First Year Experience Program (FYEX)

Starting a university education is an exciting time. It's a time when your social sphere widens, interests deepen, and the challenges of keeping up with everything become even greater. During this transitional time, you can find it rewarding (and relaxing) to cultivate supportive groups and activities that will help ease the transition and promote academic success. With this in mind, Shepherd has created an innovative program of First-Year Experience courses. These courses offer creative ways to help you acclimate to university life, integrate into the campus community, and enjoy academic success.

“Academic honesty is expected among all Shepherd University students and members of the Shepherd community.  By submitting academic work, students warrant that the work is their own and that unauthorized materials or resources were not used.  Plagiarism, fraud, unauthorized use of resources—cheating in all its forms is not tolerated.  All members of the Shepherd community are responsible for maintaining their own academic integrity and for reporting suspected academic dishonesty.”   Shepherd University Student Code of Conduct.

FYEX Brochure - Fall 2013

FYEX Mission Statement

IG Grading Rubric

FYEX - 101 Syllabus

FXEX - 102 Syllabus

Philosophy 100 Syllabus

FYEX 101 Student Evaluation

PHIL 100 Student Evaluation

Interest Group Assessment

FYEX Instructor Survey

Peer Educator Survey


Core Curriculum Requirement

Beginning fall 2011 semester, a first-year experience class is a core curriculum requirement for all first-year students.  These courses are designed to help you transition into the university community of scholars and become a successful life-long learner.  The first-year experience requirement may be filled by taking one of the following courses:

  1. FYEX 101 – Freshman Seminar
  2. FYEX 102 – Interest Group
  3. Philosophy 100 -- Introduction to Liberal Arts Study (Required for Provisional Students)
  4. *Departmental First-Year Experience Course , or a course (if offered) in the major that has been designated as fulfilling first-year experience core-curriculum competencies

*Your summer advisor will guide you as to which first-year experience option is most appropriate for you.  Please note that some students may be required to take both Philosophy 100 and a first-year experience course designated in their chosen major.

Courses Offered Within the First-Year Experience Program

Freshman Seminar – FYEX 101

The purpose of these one-credit courses is to integrate you into the life and culture of Shepherd University and to prepare you with the foundations for academic success.  The course addresses the core curriculum competencies of wellness, information literacy and experiential learning.  A text and a copy of the Shepherd University common reading are required. 

Interest Groups – FYEX 102

This one-credit course is centered on a common interest shared by a faculty or staff person and the students enrolled in the course (examples include scrapbooking, cooking, hiking).   You will sign up for an interest group section of your choice; together you and the other students, your instructor and a Peer Educator will explore the interest as well as discuss survival skills that will help you move smoothly through your courses, the university system, and your new social life. The course will have a concluding celebration that includes all the interest group classes.  In addition to active, participatory experiences that enhance learning, you will complete a wellness activity and an information literacy activity.  A copy of the Shepherd University common reading is required. 

Introduction to Liberal Arts Study – Phil 100

This 3-credit course prepares you for a successful academic career through the cultivation of valued skills in the liberal arts such as critical reading and analysis; writing and discussion; and argument and debate. You will be exposed to a series of readings, compiled by the course faculty, that deal with a range of diverse creative, intellectual, and ethical ideas, You will also be introduced to many helpful campus resources as well as university transition strategies such as time management, study skills, information literacy, note-taking, technology usage, and test anxiety coping skills.  A copy of the Shepherd University common reading is required.  This course is required for and limited to provisionally admitted students only.

Learning Communities

Learning Communities provide you with an inter-disciplinary approach to learning.  Subject matter is interrelated and reinforced in both courses, deepening your understanding and revealing the subject’s interconnectedness.  Professors work collaboratively on the course requirements.  In some cases, they team-teach and are involved in all aspects of the courses, while other times they work together outside of the classroom to link course material.  Relevant field trips are often part of the learning community experience.  Credits are awarded based on credits assigned to each course in the learning community.  You must enroll in both of the linked courses. 

Learning Communities Brochure

FYEX Brochure

Instructional Resources

Passport Activity

Phil 100 Academic Integrity: The Pressure of Being Denise

Phil 100 Academic Integrity: The Pressure of Being Denise-Discussion Guide

Information Literacy Competencies: The How, What, and Why

FYEX Ways of Introducing the Wellness Topics into a FYEX Class

FYEX Case Studies for Critical Thinking

FYEX Critical Thinking

FYEX/Phil Icebreakers

FYEX Resources on Critical Thinking

FYEX Liberal Arts Education Purpose Resource

PHIL 100 Successful Student Information for Instructors

PHIL 100 Class Assignments to Reinforce Teaching

PHIL 100 Effective Teaching Outline

PHIL 100 Questions for Reflective Papers

FYEX Cuseo Workshop FYE Teaching

FYEX Cuseo Workshop Affective Holistic Outcome

FYEX Cuseo Workshop Strategies

FYEX Instructor Brochure

FYEX Critical Thinking Assignment

Time Management, Learning Styles, Study and Note-taking Strategies, and Test Anxiety-Strategies to Help You Succeed

