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Phoenix Forward magazine

First-Year Sequence: What’s in it for you?

First-year sequence

Science, writing, personal finance — required college courses can be a drag when you’re a first-year student more interested in immediately delving into your major. But with the first-year sequence [FYS] at University of Phoenix, that doesn’t have to be the case.

The group of courses is set up to make schoolwork more palatable by helping you relate assignments to your daily life, according to Robert Ridel, dean of the University of Phoenix College of Humanities and Sciences.

“The University designed a program that accounts for the student's experience in and out of the classroom during one’s academic journey,” says Ridel, who has a doctorate in sociology. “These courses connect learning and life skills for a rich and meaningful experience.”

The goal, Ridel emphasizes, is to help bolster confidence and ensure academic success.

For instance, you can use skills learned in critical-thinking courses to evaluate the content and reliability of information that pops up in Internet results.

These courses connect learning and life skills for a rich and meaningful experience.

The composition and communications courses, he adds, emphasize writing skills you’ll need for school assignments, as well as for professional communication.

Here’s how FYS works:

Incoming students with 24 or fewer college credits are required to start their associate or bachelor’s degree programs by taking several introductory courses in a structured sequence.

These include an Introduction to University Studies class, which covers topics such as goal setting, personal motivation and stress management, followed by courses in personal finance, writing, media literacy, psychology, critical thinking, and health and wellness. (Some education, nursing and liberal studies programs are exempt from the first-year sequence).

Ultimately, FYS is designed to help you develop your academic skills by gradually reinforcing and linking content you learned in prior classes.

“If students experience academic material in an interesting, relevant way,” Ridel says, “they are more likely to gain confidence in their studies and be successful in their personal and professional lives.”

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