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FYI: Focusing on the First Year with First Year Inquiry

You may have heard the term “Q” or “FYI” classes and be wondering what all the hype is about.

These are a wide range of classes that partner with the First Year Inquiry (FYI) program to offer an exciting and engaging introduction to the college experience at NC State. Each class is capped at only 19 first-year students and some can be used to meet General Education requirements.

Dr. Bob Patterson teaches an FYI class and loves engaging with first-year students in critical and creative thinking.

“[They] inspire me to adjust my teaching, hopefully in ways relevant to our students’ academic needs and interests,” said Dr. Patterson, who considers the interactions with the FYI community some of the most rewarding work he has done over his nearly 50-year career at NC State.

FYI has partnered with the TH!NK program to provide a training workshop aimed at preparing faculty to take the reins of this formative learning opportunity. Participating faculty members engage in faculty development, create discipline-specific classroom activities and assignments, become adept at providing students feedback on their thinking skills, and engage in a learning community to share peer feedback on pedagogical innovations.

The TH!NK program is open to all NC State faculty who are interested in enhancing their existing course to focus on critical and creative thinking. Dr. Seth Murray credits his TH!NK training for improving his approach to teaching even beyond FYI, noting TH!NK has “challenged me as an instructor to develop better ways of teaching the critical thinking and writing skills that we value as an institution.”

The full list of the Fall 2018 FYI offerings is now available and open to all freshmen students. FYI and TH!NK are open to all tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty members. If you are interested in teaching an FYI course, please complete the new Faculty Interest Form or contact the FYI program directly at Faculty interested in learning more about TH!NK can contact Dr. Sue Carson,, for more information.