FYI helps freshmen students cultivate critical and creative thinking skills and hone intellectual maturity through the use of “inquiry-guided” teaching methods while fulfilling General Education Program requirements. In addition, classes with a small faculty/student ratio foster a closer relationship within the student cohort and between students and professors. These portable skills will benefit students in any major.
The First-Year Inquiry Program began offering classes in Fall of 1999 as a part of a Hewlett Foundation project proposal to address General Education at Research I institutions. Faculty were tasked with finding a way to ensure the small-class size contribute both to the cognitive content of the course as well as the overall objective of beginning to develop a sense of, taste for, and skills in inquiry. This objective implied three assessable outcomes:
- Taking charge of one’s thinking–development of the ability to think critically
- Growing beyond dualism and relativism–intellectual maturity
- Taking responsibility for one’s own education
- Between 15-20 sections each Fall semester.
By the numbers
University Program Specialist
The First Year Inquiry Program offers General Education courses that provide active learning opportunities exclusively to first-year students. The courses provide:
- small classes (size <19) making discussions easy and productive
- close student-student and student-instructor relationships & communication
- focused development of critical and creative thinking skills
- active participation through inquiry-guided learning
- support & assistance in making the transition from high school to university-level thinking
- an instructor who knows you & your work well enough to write credible letters of recommendation.
- Over 400 students take FYI courses each year (almost 10% of the freshman class)
First-Year Inquiry Program by email at firstname.lastname@example.org