Proposal for First Year Seminar


As of fall 2017 (see timeline below), all new matriculated students with no academic history at NECC will be required to successfully complete FYS101 or an equivalent course* within their first two semesters at NECC as a requirement for graduation. A grade of C or higher will be considered “successful completion” of the course; successful completion will meet the FYS graduation requirement. Exemptions will be granted based on criteria listed below.


Students will be exempted from the FYS requirement if, prior to their first semester at NECC:

  • They have 12 or more earned college-level credits that can be transferred to NECC from an institution of higher education at time of matriculation. NOTE: GPA must be 2.0 or higher.
  • They completed a First-Year-Experience or College Success course at another college with a grade of C or better.
  • They earned a grade of B or better in an Early College FYS class with NECC, and enroll at NECC of within 4 years of completing the course.
  • They earned a C or better in HES102 Learning Strategies for Success in Healthcare.

FYS101 and Equivalent Courses

FYS and equivalent courses will have common curricular attributes. They will incorporate the five goals of FYS: Strengths and Self-Advocacy; Communication; Goal Setting and Problem-Solving; Study Skills; and Critical Thinking.

There will be THREE models that meet the FYS graduation requirement:

  1. Theme-based (FYS101)

  2. Theme-based (FYS101): content based on instructor-determined theme; meets FYS requirement for students in any program. Instructors have the academic freedom to choose a theme and trade book that reflects that theme, through which students will reach the five course goals of FYS. This theme-based approach has been used by instructors for eleven consecutive semesters. Commonly used themes reflect how the FYS goals influence students’ on and off campus lives. Course materials include a textbook and a trade book to provide college-level reading material through which students can explore the course’s theme and goals.

  3. Program-based (FYS101)

  4. Program-based (FYS101): content based on a program of study; meets FYS requirement for students in any program; content and career component developed around selected program of study; FYS101 course description plus statement on program-specific focus added to course description. These sections will be considered NEW courses that need to be developed by faculty in the appropriate programs and can be advertised individually. Examples include FYS101 for Lab Sciences.

  5. Embedded/FYS Intensive

  6. Embedded/FYS Intensive: existing introductory level course from a program of study that has been upgraded to include the 5 goals of FYS as published course outcomes; content drawn from existing 101 course with FYS components such as career readiness intentionally addressed by the instructor. All sections of the course will be taught as FYS Intensive.

Ultimately, each program or department will decide what FYS model best matches the needs of their students, their faculty, and their program requirements, and how best to deliver the course (face to face, online, or hybrid).

Timeline for FYS Requirement

Fall 2016

    Discussion of proposal at department and division meetings, led by FYS Coordinator with the support of steering committee members

November 2016

  • Advisory vote at ACA meeting with an online voting option for those who cannot attend
  • Bill Heineman uses the voting outcome to make a decision on the proposal
  • If the decision is against implementation, FYS101 remains on the schedule as an elective course.
  • If the decision is to implement, then:
  • Registrar codes the requirement and exemptions in Banner and Degreeworks
  • Assessment and Testing Center removes current requirement for FYS from placement process

Spring 2017

  • (Fall to Spring) Steering committee members work with instructors and departments to develop additional stand-alone or embedded courses that meet the FYS requirement
  • CPAC and faculty advisors get training on new requirement in advance of pre-registration for fall 2017

September 2017

    Full implementation of new graduation requirement