First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience Program helps students transition to college by:

  • Offering classroom opportunities that maximize academic success
  • Building positive relationships among faculty, staff and students 
  • Providing campus-wide resources tailored to first-year students 

Faculty and staff help students understand the value and usefulness of a liberal arts education so that they can have a richer learning experience. Students in the program learn the differences between the academic expectations in high school and college and perform better academically.   

In and out of the classroom, faculty and staff prepare students to become lifelong learners, responsible citizens and community leaders. For example, some classes include a service learning component, where students participate in out-of-class activities to learn the real-world value of the classes they are taking.  Other classes might feature assignments asking students to apply what they are learning to a new problem or challenge. 

First-Year Seminar

The centerpiece of our First-Year Experience Program is LEC 100, our 1-credit First-Year Seminar (FYS) course that focuses on the skills students need for academic and career success. These much-needed skills may include:

  • Notetaking
  • Time management
  • Financial management
  • Critical reading
  • Technology for educational purposes
  • Research skills
  • Communication skills
  • Community Engagment

LEC 100 not only helps students in their transition to college, but it also counts towards their associate degree.  For more information on the specific LEC 100 courses offered at UW-BSC, see the online course schedule or ask your advisor.


Each FYS class is paired with a non-profit community partner to engage in a service-learning project that involves research, planning, action, and evaluation/reflection. Each service-learning project offers students a chance to develop both academic and life skills. Students gain the real-world experience of engaging their community’s needs, and studies also indicate that service-learners have richer learning experiences and greater retention of knowledge and skills.

More about Service-Learning