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FAQ (for First-Year Seminar Instructors)

  1. Where can I find topics taught by faculty as First-Year Seminars?
    Topics may be found in our Seminar Listings.

  2. Will I be paid for teaching a seminar?
    Yes – teaching a seminar earns you a $3,000 stipend via supplemental compensation. 

  3. Will teaching a First-Year Seminar count as part of my teaching load?
    No – the seminar will be an overload.

  4. Can I team-teach a seminar?
    Definitely – we have had many team-taught seminars. Faculty will split the stipend awarded for the course.

  5. Can I teach the same seminar topic more than once?

  6. Are staff eligible to teach a seminar?
    No. The First-Year Seminar Program is intended to give early exposure of new first-year students to regular, tenured or tenure-track faculty in a small seminar setting.

  7. Can seminars be taught on the regional campuses?
    No. The First-Year Seminar is restricted to the Columbus campus.

  8. How are seminars graded?
    You will choose whether you want to evaluate your students using letter grades or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades. Letter graded courses are designated under ASC 1137; S/U courses under ASC 1138. In evaluations, students have been evenly split as to their preference. Many like the letter grades because it affects their GPA and makes them take the class more seriously. Others prefer the S/U format because it allows them to experiment more without the pressure of a letter grade.

  9. Can I be creative with scheduling my seminar?
    Yes – seminars are meant to be more experimental than typical classes. Many instructors take students on field trips to give an outside-the-classroom experience. Seminars have been held in the residence halls to allow maximum participation by students. If you have an idea, ask us and we’ll try to find a way to make it work.

  10. Who is responsible for finding a day, time, and location for my seminar?
    Several months before your seminar, the office will contact you to gather your teaching preferences. We will book the class for the day and time you want and get it in the course schedule. If you intend to teach in your building, we ask that you schedule a classroom. Otherwise, if you tell us what kind of facilities you need we will do all we can to get you the room you want.

  11. Who orders books for my seminar?
    In the term before your seminar, the office will contact you to gather your textbook order. If you intend to order textbooks, the office will place your order with the bookstore.

  12. How much work should I assign in my seminar?
    First-Year Seminars are intended to give students a taste of your areas of research and interests. Therefore, they must be academic. The general rule of thumb is to expect two hours of work outside of class for every hour in class. Most faculty assign readings, response papers, presentations, etc.

  13. How do I propose a seminar?
    All of the information you need, including deadlines, may be found on the How to Propose a Seminar page.

  14. What if I want to allow a student who is not a first-year student into my seminar?
    After a certain period, we allow higher rank students to register for those spots not filled. Interested students can contact their advisor or e-mail the office (firstyearseminars@osu.edu) to get an override. However, these seminars are designed for first-year students and we prefer their voices not get drowned out by too many of their more-experienced colleagues.

  15. Do students receive credit towards graduation for First Year Seminars?
    Yes – but not GE credit.