Phase 3: First-Year Seminar
Below is the curriculum of Penn State Altoona's First Year Seminar, often called PSU 003. All courses meet the same objectives, though delivery methods may vary according to the instructor.
At Penn State Altoona, course objectives have been sorted into five themes: College 101, Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Emotional Intelligence, and Personal Responsibility.
Focus: The college transition and resources specific to the University and college.
- Distinguish between college culture versus high school culture, particularly at the surface level and in a deeper context related to expectations.
- Manage individual course and account settings in Canvas.
- Manage important user functions in LionPATH, including access, identifying semester schedules, identifying your adviser, scheduling classes, and running what-if and academic requirement reports.
- Know when, where, why, and how to access available campus resources and services.
- Identify and pursue available campus resources and services that offer academic support beyond the classroom in a chosen subject area.
Focus: Reflection of self and individual needs
- Explore areas of strength, passion, challenge, and fears.
- Reflect upon current areas of confusion, apprehension, and interest, and identify paths to seek support and improve professional and personal success.
- Reflect upon your personal sense of belonging to the Penn State Altoona community.
- Analyze personality, interests, skills, values, and experience for career exploration and preparation using campus resources and services.
- Identify and develop self-awareness of strengths and abilities that lend themselves to effective leadership practices.
Focus: Personal, academic, and professional goal setting and efforts to pursue those goals
- Set goals related to personal and academic success.
- Create a personal academic plan or semester schedule that includes General Education requirements and major requirements based on academic goals, strengths, and interests.
- Articulate and align academic, long-term, and professional goals.
- Practice self-discipline through increased mindful activity in order to improve such behaviors as time management and short/long-term goal setting.
- Engage in productive discussion and civil discourse in a diverse learning and social environment.
Focus: Pursuit of physical, social, spiritual, and emotional health
- Implement coping and identification strategies associated with physical, social, spiritual, and emotional health.
- Apply confidence in regards to finding and getting help in a nurturing environment without stigma.
- Initiate a rapport with an academic adviser in order to progress successfully to graduation.
- Establish healthy social behaviors that foster a sense of belonging among all participants.
- Cultivate strategies that promote health and happiness in your life by engaging in organized, evidence-based exercises and activities.
Focus: Role as a student, particularly making informed decisions
- Operate within the academic integrity standards of the university environment, with an understanding of the consequences of violations.
- Within practice application, refine skills related to notetaking, test-taking, textbook reading, problem-solving, writing, and various study skills.
- Make thoughtful and well-informed financial decisions, including practical budgeting and long-term financial planning.
- Make informed decisions common to college and adult life.
The following are goals identified by Penn State University for all First-Year Seminars
Goal 1: To engage students in learning and orient them to the scholarly community from the outset of their undergraduate studies in a way that will bridge to later experiences in their chosen majors.
Goal 2: To facilitate students' adjustment to the high expectations, demanding workload, increased liberties, and other aspects of the transition to college life.
- Goal 2.1: To introduce students to University Study
- Goal 2.2: To introduce students to Penn State as an academic community, including fields of study and areas of interest available to students
- Goal 2.3: To acquaint students with the learning tools and resources available at Penn State
- Goal 2.4: To provide an opportunity for students to develop relationships with faculty and other students in an academic area of interest to them
- Goal 2.5: To introduce students to their responsibilities as part of the University community