increased FYS sections?

  6. Again in fall 2012 during the last scale up, there were 27 instructors from across the academic divisions and from student support staff teaching the course. 14 full timers taught the course; 5 as part of their day loads. 13 DCE faculty and staff taught the course. In subsequent years a trainee program was developed for additional professional staff in the student services areas (advising, enrollment services, learning accommodations) who did not have college teaching experience. These instructors have had great success in the classroom and provide direct links to “just in time” services students need. There were additional instructors trained, but we did not have enough sections to assign to all who were interested.

  7. How will programs with no electives include FYS?

  8. These programs could choose the embedded FYS Intensive option for including the FYS requirement in their program of study. NECC programs with little to no room for electives would redesign an existing introductory level course from the program of study so that it includes the 5 goals of FYS as published in the course outcomes. All sections of this course could be taught as an FYS Intensive course, or there could be one (or a few) designated sections of the course that is FYS intensive, similar to the ENG101 FYS intensive course currently being offered. FYS Content Coaches will provide support to any faculty members and/or departments choosing the embedded option for including the FYS requirement directly in their program of study.

  9. Why can’t FYS be a one credit course?

  10. The First Year Seminar course is a 3 credit college-level course for the same reasons that other college-level courses are 3 credit courses.

    • 3 credit hours allows fair and ample time for students to learn the academic content central to FYS; to develop and practice the skills needed to demonstrate course goal competencies; and to apply these skills and competencies to their other college-level courses.
    • 3 credit hours will further prepare FYS students for the academic rigors of the other 3 credit-courses they will encounter at NECC and other colleges.
    • 3 credit hours will allow FYS to also be the course for addressing student needs, informing students of college resources, and providing instructions and updates on important college policies and procedures.
    • 3 credit hours will provide the FYS course and its faculty the same academic legitimacy applied to other 3 credit college-level courses.
    • For potential transferability, a 3 credit course is more desirable.


For more information or to ask a question, please contact:

Eldiane Elmeus
Assistant Professor, Academic Preparation Coordinator, Freshman Year Seminar
45 Franklin Street L255-1
Lawrence, MA 01840