The first year curriculum explicitly assists transition academically and socially into learning in higher education and the new discipline.

Good first year curriculum design aids transition from a student’s previous educational experience to the nature of learning in higher education and their new discipline as part of their life long learning journey.

For example:

  • students might be asked to self-assess their entering knowledge, skills and attitudes against discipline expectations;
  • curriculum time might be devoted to discussing expectations and responsibilities (e.g., draw up a student/staff contract; agreeing a statement on what “independent learning” means: Healy, 2008 ALTC Kift Fellowship Case Study);
  • endemic program-choice uncertainty might be attended to by embedding career modules/career planning opportunities and/or investigating what it is to be a XYZ professional (Nelson, 2008 ALTC Kift Fellowship Case Study).

See: S. Kift. (2008). The next, great first year challenge: Sustaining, coordinating and embedding coherent institution–wide approaches to enact the FYE as “everybody’s business”. In 11th International Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference, An Apple for the Learner: Celebrating the First Year Experience, 2008, Hobart, 16. Retrieved August 14, 2008 from (pdf 280KB)