Coordinated Freshman Programs

Coordinated Freshman Programs

About FYI

The Freshman Year Initiative (FYI) is an award-winning, nationally recognized program offering first-year students a supportive and carefully structured college experience. All first-year students participate in the program, which promotes an interdisciplinary curriculum, faculty collaboration, and peer support.

What is a learning community?

Behind FYI is the idea that people learn better, and benefit from reinforced social and academic support, when they are integrated into learning communities.

During their first and second semesters, students participating in FYI take a set of integrated courses with the same group of fellow students. Faculty teaching the courses meet regularly to collaborate on assignments and lesson plans, in order to ensure thematic and conceptual linkages across the curriculum. The learning communities also foster connections between students and faculty, and promote the development of peer support networks during the first college year.

Students interested in pre-med, teacher education, and the performing arts, as well as prospective majors in accounting, business administration, nursing, psychology, or sociology, may request placement in a learning community targeted to their planned field of study.

Students who qualify, based on combined SAT scores, may be placed in Honors blocks.

Freshman Seminar

The freshman seminar is a course offered during the fall semester which addresses the transition from high school to college life. Embedded in the learning community structure, the freshman seminar often features topics coordinated with students' other courses.

Through writing and critical thinking assignments, students in the seminar have an opportunity to review and practice important academic skills. The seminar also promotes discussion and reflection about academic goals.

In addition, the seminar introduces various college resources, and assists students as they become integrated into the larger college community.

The First Semester

During their first college semester, students are enrolled in a cluster of five courses. Four of those courses meet General Education requirements; the fifth is the Freshman Seminar. Students take the five courses with the same cohort or "learning community" of fellow first-year students.

  • The Freshman Seminar. The Freshman Seminar provides a focal point for introducing students to problem solving and study skills, as well as to specific resources at Lehman.
  • English 110. English 110 is a composition course which fulfills the first semester of the college writing requirement. It also meets General Education requirements for the B.A. degree.
  • Three additional courses meeting General Education requirements. The other three courses pre-selected for the learning community represent an interdisciplinary array: e.g., Anthropology, Biology, and History.

View the Fall 2004 block schedule.[PDF]

The Second Semester

In their second semester, students have greater latitude in the selection of courses. While continuing to take designated courses with their block or learning community, they also enroll in three courses of their own choice.

  • English 120. English 120 is a composition course which fulfills the second semester of the college writing requirement. English 120 also meets General Education requirements for the B.A. degree.
  • Designated course meeting General Education requirements. Students also take one course designated for their learning community which meets General Education requirements, e.g. Philosophy, Sociology, Theater.
  • Three courses chosen by the student. The other three courses are chosen by the individual student, according to his or her interest and/or planned major.

View the Spring 2004 block schedule. [PDF]

Mentoring Project

A pilot mentoring project will be implemented in Spring 2005. The project is built on the idea that one-to-one interaction with faculty members can be key to student motivation and success.

Open to all FYI students, the mentoring project matches first-year students with faculty members. Students and their mentors meet on a regular basis.

The mentoring project's goal is to provide participating students with a stable, nurturing academic relationship at the outset of their college careers.


FYI provides its own registration for freshmen, including academic and financial advisement. Separate registration ensures that students are guaranteed seats, as classes are reserved for freshmen.

How do I register?
  • Fall Registration. For the fall semester, all students must register in person. Students have an opportunity to select their preferred block of pre-set courses or learning community. Registration takes place approximately one week prior to the start of classes, and is held in the Faculty Dining Room on the first floor of the Music Building. Students are informed by letter of their registration date and time.

    For the fall semester only, an early registration option, occurring on scheduled days in June and in July, is available. Please call (718) 960-8720 for more information.

  • Spring Registration. FYI students receive a spring registration packet in November, including instructions and guidelines for the registration process. Dates for Spring 2005 Registration are as follows:
    • December 20 & 21, 2004 for continuing freshmen
    • January 6 & 20, 2005 for entering freshmen
    • For further information, please contact Freshman Programs at (718) 960-8720.
When is the next registration period?

For students who will be entering Lehman in Spring 2005, registration will be held on January 6 & January 20, 2005. Continuing freshmen register on December 20 & 21, 2004. Students will receive information in the mail. For further information, please call (718) 960-8720.

Support Services

The freshman program incorporates a support structure including tutoring, supplemental instruction, and counseling. Staff meet with students and provide referrals as needed to other areas of the college. An early intervention system pinpoints those students with initial signs of academic difficulty.

Partnership with the Lincoln Center Institute

For the past seven years, the Freshman Program has maintained a partnership with the Lincoln Center Institute, the educational division of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Students in targeted learning communities attend live performances and participate in interactive workshops and classes conducted by a teaching artist. The teaching artist also runs workshops for faculty.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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