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ACC pilots First Year Seminar

The First Year Seminar planning committee has conducted the initial pilot of a new class designed to better prepare incoming students for their college career. The noncredit seminar will be mandatory for all first-time-in-college students beginning spring 2015. The seminar fee is $60.

Recent Del Valle High School graduates completed the pilot.

Thirteen recent Del Valle High School graduates participating in the ACC Leadership Week academy at Riverside Campus completed the 15-hour seminar in three 5-hour sessions.

“Students said they felt better-prepared for their classes than they did before the seminar, that they learned a lot about ACC resources, and that they felt more empowered to use them,” says Instructional Design Specialist Laura Lucas, who taught the pilot.

With the new seminar, FYSE 0001, ACC joins the growing number of colleges and universities introducing first-year courses to increase student persistence from term-to-term and year-to-year. FYSE 0001 is a key strategy proposed by ACC’s Student Success Initiative Goal Team I. See more details at First Year Seminar Q&A.

Additional pilots this fall

ACC will conduct additional pilots this fall. Any enrolled ACC student can participate in a pilot; however, the fall sessions are particularly recommended for those who are attending college for the first time or who soon will be. This includes students planning to transition from Early College Start and Early College High School programs. The seminar fee will be waived for students who enroll in a fall pilot. Students who complete the pilot session will receive a $50 ACC Bookstore voucher.

Fall pilot sessions currently are scheduled at Highland, Cypress Creek, Northridge, and Round Rock campuses. Session times and durations will vary; see scheduled pilots in the ACC Course Schedule. The FYSE planning committee plans to offer additional pilots at Riverside Campus.

Seminar instructors needed

ACC will hire a First Year Experience director and First Year Seminar faculty. FYSE faculty initially will be recruited from current ACC faculty and staff and must have either a bachelor’s degree or higher, or an associate degree with three years’ community college teaching experience. Seminar instructors will complete training on course outcomes, curriculum, and suggested activities prior to teaching FYSE sections. The FYSE faculty positions will be posted in eHire.

For questions about seminar plans, contact Gaye Lynn Scott, FYSE planning committee member and dean of social and behavioral sciences, at gls@austincc.edu.

posted in: * Facstaff Only, Faculty and Staff News


2 Responses to “ACC pilots First Year Seminar”

  1. Anne Strohm says:

    What about Early College Start students? They earn college credit while in high school, so technically are not “First Time In College” by the time they get to a physical ACC campus. Will they still be required to take the seminar? Can they take it while in HS, and at no charge, as they are taking their college courses?

    • jpowers says:

      Hi Anne, thanks for your interest. Currently, the seminar is not offered as an Early College Start dual credit course. Early College Start students are exempt from the requirement while they are in high school. Those who continue at ACC after they graduate must take the course to support their transition to a traditional college credit program.

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