First Year Learning Initiative
What is the First Year Learning Initiative?
The First Year Learning Initiative (FYLI) is a unique, locally-developed program for building student success and equity in the early college career. There are currently over 75 FYLI-certified courses, including many of the highest-enrollment, Liberal Studies courses at NAU. Typically, over 97% of first-year students are enrolled in at least one FYLI course.
FYLI is based on the fact that students need – and want – meaningful educational experiences and transparency of expectations in their lower-division coursework. To be successful, students need support, guidance, highly engaging pedagogy, and clear, frequent feedback. Through the FYLI development process, faculty collaboratively reshape their courses in order to meet the needs of all students, focusing on three critical areas:
- Student Development for excellence
FYLI courses establish the attitudes, perspectives, skills, and behaviors that enable students to succeed in the first year and beyond. Critical aspects include communicating the practical value of higher education, the promotion of a growth mindset, exploring time/priority management approaches, encouraging ownership of one’s education, and guiding students towards habits and routines that support their academic goals.
FYLI courses incorporate features that support student success. These include Universal Design for Learning, inclusive pedagogies, engaging classroom experiences, intentional assessments, scaffolding, strategic deployment of Teaching Assistants, offering meaningful feedback, and developing formative assessment throughout the course.
Multi-section courses have coordination plans in place, with the goal of ensuring consistency of quality and best practices across sections and across semesters. Important aspects of course design and pedagogy are captured in a course Syllabus of Practice.