First-Year Integrated Core
Three yellow post-its on a white board that say - Thinking critically for self, Experience of Ambiguity, and Life plus Business soft skills
Students standing outside near a vertical KPMG sign
Group of students dressed professionally smiling at camera
President Gregory Crawford speaks at the inaugural festivities for the FYIC program in 2016
students giving presentation
Students stand at a table with a blue tablecloth

Previous Faculty Spotlights

Barnali Gupta

Barnali GuptaDr. Barnali Gupta, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Professor of Economics in the Farmer School of Business, is excited about “the high quality of the Class of 2021.” As we move into the second year of the First-Year Integrated Core (FYIC), she is looking forward to “the depth of shared experiences and talents [of our students that] will enrich FSB classrooms.” 

Dr. Gupta says, “The FYIC is an unique opportunity for the undergraduate business student to develop basic skills that employers demand, regardless of major. It is not a discipline-specific curriculum; it is a skills-based curriculum.” In the four courses that comprise the FYIC (BUS 101: Foundations of Business; BUS 102: Foundations of Business Communication; ESP 103: Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Thinking; and BUS 104: Introduction to Computational Thinking for Business), students will be challenged to think critically, creatively, and ethically, learn coding and computational thinking, and work within a diverse team. Students have the opportunity to “take these skills and scaffold them on their discipline-specific knowledge from their major.” This is exciting for students because they learn critical skills in their first year and work to build on those skills during their time in Farmer. 

There are many new pieces to the FYIC “in only the second year of the program,” Dr. Gupta explains. This academic year, BUS 101 is offered over 9 weeks, and BUS 102, ESP 103, and BUS 104 are full semester courses. This schedule is a revision from last year, when three of the four courses were sprint courses. BUS 104 will also be taught in smaller class sizes, with the same instructor for lecture and course lab. “Making all the pieces fit together seamlessly takes the attention and talents of many faculty and staff in the Farmer School.” A dedicated program director, Dr. Becky Morrison, with her team of course leads, have been actively engaged all summer in planning an integrated experience across the four courses in the FYIC. “From curriculum development to mapping assignments across the courses, this is truly a team effort.” With twenty faculty members in the FYIC, each brings to the program diverse backgrounds and experiences. Our first-year students will spend the first ten weeks learning core skills sets and the final four weeks working with a real client, using real data, to complete a client challenge. 

The FYIC is particularly important because “this program enables a Farmer graduate to credibly signal the acquisition of these skills that employers demand.” In fact, students from the first cohort of the program have already started to see results. In program surveys and emails, students report that prospective employers are incredibly impressed by the work they were doing as first-year students and even noted that the skills from the program helped them land a summer internship. The program has even received national attention (Forbes, 2017). “We are truly excited to have this program for our students.”