First-Year Seminar Students Gain an Edge with Experiential Learning Opportunities

This past semester, students enrolled in two First-Year Seminar sections at UNCW collaborated with local businesses to create and implement community service projects.

FYS is one component of University Studies, UNCW’s general education program required of every student. The course supports new students academically and personally as they integrate into the college experience. The small, highly interactive cohorts are designed to foster a sense of community, increase peer connections and an awareness of campus resources and activities.

The EDGE (Explore, Discover, Grow, Engage) option incorporates the common FYS curriculum, with the added component of leadership and community service. As a result, students gain communication and project management skills while building a professional network and relationships with local businesses.

During the fall, five area businesses – Live Oak Bank, Tek Mountain/Castlebranch, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, NC Coastal Federation and Corning – worked with students enrolled in the EDGE sections to provide a practical, applied learning experience. They each proposed a challenge for the students to create a service or philanthropy event that aligned with the respective company’s mission. Student groups pitched their ideas in early October and worked with the businesses to implement the winning ideas in early November.

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