Time Management, Learning Styles, Study and Note-taking Strategies, and Test Anxiety-Strategies to Help You Succeed


FYEX-101 Content Prioritize Organize Cuseo

FYEX Content Evidence Cuseo

FYEX and PHIL 100 Instructor Focus Group Questions

IG End of Semester 2011 Meeting Minutes

Setting Smart Goals

How to Overcome Procrastination

Differences between High School and College

Financial Literacy Information Modules

FYEX Instructors Workshop Stats

Financial Literacy Resource: Up to 22 hours of online, video-driven, self-grading financial literacy instruction and young people do all the teaching. You can use one "module" or you can use the entire curriculum.

Wellness Option

Turning Letters Into Words

FYEX Exercise

Academic Ettiquete

Benefits of Attending College - Joe Cusco

Lesson 6: You're Not Special

Lesson 6: You're Not Special 1

FYEX Information Literacy Competencies: the How, What, and Why


Peer Educator Information

FYEX Peer Educator Job Description

FYEX Peer Educator Guide

FYEX Peer Educator Application


Latest Data Summary:



          YEAR                        FYEX 102 RETENTION RATE                                 NO FYEX RETENTION RATE 















            YEAR                                   FYEX CUM GPA                                        NO FYEX GPA















           YEAR                             LC RETENTION RATE                           NO LC RETENTION RATE














One Book, One Community And Common Reading Program

The 2013-2014 Shepherd University Common Reading Selection

This I Believe Book Cover

For complete details about events surrounding Strange As This Weather Has Been visit:

The Common Reading Website

We are pleased to announce that Strange As This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake was chosen by the campus and surrounding community to serve as the 2013-2014 Common Reading.

Themes from the book are being used to develop programs throughout the academic year featuring movies, panel discussions, speakers, art exhibits, an essay contest, book discussions, a special dinner and displays, all meant to enhance appreciation and knowledge of the text. The Shepherdstown community will also be involved through the “One Book, One Community Program.”

The book is available for checkout from the Scarborough Library and the Shepherdstown Public Library. It is available for purchase from the Shepherd University Bookstore and local area bookstores and through on line retailers. For more information, contact Common Reading Program Coordinator, Shannon Holliday, at 304-876-5461.

Strange As This Weather Has Been is a required text in FYEX-101, First-Year Seminar; FYEX-102, Interest Groups; Philosophy 100, Introduction to the Liberal Arts, some First-Year Experience courses held in the majors and a variety of other courses on campus. Students in the FYEX courses are required to attend at least one common reading event during the semester.

There are multiple ways to become involved in the Common Reading Program. The most direct way is to read the book and attend events which expand on issues or topics in the book. Another way to participate is to become a member of the COMMON READING SELECTION COMMITTEE (which meets annually to review and recommend nominations for the next Common Reading) and/or the COMMON READING PLANNING GROUP (which meets throughout the year once the book is chosen to develop programs and events related to the Common Reading). If interested, please contact Shannon Holliday at

FYEX Task Force Meeting Minutes Archive

Common Reading Planning Minutes


Every fall, each new class of first-year students goes through an Orientation Program the week before classes begin.  At the end of Orientation, the culminating event of entrance into the university occurs.  This ceremony is called Convocation.  Convocation signifies the beginning of a student’s educational journey and by which they become members of the Shepherd University community of scholars.
As a member of this scholastic community, there are many benefits and also responsibilities - one of which is academic integrity.  The Student Handbook contains a description of academic integrity and what is expected of all students at Shepherd University.      
“Academic honesty is expected among all Shepherd University students and members of the Shepherd community.  By submitting academic work, students warrant that the work is their own and that unauthorized materials or resources were not used.  Plagiarism, fraud, unauthorized use of resources—cheating in all its forms is not tolerated.  All members of the Shepherd community are responsible for maintaining their own academic integrity and for reporting suspected academic dishonesty.
Academic honesty is at the core of being a scholar.  As students move through their educational journey at Shepherd, this is one truth that will never leave them and will follow them into their professional and everyday lives.

Convocation Minutes

Convocation Meeting Minutes July, 6 2011
Convocation Meeting Minutes August, 2011
Convocation Meeting Minutes May 2, 2011
Convocation Meeting Minutes June 12, 2010
Convocation Meeting Minutes -June 12, 2007