First Year Odyssey

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a categorized list of some of the most popular questions.

General Information

Goals

Who Can Teach?

Compensation and Support

Faculty Proposals

Faculty Concerns

Funding and Resources

Learning Initiatives and Requirements

Syllabus

Grading

Evaluations

Scheduling and Athena

Advising

Student Registration

Transfer Students

Honors, Audits, Withdrawals

General Information

What is the First-Year Odyssey Seminar requirement?

All first-year undergraduate students who matriculate fall semester 2011 and thereafter must successfully complete one First-Year Odyssey Seminar by the end of the first year in residence. This policy excludes transfer students.

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Goals

What are the goals of the First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program?

The following goals were submitted to SACS for the First-Year Odyssey Seminar and should be included in your course syllabus:

Goal 1: Introduce first-year students to the importance of learning and academics so that we engage them in the academic culture of the University.

Goal 2: Give first-year students an opportunity for meaningful dialogue with a faculty member to encourage positive, sustained student-faculty interactions.

Goal 3: Introduce first-year students to the instruction, research, public service and international missions of the University and how they relate to teaching and learning in and outside the classroom so that we increase student understanding of and participation in the full mission of the University.

For more information about the goals, see: https://fyo.uga.edu/faculty/goals.html

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Who Can Teach?

Who is eligible to teach a First-Year Odyssey Seminar?

First-Year Odyssey Seminars will be taught by tenure-track faculty members,  including emeritus faculty and clinical faculty who hold the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor.

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Compensation and Support

What is the faculty compensation?

Faculty compensation is $3,500 per course.

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What is the procedure for requesting compensation?

Faculty must complete the First-Year Odyssey Seminar Program Compensation form. Teaching in the FYO program requires approval of the faculty member’s department head and dean. Their approval and signatures are required on the FYO Program Compensation form. The signed form must be submitted to the FYO Program Office no later than two weeks prior to the first day of the semester during which the course will be offered.

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Are faculty paid in salary or a research account?

These funds will be available as either extra compensation for the person teaching the course or research/scholarly support (e.g., travel, supplies, computer, equipment).

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If a faculty member selects scholarly support, do the funds have to be spent by a certain deadline?

Yes. The funds must be spent before the deadlines for the fiscal year.

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If a faculty member selects scholarly support and chooses to purchase equipment (e.g., computer, laptop), who owns the items purchased?

UGA will own the items regardless of whether they are inventoried or not. If they meet the inventory threshold, Property Control will affix an inventory barcode.

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If a faculty member selects extra compensation, will taxes be taken out?

Yes. Taxes will be taken out. For specific information on the amount of the tax, please contact the Payroll Department at 706-542-3431.

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What support will be provided to faculty?

There will be various forms of faculty support, including small group sessions, workshops, and luncheons. Faculty needs will drive the content, format, and strategies used.

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Will faculty be given release time for teaching a seminar?

No. The faculty will still be responsible for teaching a normal load in a department. Faculty will be awarded extra compensation of $3,500 per course.

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Faculty Proposals

When can seminar proposals be submitted?

Proposals may be submitted at any time on the FYO website using the online proposal form. Click here to go to the log in page to submit a seminar proposal. Log in with a UGA MyID for access to the proposal form. Proposals for fall are reviewed in March. Spring proposals are reviewed in September.

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What specific information needs to be included in the seminar proposal? Is there a standard format?

Yes. There is a standard format with required fields.

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What are the criteria for acceptance of a proposal?

The following criteria will be used in determining acceptance of a proposal: demand; diversity of offerings across schools, colleges, and departments; and whether or not faculty have had an opportunity to teach a seminar in the past. Preference is given to tenured and tenure-track faculty.

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Faculty Concerns

Will seminars be taught by faculty across campus?

Yes. Faculty from every school and college are teaching FYO seminars.

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Will faculty teaching First-Year Odyssey Seminars become faculty advisors?

Offering the First-Year Odyssey Seminar will not change current advising policies and procedures.

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How much control will faculty have over when and where the seminar is taught?

Faculty will be given the opportunity to select where and when they would like to teach a course. They will be able to select from a list of days, times, and locations or enter a location with days and times.

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Does the seminar have to meet for one hour each week for fifteen weeks?

Seminars must meet for a minimum of 15 hours per semester, but flexible scheduling will be allowed. For example, a seminar may meet for a 2-hour class period once a week for half a semester or for a 1-hour class period twice a week for half a semester to accommodate the seminar content.

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Do seminars that meet on a Tuesday or Thursday schedule have to meet for the entire 75-minute period, or do they meet for only 50 minutes?

Seminars are required to meet for only 50 minutes, but instructors have the option of teaching for the entire period. Many instructors have reported that they like to have the extra time for discussion.

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Who orders books for the seminars?

As with other courses, faculty members will order books for their seminars.

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Funding and Resources

Are funds available for out-of-class activities? How will professors be reimbursed?

