First-Year Experience


Congratulations on selecting PennWest Edinboro! Learning in a university environment is much different from what you’ve experienced in high school, and PennWest Edinboro is committed to supporting you in that transition.

The First-Year Experience Program is an academic support program specifically designed for our first-year students, to help familiarize them with the college classroom, campus resources and the Edinboro community.

The FYE program includes a combination of seminar courses, advising opportunities and a Common Hour, which will give you a strong foundation in your first year to help you to continue to flourish academically during your time here.

In FYE seminar courses, not only will you learn all the content for your course, but you will also explore real-world applications for the course material and improve your critical thinking skills. In addition, your FYE seminar course will help you develop essential academic skills, gain a sense of community with other first-year students, and become aware of resources available to you.

The faculty teaching FYE seminar courses have expertise in the subject areas and are committed to helping first-year students succeed.

All FYE seminar courses are three semester hours and meet the University’s General Education requirements. We offer 32 FYE Seminar Courses. You may be pre-scheduled into one of these courses based on your major requirements. Students will have the opportunity at New Student Registration Days to sign up for FYE Seminar courses that may be available at that time.

First-Year Common Hour is a time set aside for all first-year students to participate in events that will help you make the transition to university life. During the Fall semester, all first-year students are scheduled for a Common Hour on Tuesdays from 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. During this time, you will participate in two kinds of programming: Department activities and University-wide activities.

On department activity days, you will meet with the Common Hour Coordinator in your major department. The location can be found on your class schedule. At these sessions, you will meet with a faculty member to learn about your major and University resources. On University-wide activity days, you will participate in a variety of programming including first-year service projects, where you will learn to make an impact on your department, your University, your community, and your world.

Another feature of the First-Year Experience program is faculty advising. Your Common Hour Coordinator will provide individualized and group advising to help you adjust to university life and assist you with your plan of study.

In addition to meeting the objectives of the General Education category, students enrolled in FYE courses will engage in:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Frequent Writing
  • Group Work
  • Information Literacy