First-Year Experience

Topics you’ll love. Skills you can use. Friends and mentors you won’t forget.

The College of Charleston First-Year Experience academic program provides you with a smooth transition to college life and the academic, social and cultural community at the College of Charleston.

Find a First-Year Experience to match your passions and goals, get involved, meet some new friends and build a great foundation to earning your College of Charleston degree. 

FYE is not just a requirement

Explore our First-Year Experience and build connections, develop skills, and transition to College life while studying topics of interest to you!
  • FYE Basics

    • Yes, FYE is required: Completing a FYE is a degree requirement. You need to complete a first-year seminar (FYSE), learning community (LC) or an Honor College First-Year Experience course during your first year (first three consecutive academic terms. Example: For students entering in the Fall, consecutive terms would be Fall, Spring and Summer. 
    • Your choice: Seminar or Learning Community 
      You can choose to complete a first-year seminar or learning community to fulfill your FYE graduation requirement: 
    • First-Year Seminar (FYSE): A first-year seminar is a 3-credit hour course that explores special topics taught by our outstanding faculty. A First-Year Seminar will fulfill your FYE graduation requirement. 
    • Learning Community (LC): Learning communities link two academic courses (6-8 credit hours) often around a related theme or issue. All learning communities fulfill the FYE graduation requirement as well as counting toward other general education requirements as listed. 
    • Stay in SYNC (or not): Most FYE courses are in-person, however, some may be available online and presented as either Synchronous (SYNCO) or Asynchronous (ASYNC).  Check the course listing for your options. 
    • Synchronous online courses meet at regularly scheduled times and provide real-time interaction via Zoom or other video-sharing programs. Synchronous online courses may be the best choice for students who prefer a traditional classroom experience. 
    • Asynchronous online courses do not meet during a regularly scheduled time for classes. Students are required to complete the work without the structure of a classroom environment. Asynchronous online courses provide flexibility and may require more self-discipline to meet deadlines and stay on track. 
    • Peer Perspective: The Synthesis Seminar (FYSS): All first-year seminars and learning communities include a synthesis seminar. Peer facilitators lead these weekly 50-minute seminars that help introduce you to the College’s academic community through the perspective and advice of a successful College of Charleston student. 
    • It’s called “First-Year” for a reason: You cannot enroll in an FYE course if you have earned more than 30 credits (excluding AP and dual enrollment credits you may have earned in high school.) Fulfill your requirement early. 

  • Program Outcomes

    In the First-Year Experience Program, you’ll receive more than just a grade. 

    You’ll work with our expert faculty and peer facilitators to become part of the academic and cultural community of the College. 

    In addition, you’ll take away some vital new skills to help you throughout your College of Charleston career: 

    • Interdisciplinary thinking 
    • Academic integrity 
    • The philosophy of liberal arts and sciences education
    • The skills to be successful in their academic careers

    Campus Resources 
    You’ll become familiar with campus resources for answers and assistance from research at the library to connecting to the wi-fi. 

    • Addlestone Library 
    • Information technology 
    • Center for Student Learning 
    • Career Center 
    • Other academic resources, student support services, and cultural resources. 

    Information Literacy 
    You’ll gain practice and skills in recognizing what information you need and how to locate, evaluate and effectively use that information: 

    • Use appropriate tools and search strategies to identify types of information specific to the discipline 
    • Evaluate the relevance, quality and appropriateness of different sources of information. 
    • Recognize and classify information within a bibliographic citation. 
    • Access and use information ethically and legally. 

    Integrative Learning 
    Your FYE faculty will encourage you to delve deeply into your topic and apply your knowledge and skills from other disciplines to solve complex issues: 

    • Use critical thinking skills and problem-solving techniques in disciplinary contexts. 
    • Make connections across disciplines and/or relevant experiences.