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Essential Practices

The five FYE essential practices demonstrate meaningful integration of practice to support a VT-shaped learning experience. The five include: effective teaching and learning; Virginia Tech Principles of Community; mentorship and engagement; digital and information literacies; and undergraduate academic integrity.

Effective Teaching & Learning

FYE courses are intentionally designed to use research-based learning experiences to foster student engagement and to support the development and success of first-year students. 

Specifically, first-year students will experience high-quality learning experiences requiring students to employ a critical and reflective process for experiential learning that will set them on the path for meaningful engagement in advanced experiences including undergraduate research, study abroad, service learning, internships, and capstone projects. Faculty who teach FYE courses facilitate a VT-shaped learning experience through implementing contemporary, student-centered curricula; and participate in a professional teaching and learning community of practice that reaches beyond disciplinary boundaries and is grounded in inclusive pedagogy.

Virginia Tech Principles of Community

FYE courses introduce students to and are conducted in the spirit of the Virginia Tech Principles of Community and Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Students who take FYE courses create meaningful connections to further their understanding of self and concepts within DiversityEdu, while providing students opportunities to engage with different perspectives, challenge assumptions, and to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for diverse cultures and identities. 

Mentorship & Engagement

FYE courses demonstrate diverse ways of reinforcing an engaged campus through connecting students to social, co-curricular and cultural enrichment opportunities

Students in FYE courses learn to navigate campus through active participation in the Virginia Tech Community. They build a “Hokie” identity and develop skills to adapt and persevere during and beyond the first year. Faculty teaching first-year courses should be adept at mentoring a diverse population of first-year students to empower them to develop and revise their academic plan, identify and access both mentors and advisors, learn about career options, and begin building personal and professional identities. 

Digital & Information Literacies

FYE courses help students create connections with University Libraries to enhance their ability to discover, create, reflect, evaluate, and communicate knowledge to diverse audiences

Faculty who teach FYE facilitate the connections through methods such as collaborative assignment design and assessment, collaborative teaching teams, and use of library space for creation of experiential learning opportunities. Students who take FYE courses should demonstrate their digital and information literacies within the creation and scholarship competency area and one other area of focus which includes: reflective discovery; critical evaluation; ethics; communication and collaboration; identity and self-development; and technological literacy.      

Undergraduate Academic Integrity

FYE courses support individual understanding and ability to adhere to the principles of academic integrity when using and/or creating information in accordance with the Virginia Tech Honor Code and professional norms of their field.

Students who take FYE courses should engage in ethical behavior, showing academic integrity through methods that may include giving credit to the work of others, following established academic policies, and beginning to navigate disciplinary standards for research. Faculty who teach FYE courses should serve as guides who connect the Virginia Tech Honor Code with the professional norms of the field they are introducing in the course.