Staff FAQ

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How are seats released for First Year Seminars over the summer during New Student Orientation?

Incoming first-year students register for fall FYS during New Student Orientation (NSO). Due to the complex schedule that we use to insure equal access to FYS seats across the NSO dates, all FYS registration during NSO is under the control of the FYS office. During this time, you may notice that the number of seats in ConnectCarolina looks unusually low.  We ask that you do not adjust the number of seats or restrict enrollment (through department/instructor consent or reserve capacities) during NSO. After the last NSO date, we remove controlled enrollment from all FYS, and first-year students can drop and add FYS via ConnectCarolina. First-year students who do not enroll in a FYS during the fall are offered an opportunity to pre-register for a spring FYS via a pre-registration process that is available to them in October. Controlled enrollment is removed from all spring FYS at the end of the pre-registration process so that all first-year students can drop and add FYS via Connect Carolina.

How are course evaluations done for First Year Seminars?

End of semester course evaluations for all FYS are conducted using a FYS Evaluation form administered through the UNC Course Response system, which allows students to complete course evaluations through a link on Student Central. The Assistant Dean eventually receives a summary of the course evaluations for each FYS. To encourage maximum participation in the course evaluation process, we ask that instructors try to schedule a block of time in class, ask their students to bring a laptop computer, and allow students to complete the form in class.

How are seats released for First Year Fellows in First Year Seminars?

First Year Fellows receive priority registration in a fall FYS. Students are contacted in May with a request to rank order their top 10 choices for a fall FYS. The FYS office enrolls students in one of their highly ranked FYS before new student orientation begins in June. During orientation if a First Year Fellow needs to drop their FYS to accommodate another class, they can try to add a replacement FYS, but they will use the same procedures as the students who are not First Year Fellows.

Can a transfer student take a First Year Seminar?

First Year Seminars are designed and structured for incoming first-year students with no prior college experience. Transfer students are not eligible to enroll in a FYS.

Can I put a reserve capacity, waitlist, or instructor/department permission requirement on a First Year Seminar?

On the morning of the first day of class, scheduling officers can add “instructor consent” to FYS in ConnectCarolina if the instructor would like to exercise more control over enrollment in his or her FYS. Some instructors take control of their FYS so that they can increase enrollment in response to requests from students who are eager to enroll. Other instructors take control because their FYS progresses too quickly to incorporate students who miss the first few sessions. We apprise all FYS instructors of this policy and ask them to notify their department’s course scheduling officer if they want instructor consent put on their course when classes begin. Please be aware, instructors do not have access to enroll students directly into FYS. They must get in touch with their course scheduling officers to do so. Course scheduling officers have found it helpful to communicate with their FYS instructors before classes begin to verify that instructors are aware of and understand this opportunity.

Is there a special process for scheduling a new FYS Special Topics 89 course?

The instructor would need to submit a FYS Prospectus Form. The Prospectus Form is due by March 1 for the subsequent fall semester and by October 1 for the subsequent spring semester. We assign appropriate general education credits, attach the approved general education attributes in Connect Carolina, and list the FYS in our brochure. The course scheduling officer would schedule the seminar as a “special topic,” using the “First Year Seminar: Special Topics” course number, XXXX 89. This option should be used if an instructor wants to try out a new seminar without going through the formal course approval process. Departments can offer several 89s simultaneously by listing them by the instructor’s unique section number. 

How many times can a FYS Special Topics 89 Course be taught before it needs a permanent number?

A FYS can be taught two times as a Special Topics 89 before it needs a permanent number. Once the course has been taught more than two times, the course should be submitted as a new number in the Course Request Approval System (CRAS). This option should be used if the faculty member and the department are committed to offering the seminar more than once. Usually, a staff member is the course submitter and the Department Chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies is the approver in CRAS.