Common First-Year Course Requirements for Graduation

Topics: First Year Experience, Student Retention and Success, Curriculum Development, Academic Planning, Academic Affairs

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Institutions provide students first-year common requirements to teach critical thinking and writing skills and help students adjust to the rigor of a college environment. This report describes a shift away from common curriculum courses in favor of first-year seminars with flexible curricula and interdisciplinary offerings. The report also describes the organizational structure of common requirements, training for instructors of first-year programs, and targeted student learning outcomes.

Research Questions

  • What core competencies do first-year courses develop?
  • What training prepares instructors and faculty to teach foundational academic skills to first-years?
  • How do institutions measure the impact of first-year common requirements?