First-Year Learning Courses

The First- and Second-Year Transition (FAST) Programs oversees the First-Year Learning Courses (FLCs). FLCs are year-long academic courses that meet General Education requirements and are only offered to first-year students. These courses embed transition curriculum into General Education courses to help students transition successfully to academic and student life at SSU. FLCs allow students to get to know their faculty and classmates and engage in meaningful dialogues. Students who participate in FLCs have been found to have higher GPAs, have a higher persistence to second year, and gain a sense of community on campus that leads to greater satisfaction with their college experience (Greenfield, Keup, & Gardner, 2013). 

FLC Enrollment Information

For information regarding FLC offerings and how to enroll for Fall 2022, please refer to the following steps:

  1. In the FLC Guide slides, view the FLC information that are available for your major;
  2. Click any FLC available for your major and view their description, schedules, and what GE areas they satisfy; then, 
  3. Enroll in the FLC with the support of your academic advisor during your 1 on 1 advising appointment

General Education at SSU allows students to explore different academic areas; provides a good foundation for a student's major; provides a broad-based education which is more marketable in the workforce. For undeclared students, GE courses may lead to a major, a minor, or a newfound interest. Most majors at SSU have an FLC available for first-time first year students. FLC class sizes are intentionally kept small (approximately 25 students per section) to assist the faculty and peer mentors in creating an active and engaging learning community. The cornerstone of each FLC is the Peer Mentors, our highly trained student leaders, who assist faculty and first year students inside and outside of the classroom. 

Although some of the FLCs align students with their major, many of the FLCs are not related to specific majors but help students meet the General Education requirements and explore an academic discipline. Through participation in an FLC, first-year students have the opportunity to explore and address two primary concerns: 1) Will I find my community at SSU? and 2) Will I be academically successful? Students will be able to connect with SSU and their peers while taking innovative and academically enriching courses. 

There are many benefits to actively participating in an FLC: 

  • guaranteed enrollment in popular General Education (GE) courses
  • the opportunity to create a strong relationship with faculty 
  • academically engaging learning environments 
  • personal relationships with peer mentors
  • intentional social gatherings for other first-time year students
  • statistics show that students who participate in an FLC are academically and socially more successful than first-time first year students who do not take an FLC

Although every FLC is unique in its subject or interest area, each community has six consistent goals that support degree completion and student satisfaction. The goals address the social and academic transitional challenges most first-time first year students face. 

While in an FLC, students will: 

  • understand different academic paths and disciplines; begin to discover their academic passion and how to pursue that passion
  • practice active and self-responsible learning; understand the differences between high school and college and what is necessary to be successful and actively engaged in college life
  • become familiar with campus resources designed to support student success
  • develop a strong connection to faculty, fellow students, and university organizations
  • understand and appreciate ethnic and cultural diversity
  • participate meaningfully and ethnically in their community 

For more information, please view the First-Year Learning Courses Guide.