Submitting FSEM Proposals

The First-Year Seminar Committee is now receiving proposals for First-Year Seminars to be offered in the Fall 2018 semester. Since the vast majority of our FSEM offerings now occur in the fall semester, the committee is not accepting proposals for new courses to be offered in spring 2018. However, the committee will happily accept proposals to add instructors to existing courses in time for the spring semester. New seminars must be created and submitted according to the guidelines below, and are due Wednesday, October 25th, 2017, at 5 pm in order to ensure that the courses are approved in time for the first-year experience marketing materials to be ready for our next recruitment cycle.


Who May Propose an FSEM

The FSEM Committee welcomes proposals from members of the full-time continuing teaching faculty, or from other administrative faculty who have teaching in their job descriptions. Other proposals may be considered on a case-by-case basis as long as they are co-proposed with a member of one of those two groups, and include a CV and a brief rationale describing the co-proposer’s qualifications.


Creating a First-Year Seminar

With the adoption of the QEP beginning in the spring of 2014, all FSEMs must achieve the following five specific student learning outcomes. All students who complete a first-year seminar (FSEM) will:

  • Utilize a variety of research techniques to retrieve information efficiently, evaluate retrieved information, and synthesize information effectively to support their messages or arguments;
  • Improve development and organization of written arguments;
  • Demonstrate the ability to edit and revise in the writing process;
  • Apply the basic theories and principles of oral communication;
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of settings, including public speaking and group discussion.

The QEP website contains a number of resources to help faculty in designing an FSEM that achieves these student learning outcomes.  In particular, it has a comprehensive list of existing FSEMs and model syllabi, and a handbook titled “FSEMs: A Faculty Perspective.”  This handbook was prepared in spring 2015 to assist new and returning faculty interested in teaching the FSEM.


Submitting a Proposal

Attached you will find a call for proposals specifying requirements for the First-Year Seminar and the seminar proposal form. Please use the attached proposal form for your submission, which requires a brief description, a course rationale, and a complete syllabus.  Send your proposals electronically to April Wynn ( Please submit the coversheet and your syllabus as a single file.


Requesting Approval to Teach an Existing FSEM 

All FSEMs that were approved prior to August, 2013 must be re-approved by the committee for compliance with the new Student Learning Outcomes outlined in the QEP.  Requests for Re-Approval should submit the attached proposal form and a complete syllabus.  Only FSEMs that have been documented by the Committee to meet the QEP SLOs will be scheduled.

All FSEMs that were approved after August, 2013 do not require re-approval from the committee.

Faculty who wish to teach a First-Year Seminar that was submitted by and approved for a different faculty member must submit to the FSEM Committee two items: 1) the proposal submission form indicating the request at the top and with appropriate rationale, and 2) a sample syllabus aligning with the student learning outcomes.


Proposals for courses to be approved to run in the Fall 2018 semester must be received by Wednesday, October 25th, 2017, at 5 PM.  Please submit all materials electronically to April Wynn (

Feel free to contact any member of the committee with questions.


(Updated 9/10/17)