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First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience encompasses the hallmarks of your first year at Augustana – First-Year Inquiry courses, advising, residential life, and becoming an integral member of the Augie community.

Our goal is to help you develop the skills, habits and mindset to be a successful college student.

Your class choices will depend heavily upon your interests, experiences and ambitions. But almost certainly it will combine parts of the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum with some exploratory steps towards a major. 

This page contains a description of the Core Curriculum. Here are the courses you are likely to take in your first semester at Augustana.

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum requires you to take a range of classes, many in your first and second year, in order to improve your foundation skills (reading, writing, critical thinking, etc...) and increase your breadth of experience. The major parts of the curriculum include:

First-Year Inquiry (FYI) and First-Year Honors (FYH)

First-year students enroll in a sequence of two First-Year Inquiry (FYI) or First-Year Honors (FYH) courses during their first year. Courses explore the value of the liberal arts in our diverse and changing world.

Students discover the tools of academic inquiry while refining their writing, reading and oral communication skills. Students take the first course in the sequence, FYI 101 or FYH 101, in the fall semester with students in their advising group. FYI courses also are offered in the spring for students admitted mid-year.

Although the First-Year Inquiry courses are taught by faculty from many different disciplines, all will frame their courses around a central question.

The fall course asks students to consider the nature of knowledge and our certainty about what we think we know. In the spring, students ponder the construction of "difference" and which differences truly matter in our diverse, changing world.

Students participating in the honors program will enroll in the FYH class sequence rather than FYI.

First-year advising

First-Year Advising at Augustana provides you the information and support you need to have a successful first year. You’ll be part of a small group of first-year students led by a faculty advisor and a peer mentor.

FYI 100 (or FYH 100), taught by your advisor, orients you to college life and study at Augustana. Your advisor will help you clarify your educational and career goals, plan your academic program, and connect you to resources on campus. You’ll meet your advising group at Welcome Week, or at the Spring Welcome if you begin at Augustana mid-year. FYI 100 (or FYH 100) is a non-credit-bearing course.

Learning Perspectives

To assure that students receive a well-rounded education in the liberal arts, the Core Curriculum also exposes students to perspectives on the past, the arts, individuals and society, literature and texts, the natural world, and human values and existence.

These learning perspectives (LPs) will introduce students to the questions and possible answers each field explores and will examine how knowledge in a variety of areas is discovered or created. Many LP requirements also fulfill requirements in the major. As a first-year student, you probably will take a number of courses that fulfill LP requirements.

Here is a list of the Learning Perspective courses offered in your first semester.

Second language

Each student needs to complete the first year of a college-level second language, or demonstrate an equivalent proficiency. When a student completes the second semester of a language (Spanish 102, German 102, etc...), the requirement is met. Some students will meet the requirement in other ways. If you completed the fourth year of a language at the high school level, scored a 4 or above on an Advanced Placement (AP) language test, or placed into a 201 or higher class on an Augustana placement exam, you already may have fulfilled the second language requirement.

If you don't have college credit for language, we require you to take a language placement test. That keeps open your options for language study.