First Year Experience Update

Spring Semester 2012 FYEX

Three FYEX-101 sections were offered with an enrollment of 89 students.  FYEX offered one Philosophy 100 section with an enrollment of 14 and there were two TRiO Student Support Services Philosophy 100 sections with an enrollment of 22. 

A workshop for all fall 2012 FYEX instructors was held April 30, 2012 to discuss textbooks, syllabi construction, facts and figures about the program, the core competencies and ideas for introducing them to students.  A FYEX support/development group was formed for instructors and will meet once per month in September, October and November in order to facilitate idea exchange and general assistance.  Common Reading materials for the upcoming academic year were distributed to instructors attending the workshop.

Scheduled for next fall are nine FYEX-101 (First-Year Seminars), 17 FYEX-102 (Interest Groups), six Philosophy 100 (Introduction to Liberal Arts Study), with two Phil 100 classes for Trio students, and four Learning Communities.   Instructional resources for these classes can be found on the FYEX website:

Fall 2012 Convocation

Planning has begun for the fall 2012 Convocation which is scheduled for August 24th.  An invitation has been accepted from Dr. Ed Snyder to be the 2012 faculty speaker at the fall event.  Work will continue on this event over the summer.

Spring Semester Common Reading Events

Shepherd University continued their celebration of the common reading, This I Believe, through Spring Semester.  On March 22, 12 essays were read by winners of the Common Reading Student Essay Contest.  On April 4, Shepherdstown community members shared their own personal essays.

On April 6, the campus radio station, WSHC-89.7 FM aired their morning show in the Scarborough Library.   Small gifts and coffee and donuts were given free to students.   The FYEX Director along with Library personnel and the President of the Shepherdstown Film Society were interviewed live on air.   Approximately 100 students and staff participated in this event.  That evening, the Common Reading Program partnered with the Shepherdstown Film Society to present the movie “Good Night and Good Luck” starring George Clooney, to emphasize the connection between the Common Reading, This I Believe,  and the history of radio and broadcast journalism. The film was followed by a discussion led by the campus radio station manager, Todd Cotgreave. 

On April 11, six essays were read by faculty and staff of Shepherd.  Throughout the semester, WSHC aired pre-recorded This I Believe essays twice daily. Jay Allison, editor of This I Believe remarked in an email, “I'm really impressed with how thoroughly you all have committed to the Common Reading Program.  I've visited a lot of similar efforts and yours stands out.”

events*Events include movies, panels, lectures, speaker series, field trips, dinners, musical performances, student experiments, discussions, readings, poster shows, displays, a cooking class and author visits.

2012-2013 Common Reading

The Common Reading Committee met in January to read and discuss the 20 books nominated for next year’s selection. The five final books that were voted upon were:  Frederick Douglass and the Fourth of July by James A. Colaiaco; Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis; Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; and The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea.   

The winning book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was chosen by students, faculty, staff and community as the 2012-2013 common reading. This book is available at the Shepherd University Bookstore, Scarborough Library, Shepherdstown Public Library, 4 Seasons Bookstore, and other retailers. A 15-member Planning Committee has formed to begin planning events expanding upon topics in the book.  Please contact Judi McIntyre at if you would like to be part of the planning process or have suggestions for potential events. 

Please click this link to enjoy some interesting facts about our incoming first-year students.

Student Success Network Interview regarding SU’s Common Reading Program

On Wednesday, March 28, Judi McIntyre, Shepherd University’s Director of the First-Year Experience and Common Reading Programs had a half hour interview by phone with the Student Success Network.  The interview focused on Shepherd University’s Common Reading/One Book, One Community Program.  The interview was made into a podcast and placed on the front page of the Student Success Network website.  The Student Success Network is an online community of higher education professionals sponsored by Kendall Hunt for First-Year Experience educators with a goal to share resources, best practices, ask questions and seek solutions.  It is intended to provide ideas and resources with a focus on student retention.  Access the podcast interview at the Student Success Network at (