College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Hardtke's First Year Adventure class in UWRF's outdoor classroom
Dr. Rellen Hardtke's First Year Adventure class in UWRF's outdoor classroom (Photo by Matt Vonk, UWRF)

Your First Year Adventure!

First year college requirement - College of Arts and Sciences

First Year Adventure (FYA) introduces first year students who have a major in the College of Arts and Sciences, to rigorous academic study at the university level. This innovative one-of-a-kind class is designed to promote student engagement, improve information literacy, enhance critical thinking skills, promote constructive teamwork abilities and improve retention rates.

Experienced faculty engage First Year Adventure students in a shared process of inquiry in small seminar-style classes. The faculty also help students to make the transition to academic life by introducing students to the many resources available at the university from the library, to reading one's degree audit, and how to make connections with faculty and other students. 

These courses allow students to participate actively in their own learning and to begin to acquire the writing and speaking skills necessary for independent, intellectual achievement throughout college and beyond.

All First Year Adventure courses share in common the following learning goals, which are the foundation to the liberal arts:

  • Information Literacy. Information literacy is an essential component in academic and professional life. Information literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information, and to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.
  • Critical Thinking. Critical thinking is necessary to analyze, interpret, and synthesize information and context to solve problems. Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by comprehensive and open exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events.
  • Constructive Teamwork. Teamwork and group problem solving are essential in today's world. Teamwork is behavior under the control of individual team members (effort they put into team tasks, their manner of interacting with others on a team, and the quantity and quality of contributions they make to the team), as they explore an open-ended question or desired goal.

These courses bring students together with faculty to study questions and topics in the faculty member's field of interest but is not tied to any specific major or minor course requirements.

Engaging in First Year Adventure can be a rewarding, fun, and enriching experience for students and their instructor. 

Let the adventure begin!

Transfer students bringing in 30 or more credit hours may choose to waive the First Year Adventure (CAS 101) requirement.






Click here for our Spring 2020
First Year Adventure courses

Questions about First Year Adventure?
Cyndi Kernahan, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning

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