A new school year brings a new take on the First Year Experience program after former Provost Gary Shapiro announced in late 2012 the class would be suspended for a full year.
FYE courses were created by Central Michigan University to help students get acclimated to both university life and their new environment. FYE urges students to participate in various campus activities and to discover the numerous resources CMU offers its students.
CMU’s official website describes FYE 101 as “an engaging, evidence-based university course specifically designed to help new CMU students succeed academically and make the most out of their college experience.”
Some students speculated the program was being reviewed due to low attendance, but Claudia Douglass, interim vice provost and overseer of FYE courses, said attendance in the FYE course itself was not the reason for the suspension. She said the program was suspended in order to study its effectiveness.
“FYE was suspended to study the effectiveness of the course and work to improve student retention,” Douglass said.
A summer study was conducted to inform the university of any changes or improvements that should be made to the program.
As previously reported by Central Michigan Life, former FYE executive Jason Bentley said despite the announcement of suspension, there was a possibility certain sections of the FYE course could still make an appearance in the 2013 course registry for “special needs students.”
As Bentley speculated, the course registry now includes the FYE 101 course and will be offered in special sections that appeal to narrower demographics in the 2013-14 school year.
The available sections are for athletes, business students, first-year transfer students, MAC/MASS scholars, students in the Education and Human Service Residential College, students participating in the PATHWAYS and STEP programs, those in the First Year Residential Learning Community and a general course offered to those who are beginning their first year at CMU.
Almost all of the seats are filled for the 2013 fall semester for each available section.
Douglass confirmed the special sections will have a focus on retaining students and will run a full 16 weeks, instead of the typical eight. However, even with the increased time commitment, the course will still only offer 1 credit.
Fowlerville junior Cara Hutchison, who took the FYE 101 course as a freshman, said her time in the course was beneficial.
“Having the peer assistants (the FYE program provided) was a lot of help, because they told us the ins and outs of campus, which was comforting,” she said. “The school just needs to revamp the curriculum for the course and advertise it in a better, more interesting way to get people to sign up for it.”