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Penn State requires that all Baccalaureate degree students take a first-year seminar (FYS).

The Schuylkill FYS (sometimes referred to as the CAP class) aims to facilitate the successful transition of new students to Penn State through their engagement with other members of the Schuylkill campus community and through their introduction to the use of university and campus resources.

  • Goal 1: Enhance student understanding of the cultural expectations of the Penn State community
    Objective 1.1 Students will have knowledge of the Penn State Principles *
  • Goal 2: Enhance student information literacy skills
    Objective 2.1 Students will demonstrate library and electronic research skills
    Objective 2.2 Students will evaluate information sources critically
    Objective 2.3 Students will demonstrate electronic communication skills
  • Goal 3: Encourage student self -assessment and goal clarification
    Objective 3.1 Students will participate in at least one activity that provides information about majors and academic programs
  • Goal 4: Enhance student skills needed to work collaboratively on both in-class and out-of-class assignments
    Objective 4.1 Students will participate in a significant collaborative learning activity in the first year
    Objective 4.2 Students will have knowledge of group roles and facilitation skills
  • Goal 5: Encourage student involvement in Penn State Schuylkill activities and resources
    Objective 5.1 Students will participate in social, cultural and intellectual events
    Objective 5.2 Students will have knowledge of selected academic and student support services
    Objective 5.3 Students will make use of selected academic and student support services
    Objective 5.4 Students will demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between wellness and academic success

These core elements of the FYS will aid students in the professional/academic community both inside and outside Penn State University. The instructor will place emphasis on having student's work in collaborative groups on academically themed project(s) deemed relevant to the discipline. In addition to in-class work, students are required to attend a series of workshops entitled the "First Year Student Resources and Support Program".

Although it is desirable that you take your FYS during the first semester of your enrollment at Penn State, sections of the seminar are offered both in the fall and in the spring. All seminars are limited to 20 students and are taught by experienced faculty members.

The different sections offered correspond to the schools within Penn State Schuylkill College. The sections include:

PSU8 002- FYS for The School of Behavioral Science and Education
PSU8 005- FYS for The School of Business
PSU8 008- FYS for The School of Humanities
PSU8 010- FYS for The School of Public Affairs
PSU8 012- FYS for the School of Science, Engineering and Technology

Students are provided an opportunity to comment on the FYS experience at the end of the semester. Students were asked to rank the most important thing they learned. The top three responses, in order, included developing library skills, internet skills, and time management. A sampling of comments include:

  • I learned how to access some of the required resources the campus has to offer. It's good to have someone tell you what you need to do your first semester.

  • Definitely library skills. I would've been lost without them.

  • Living on a campus as a college student.

  • How to manage my time.

  • How to work collaboratively and how to get prepared for college as I move into the future.

  • The differing options available in my major in terms of career paths.

  • Getting ready for my major