First-Year Experience and UNV 101

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

One strategy Miami University employs to support new students as they transition to the institution is a semester-long First-Year Experience (FYE) course. The course is designed to extend the learning that occurred for students during the orientation process and systematically expose students to resources available to assist in their educational journey. These courses are delivered as a collaborative effort by all facets of the institution. First-Year Experience courses are delivered in two primary forms:

  1. Departmental transitional courses which include key FYE outcomes (e.g., CHM 147 or THE 107).
  2. UNV 101: I Am Miami which is a one-credit course offered mostly in the fall semester.

The FYE course was first piloted in fall 2014 and fully launched in 2015. FYE instructors come from all academic divisions, Academic Affairs, Student Life, University Libraries, Enrollment Management & Student Success, and IT Services. They all have a minimum of a master’s degree and undergo training.

Instructor Training

UNV 101 instructors are provided a preliminary meeting in the spring semester/early summer prior to teaching the course, an orientation which occurs immediately before the fall semester, a Canvas site (with a common syllabus and suggestions for assignments and plans for each class session), and optional ongoing training sessions during the fall semester to discuss the progress of the course and discuss teaching approaches and course content.

FYE Description

Through reflection, self-assessment, and group discussions, you will gain a sense of belonging at Miami, plan how to make the most of your time at Miami, and establish a foundation for your academic and co-curricular success.  

The key topics or themes of the course include academic advising, academic resources and support, community building, the Miami co-curriculum, time management, liberal education, classroom strategies and etiquette, grading, personal and social responsibility, community and belonging, information literacy, academic integrity, and career development.

FYE Learning Outcomes

This course provides you with the resources and information to build awareness of institutional support and opportunities with the goal of developing an outline of an intentional, integrated plan for curricular and co-curricular learning to promote your success in college.

You will work toward this goal in the following ways:

  • Discover services on campus to assist in your academic success.
  • Build an inclusive community with particular attention to Miami’s institutional value of creating an environment in which every student develops a sense of belonging.
  • Develop an awareness of and proficiency in accessing tools and resources available to assist in your academic planning.
  • Explore ways in which you can maximize the student life experience.
  • Navigate career development resources by engaging in career/major exploration and learning about experiences available to you.

FYE Assessment

Students in all FYE courses (UNV 101 and departmental courses) are administered an online survey, which measures students’ progress on the learning outcomes listed above. Results of the survey are analyzed by Student Life and Academic Affairs personnel and adjustments to course content are made based on these results.  

FYE Co-Coordinators

  • Amy Aldous Bergerson (Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education)
  • Gwen Fears (Assistant Vice President for Student Life – Assessment, Planning, and Transition)