Yes, funds are available for one or more activities per seminar up to $300. A process for reimbursement has been established. A form to request funding for out-of-class activities is available online under Faculty Resources on the FYO website: Request for Funding for Out-of-Class Activities .

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Are there enough classrooms?

Yes, there are enough rooms. There will be a need to use a range of times of day and days of the week. The small size of the seminars, 15-18 students, will allow faculty to use space that is not included in the room scheduling system, such as conference rooms.

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Learning Initiatives and Requirements

One of the course objectives for the seminar is to promote intentional learning. What is intentional learning?

Students will develop self-awareness about the reason for study, the learning process itself, and how education is used.

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Will all the components—teaching, research, service—be included equally in each and every seminar?

Information about all these areas will be available to all students, but professors may emphasize one aspect more than the others based on their backgrounds and experiences.

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Will three class periods be set aside for information literacy, introduction to research, and service learning and outreach?

Per the current draft of the QEP Plan, these are optional elements.

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Syllabus

Will there be a common syllabus?

There is a master syllabus for the seminar that includes course objectives. To view the syllabus in the Bulletin, go to the course (FYOS 1001) and choose View with Course Objectives, Topical Outline, Honor Code Reference in the drop down menu.

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Will syllabi be posted online?

Yes. Syllabi are available in the Bulletin under the course listing FYOS 1001. To view an individual syllabus, choose the faculty/instructor from the drop down menu at the bottom of the course listing. Faculty may upload a syllabus using the Syllabus Update System available online at syllabus.uga.edu.

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Grading

How will the First-Year Odyssey Seminars be graded?

The First-Year Odyssey Seminars will have A-F grading.

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What is considered to be a passing grade?

A grade of D is considered passing for all UGA courses. This is true for the seminars also.

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How will a wide variance in grading be avoided?

The seminars should be no different from any other graded class that has more than one section.

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Is the final exam given in the last week of class, or is it required to be scheduled during finals week?

Instructors who choose to give a final exam should give the exam during finals week in accordance with the final exam schedule published each semester by the Registrar's Office.

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Evaluations

How will students evaluate the seminars?

Students will complete an online course evaluation at the end of the semester. To view a sample evaluation form, click here.

What feedback will faculty receive from the student evaluations?

Faculty will have access to the student evaluations for their seminars. Instructions for how to access the evaluation results will be emailed to faculty each semester.

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Scheduling and Athena

When will the seminars be offered?

Seminars will be offered fall and spring semesters.

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Who will load the seminar schedule?

The Office of the Vice President for Instruction.

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How will we ensure that students in the later orientation sessions will have access to a desired seminar?

Seats in seminars will be made available gradually throughout the summer.

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Advising

How will incoming students learn about the requirement?

Students will be informed about First-Year Odyssey seminars during Orientation.

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What information about the seminars will be provided to students and advisors?

The seminar title, seminar description, and name and brief bio of the faculty member teaching the seminar will be provided for students and advisors.

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How will students and advisors be able to sort through over 300 choices?

The website provides options for searching seminars by keyword, title, instructor, department, college, day and time.

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Where is this seminar counted in the UGA General Education Core Curriculum?

The First-Year Odyssey Seminar is a University-wide requirement. It will fit in the program of study where it is the best fit for the student. It will be managed the way the Cultural Diversity or Environmental Literacy requirement is currently managed.

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Will the requirement be embedded in the 120 hours? Do all majors have room for this additional hour?

Yes.

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Student Registration

Will any students other than first-year students be allowed to register for a seminar?

No.

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Will there be a penalty for students who do not register for a seminar in the fall of their first year?

There is no penalty, but students will be encouraged to take it in the fall. Students who do not take the seminar in the fall will be required to register for the seminar in the spring.

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When will students admitted in January (regular admission, not transfer students) take the course?

All students have until the end of the first year in residence to successfully complete the seminar. Students admitted in January will be strongly encouraged to take the seminar spring semester.

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May students take more than one First-Year Odyssey Seminar in their first year?

No. We want to ensure that there are enough seats for every first-year student.

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Will students be able to register for a particular seminar, or will they have to indicate an interest in more than one and then be assigned to one by the faculty director?

Students will register for one seminar at the time of registration.

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Transfer Students

How will this requirement impact transfer students?

This requirement is for incoming first-year students and will not apply to transfer students.

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Is it true that a first-year student who brings in 60 hours (more or less) of joint-enrollment and AP credit will be able to take a seminar, but a transfer student with 30 hours will not?

Only first-year students are eligible to take the First-Year Odyssey Seminar. At this time we do not have enough resources to be able to offer these seminars to transfer students.

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Why can't transfer students take the seminar during their first fall semester?

There are not enough resources available. A course may be developed in the future for transfer students.

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Honors, Audits, Withdrawals

Is there an Honors version of the seminar?

No.

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Will students be allowed to audit a seminar?

No.

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Will students be able to withdraw from the seminar just like any other course?

Yes.

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Will the seminar be repeatable?

No.

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