Teaching and Learning

We Belong at BMCC: FYE-Enhanced Courses

Have you ever had a student who enrolls in your course, completes some coursework, then disappears? Or a student who enrolls in your course but falls behind with classwork, making it nearly impossible to finish the semester successfully? A student who tells you that they are failing multiple classes because they feel overwhelmed with school on top of work and family obligations? A student who seems unmotivated to continue? A student failing your class who emails at the end of the semester asking for a chance to pass when it’s often too late?

If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions, or to all of them, as I have, then teaching an FYE-embedded course may be for you.

The acronym FYE stands for “first-year experience.” The concept is not new at BMCC, nor is it new in academia. Over the years at BMCC, faculty and staff have experimented with different formats to deliver some version of FYE to first-year students. The idea behind FYE is simple: improve student experience, help students feel that they belong at BMCC, and help students navigate the college experience, thus increasing retention.

Yes, many of us already do all of the above in our courses. We want our students to feel successful, graduate, and become lifelong learners. With an FYE-enhanced course, we can do this more explicitly and with more purpose.

The new(ish) FYE approach, led by Academic Literacy and Linguistics faculty, in conjunction with Student Affairs, the Library, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics, is embedded within credit-bearing courses. You self-select your course as FYE. You teach what you teach, math or critical thinking or speech, and you integrate the FYE philosophy into your course. This semester, over 25 FYE-enhanced courses are being taught at BMCC, and we hope for many more in the coming semesters.

If you’d like to join, and/or find out more about the FYE initiative, here are some ways to do so:

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