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First-Year Seminar

Information on the first-year seminar offered to first-year students in the Penn State College of Education.

College of Education First Year Seminar (FYS)


General Information on FYS

Effective Summer 1999, the University's General Education Program stipulates that all freshmen admitted to Penn State take a First Year Seminar (FYS). The College of Education has developed the course ED 100 S -- (3 credits) First Year Seminar in Education. Although any FYS offered throughout the University will fulfill this requirement for programs in the College of Education, students are encouraged to schedule ED 100 S if possible.

ED 100S (3 Credits) -- "First Year Seminar in Education"

This FYS was developed for Education majors at the University Park location and is typically offered during the Summer Session and Fall Semester. First Year Education majors at locations other than University Park meet this requirement with designated FYS courses available at those locations.


The overall objectives are eight-fold:

  1. To introduce first year students to Penn State as an academic community, including the fields of study in the College of Education and others areas of interest to students
  2. To acquaint students with the learning tools and resources available on campus and on the Internet
  3. To develop and improve students' critical reading, writing, and speaking skills
  4. To engage in dialogue about current issues in education
  5. To develop knowledge and skills about computer technologies and technology education
  6. To develop skills in working in groups
  7. To become aware of campus and community citizenship issues
  8. To expand student ability to help people learn, grow, and succeed in a multicultural society

Given these objectives, and information supplemented in class, this seminar:

  • Focuses on critical analyses of students’ reading, writing, and speaking skills with ample opportunity for feedback on these skills,from the instructor and from others in the class;
  • Is learning activities intensive, both in the classroom, and in class assignments/projects. This does not preclude lectures, but the focus will be on learning from selected activities consistent with the objectives of the course;
  • Acquaints students with information about, and experience with University resources which help students make a successful transition to college, and help them with their academic, career, and personal concerns;
  • Includes at least one opportunity to work in groups, both inside and outside the classroom, as well as other collaborative learning experiences;
  • Helps students understand and use technology as a resource and an educational tool for both individual learning and peer interaction;
  • Requires the reading of two books from a list common to all seminar sections (one of these books is in or about the field of education);
  • Provides students with additional knowledge and understanding of how the views of people and the world differ from students' own based on cultural experience differences


Major Topics

Individual faculty for each FYS section at University Park have developed a syllabus on the basis of the following topics:

  • Why college? Why the College of Education?
  • Balancing student academic and personal responsibilities
  • Campus and community resources for student success
  • Critical analysis of reading, writing, and speaking
  • Student responsibilities as citizens of our campus and community, including interactions with different cultures onand around campus
  • Library and computer literacy; technology education
  • Collaborative learning and group work
  • Contemporary issues in education (K-12; higher education)
  • Student health and wellness
  • Multiculturalism on campus, in education, in society at-large
  • The intellectual life and faculty roles
  • Careers in education


The evaluation of enrollees is clarified by the FYS Faculty and based upon participation in class activities and discussions, group projects, reading and writing assignments and oral presentations.

A significant amount of the seminar’s academic content focuses on education issues because it has been designed primarily to serve students planning to pursue academic majors offered by the College of Education.


The standard University registration processes apply. For current and future offerings of ED 100S, please contact your academic advisor. 


For additional information, please contact the instructor of the section in which you plan to enroll, or the College of Education's "Undergraduate Student Services" web site at