First Year Seminar


PSU 1 is a first-semester seminar designed to help new students successfully transition between high school and college. Required for all first-year students, this course provides scaffolding and information to help students acclimate to the new challenges and opportunities they will experience in their first semester at Penn State Abington.

PSU 1 courses are taught by full-time faculty across a variety of disciplines and an FYS Peer Assistant. FYS Peer Assistants are experienced, successful students who are excellent role models; they provide advice, training, and support to the first-year students in their classes.

PSU 1 focuses on four areas that are key to student success:

  • Academic Skills: Learning in college is different than learning in high school. PSU 1 covers skills such as note-taking, active listening, study and exam prep, goal setting, assignment planning, and library research skills. There is a focus on planning for one’s major, help with course registration, and information on entrance-to-major requirements.
  • Navigating Campus: Students should feel at home on campus, and a big part of that is knowing how to access all the opportunities and resources that Penn State Abington has to offer. Within PSU 1, students get to meet representatives from many areas across campus, including the Center for Student Achievement, the Career and Professional Development Center, Health & Wellness, and more. Information about campus clubs, activities, and events are shared on a regular basis, making it easier to participate in campus activities. Because navigating campus online is important, too, students gain experience with PSU technology tools such as webmail, Canvas, and Lion Path.
  • Evaluate personal attributes: Understanding one’s own strengths, abilities, learning styles, values, and motivation can lead to greater success and personal fulfillment. PSU 1 guides students through issues such as goal-setting, mindset, and personal strengths in order to build a solid foundation for self-exploration and learning.
  • Being an Effective Part of the Penn State Abington Community: Penn State Abington is a diverse, lively community. Learning to positively contribute to the community engages reflective and interpersonal skills. PSU 1 helps students develop those skills as well as integrate into campus life.

PSU 1 should be taken in the first semester and can be scheduled during orientation.