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Welcome from the FYI Director!



Welcome to First Year Inquiry (FYI)! This message comes from Rich Slatta, Professor of History and FYI Director. Our program offers you small classes (size under 20 students) that promote critical and creative thinking skills essential to academic and career success and lifelong satisfaction. The small class size means lots of discussions and close student-student and student-Instructor communication.

Prof. Slatta in the Scottish Highlands
Prof. Slatta in the Scottish Highlands

Your instructors all use active-learning pedagogies that promote student participation through inquiry-guided learning [not boring lectures!] We don’t see you as a sponge to absorb our info and later regurgitate it. You participate in inquiries and discover your own answers! How do you know you’re correct? That’s where the guided part of inquiry-guided learning kicks in. Your instructor assists you in comparing your conclusions with those of scholars in the discipline. Your learn to basic research and analysis skills used in the discipline of your FYI course.

So what does this mean in concrete terms? Your instructors also work to assist you in making the transition from high school to university-level thinking. Second, FYI students show statistically higher GPAs by their junior year. Why? Because FYI helps you develop a toolbag full of high-level thinking skills that benefit you throughout your academic career and life. So welcome to First Year Inquiry–one of NC State’s many high-impact programs proven to help students get where you wish to go.

The photo to the right shows me doing a July 2015 inquiry into my own roots. My family is 100% Norwegian, so I traveled to Scotland and found place names and lots of other cultural remnants of when Vikings controlled the area 1000 years ago. OK, I am hamming it up a little, but learning can and should be fun!