Submitting FSEM Proposals

The First-Year Seminar Committee is now receiving proposals for First-Year Seminars to be offered in the Fall 2021 semester. Proposals for a new courses, substantial modification to an existing course, or to add a new instructor to an existing FSEM course must be created and submitted according to the guidelines below, and are due November 13th, 2020, 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. Please submit all materials electronically to Jeb Collins (

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

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 First Year Seminar website contains a number of resources to help faculty in designing an FSEM to incorporate the student learning outcomes while balancing the content and other skills that are at the heart of the FSEM. In particular, it has a comprehensive list of existing FSEMs and model syllabi, examples of assignments that have previously been utilized in FSEM courses, and resources for faculty advisors.

Submitting a Proposal
Attached you will find a call for proposals specifying requirements for the First-Year Seminar and the seminar proposal forms. Please use the attached Proposal Form for your submission, which requires a brief description, a rationale, and a complete syllabus.  Send your proposals electronically to Jeb Collins ( Please submit the proposal form and your syllabus as a single file. A FSEM Proposal Checklist and FSEM Course Calendars options will provide more information about the FSEM Committee’s recommendations for the proposal and syllabus.

All FSEMs that were approved prior to August, 2013 must be re-approved by the committee for compliance with the Student Learning Outcomes outlined above.  Requests for Re-Approval should submit the most appropriate proposal form and syllabus. All FSEMs that were approved after August, 2013 do not require re-approval from the committee.

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




(Updated 10/26/20)