This is an archived copy of the 2013-14 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

First Year Experience


What is a First-Year Seminar?

The First-Year Seminar will set the foundation for the collegiate experience full of academic opportunity and personal growth. It is one of the first steps in an exciting educational journey and will help students find their place at WVU.

Upon completion of a First-Year Seminar, students will be able to articulate the importance of higher education; develop academic, self-management, and critical thinking skills; engage in career planning and major /career exploration; and experience diversity, inclusion, and a global perspective.

For a list of all First-Year Seminars, click here (link to quick list).

Who must take a First-Year Seminar?

All first-year students and transfer students with less than twenty-nine credit hours.

Are there any students exempt from FYS?

Students who are entering as first-time freshman and who graduated from high school five or more years ago may be exempt from the First-Year Seminar requirement. Note: This clause is contingent upon the students’ original date of entry to WVU. Questions may be referred to: .

How will FYS benefit students?

The course is designed to provide students the opportunity to work more closely with instructors and connect them earlier to their academic department or residence hall and the University at large. Through the goals and objectives of the First-Year Seminar, students will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for academic success.

What are the goals and objectives of FYS?

1.       Set and communicate expectations about higher education

¨       Students will be able to articulate the purpose of the educational experience, university and applicable academic disciplines, faculty expectations, and academic integrity.

¨       Students will be able to articulate and appreciate the purposes of the GEC requirements to attain a degree.

2.       Provide opportunities for students to develop an understanding of critical thinking and analysis skills

¨       Students will be able to define and demonstrate an understanding of critical thinking and analysis skills necessary for academic success.

¨       Students will apply critical analysis skill knowledge to conduct basic library research that includes scholarly sources.

3.       Promote metacognition

¨       Students will be able to adopt a learning style conducive to individual success and identify their individual style.

¨       Students will apply academic success strategies based on their individual learning style (i.e. note taking, test preparation, study skills, attendance, etc.)

¨       Students will employ time management strategies and will demonstrate the strategies throughout this course.

4.       Engage in exploring academic majors and careers, and in planning a career

¨       Students will demonstrate an understanding of the major selection and career planning processes.

¨       Students will be able to articulate the requirements for their major.

¨       Students will demonstrate an understanding of the components and importance of the advising process and plan an academic schedule for the upcoming semester.

¨       Students will be able to develop and explain the importance of their academic/career alternatives.

5.       Promote diversity, inclusion, and a global perspective

¨       Students will relate how diverse backgrounds and experiences provide for an optimal educational experience.

¨       Students will be able to participate in cross-cultural experiences, add to their body of knowledge, and develop an understanding of the relationship between those events, their lives and career interests.

¨       Students will be able to explain the importance of a global perspective for personal and career success in the modern world.

¨       Students will develop an understanding of study abroad opportunities including those within their disciplines.

Is a First-Year Seminar required for graduation?

Yes. Successful completion (earning a passing grade) of a First-Year Seminar is required to graduate from West Virginia University.

Is there a transfer equivalent for the First-Year Seminar?

Yes and no. Potomac State and WVU Tech currently offer WVUe 191: First-Year Seminar which is the same course. There are no other transfer equivalents at this time.

How do I register for my First-Year Seminar?

Students must work with their Academic Advisor to register for the appropriate FYS.

Is there a required FYS textbook?

Yes. See “Where will students purchase the FYS textbook?” for details.

What technology is required for this course?

You will need a computer to access MyStudentSuccessLab. Other requirements are listed on MyStudentSuccessLab.

Where will students purchase the FYS textbook?

All First-Year Seminars use a common text, Cornerstone: Creating Success Through Positive Change, Seventh Edition. The textbook is sold with “custom code” for access to MyStudentSuccessLab 3.0, the online companion. To ensure students purchase the correct materials, they must purchase the “custom” package from the WVU Bookstore (Barnes & Noble).  Do not delay in purchasing your course materials or lose the "custom code", as there is an on-line assignment due within the first two weeks of the semester.   If students purchase the textbook/code online, they will NOT have the correct materials and will not be able to access the online portion of the course.

What is MyStudentSuccessLab?

MyStudentSuccessLab 3.0 is the online companion. Students will be required to complete assignments and quizzes within MyStudentSuccessLab. It is not possible for a student to pass a First-Year Seminar without completing the online assignments.

How do I register for MyStudentSuccessLab?

To register, students will need a “custom” code, which is sold as part of the “custom” textbook package. See “Where will students purchase the FYS textbook?” for purchasing details.

Once a student has purchased the “custom” code and obtained the Course ID from their instructor, they will register for their specific first-year seminar section by going to .

It is possible that a student may be using other Pearson online products. Students only need one Pearson account. For a list of Pearson online products, go to .

What if I do not earn a passing grade in my First-Year Seminar?

You must D/F repeat the course or take another FYS.  


WVUE 191. First Year Seminar. 1 Hour.

Exploration of academic experiences through meaningful contexts. The course will envelope a range of academic components needed to achieve student success and successfully transition to West Virginia University.