First Year Seminar Oversight Committee
Annual Report, 2009-10

The First Year Seminar Oversight Committee met 16 times (as of 4/8/09) during the 2009-10 year.

In 2009-10, the committee took action on the following matters:

    1.  Refined and shortened the FYS Student Opinion form and oversaw its first distribution.  The responses to the open ended questions on this form were transcribed and evaluated in the fall of 2009.

    2.  Had the FYS Website added to the Academic Records Website.

    3.  Continued to develop the FYS Sourcebook (Handbook).  It is on the Website as a Wiki.

    4.  Received and approved requests for over $100,000 for support of seminar preparation, materials and travel.  Approximately $10,000 was unused and returned to the FYS account and more will likely be returned at the end of spring term.  $14,500 was allocated in each term to fund $250 for each seminar to hold a “bonding” event such as a dinner or other food related event.

    5.  Held two wine and hors d’oeuvre social events (November 13, 2009 and April 9, 2010) to get FYS faculty together to talk about mutual concerns with regard to the first year of the seminars.

    6.  Set up an e-portfolio system to collect papers in the fall and spring for the ongoing evaluation of the writing seminars.  Decided to use an email account instead of Moodle and have the students or faculty upload a paper from early in the term and one from near the end of the term which will then be evaluated by a team of faculty to ascertain if writing and research skills have been enhanced by the seminars.

    7.  Discussed and approved 22 seminar proposals for the 10-11 academic year.

    8.  Developed and carried out the second round of qualitative assessment (Ken Kolb in sociology did this) of two seminars to enhance the quantitative one to be completed in May.  The analysis of these data will take place in the summer of 2010.

    9.  Actively worked to ensure a sufficient number of seminars for the 10-11 academic year.  Worked to develop a formula for ensuring that each department contributes to the total number of seminars necessary for there to be a sufficient number of seminars.  These “targets” will be recommended to the chairs of departments.  Furthermore we recommended to the Dean that all tenured and tenure-track faculty be encouraged to have an FYS approved through the course proposal system.  In addition, we made a series of recommendations for sustaining and improving the FYS program.

    10. Recommended to the Dean that faculty could opt for a pre-meeting of their seminar students during O-Week so as to further prepare them for university life and allow them to get to know one another and lay the foundations for the course experiences.

On behalf of the committee the chair would like to thank Brad Barron for all of his advice and information with regard to the current academic year’s seminars and his invaluable assistance in assuring a sufficient number of seminars for 10-11.  We would also like to thank John Beckford, Lori Law, Tom Kazee and Rebecca Looper for their support of the FYS program in so many ways.

The chair would also like to thank the Committee, Diane Boyd (CTL), Mary Fairbairn (Library), Cynthia King (Communications Studies), Melinda Menzer (English), Marie Watkins (Art), Noel Kane-Mcguire (Chemistry), Brad Barron (Registrar) Rachel Shelbourne (Student) and Kyle Townsend (Student) for all of their hard work .

Respectfully submitted,
David E. Redburn
Chair, FYS Oversight Committee

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