The First Year Learning Initiative (FYLI) is a unique, locally-developed and faculty-driven program for building academic success in the early college career. There are currently over 50 FYLI-certified courses, including many of the highest-enrollment, highest-impact gateway courses at NAU. The per-semester headcount for the program now tops 14,000, with further steady growth anticipated over the next two years; in 2012-2013, 96% of the first-year cohort was enrolled in at least one FYLI course.
FYLI brings faculty together in deep collaboration, empowering them to collectively re-envision how lower-division courses are designed and taught. We believe that curriculum can once again be a collaborative and co-creative space.
FYLI is based on the fact that students need – and want – high standards in their lower-division coursework. They also need to have those standards clearly communicated from the first moments of engagement with a course. To be successful, students need support, guidance, highly engaging pedagogy, and clear, frequent feedback. Through the FYLI development process, course coordinators collaboratively reshape their courses in order to meet these needs, focusing on three critical areas:
- Socializing students for excellence
FYLI courses establish the attitudes, skills, and behaviors that enable students to succeed in the first year and beyond. Critical aspects include increased rigor and excellence and providing effective scaffolding for students to succeed.
FYLI courses maximize student engagement through critical design features. These include requiring substantial student engagement beginning in the first week, setting high standards, and effectively using the learning opportunities in both the classroom and in the co-curriculum.
In FYLI courses, learning outcomes will clearly connect with the course’s learning activities and assessments. Multi-section courses will also have clear coordination plans in place.
The FYLI also includes the following elements:
- FYLI Toolkit
The FYLI Toolkit consists of recommended strategies, links to useful resources, and case studies of innovative practices by NAU faculty.
- FYLI Certification Process
The process identifies standards that FYLI courses must meet to be included in the initiative.
**During the certification process, FYLI development leaders can submit written responses to the questions using the FYLI Survey.
Development of the First Year Learning Initiative
FYLI was developed with input from the following group:
- Michelle Miller, co-chair of FYLI, Psychology
- Blase Scarnati, co-chair of FYLI, First Year Seminar Program and Music
- Bev Amer, The W. A. Franke College of Business
- Liz Brauer, Electrical Engineering
- Rebecca Campbell, Educational Psychology
- John Doherty, e-Learning Center
- Kathy Eastwood, Physics & Astronomy
- Greg Glau, English
- Rosalinda Haddon, Nursing
- John Hagood, Mathematics & Statistics
- Kevin Ketchner, Cline Library
- Chris Lanterman, Educational Specialties
- Ellen Larson, Health Sciences
- Christine Lemley, Teaching & Learning
- David Pierotti, Biological Sciences
- Mikhael Star, Gateway Student Success Center
- Melissa Welker, Student Learning Centers
For more information on FYLI, please contact
- Michelle Miller, Chair, Department of Psychology
- Blase Scarnati, Director, First Year Seminar Program and Global Learning Initiative