Honors First Year Experience

Honors first-year seminars (UNIV 1784s) are 1-credit First Year Experience (FYE) classes designed specifically for Honors students. They offer incoming students an intimate class experience, exposure to some of UConn’s best faculty, and upper-class mentors. UNIV 1784 instructors are faculty members or doctorally trained Honors staff members. Honors facilitators/co-facilitators are specially trained sophomore Honors students.

Taking a UNIV 1784 seminar gives you the opportunity to bond with a faculty member or member of Honors staff early in your undergraduate career, while also exploring an interesting topic. It is an introduction to Honors education by providing a learning environment of critical thinking, problem solving, and in-depth discussions. The Honors Program regards UNIV 1784 as a critical part of the program.

Honors First Year Seminars are taught on a range of topics as wide as your imagination. Students have taken seminars on topics ranging from Plagues and Pandemics, to Music and Nature, from Interpersonal Conflict and Mediation to Environmental Sustainability. Each year the topics are different, and there is something to pique every student’s curiosity.  Find out more about our most recent first year seminars.

UNIV 1784 structure

  • Two 50-minute sessions per week
  • Typically held Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday
  • Faculty or staff instructor attends only 1 session per week
  • Honors student facilitators attend both sessions per week (and lead the second session)

UNIV 1784 benefits

  • Provides students with an academically engaging experience
  • Helps build relationships with classmates and instructors
  • Strengthens the Honors community
  • Reduces the number of credits required to earn Sophomore Honors (UNIV 1784 counts as the equivalent of 3 Honors credits for purposes of this award)

Honors Facilitators

Each UNIV 1784 section is assigned 2 or 3 upper-class Honors facilitators, mostly sophomores who have just completed their first years. Facilitators prepare for their roles by enrolling in a course on college student development, gifted student development, leadership, and class management. Facilitators are also helped to be excellent peer leaders during by enrolling in a practicum course EGEN 3092.

Roles of Honors facilitators

  • Serve as Honors peer mentors for first-year students
  • Assist in the transition to campus
  • Encourage team building
  • Help orient students to UConn programs and services
  • Answer typical questions and concerns for first-year students

Responsibilities of Honors facilitators

  • Build relationships with their students and faculty or staff mentor
  • Develop a syllabus (for the weekly session not led by the instructor)
  • Attend both weekly sessions (including leading one per week)
  • Cover issues such as transiting to college, community building, and orientating to Honors
  • Serve as role models and guides for first-year students

This peer leadership model has been highly successful for the Honors Program. It allows first year students a peer-only venue to talk about issues and concerns. It also gives very valuable leadership, mentoring, and presentation experience to the students who are facilitators.

If you’re interested in becoming an Honors Facilitator, check the Honors calendar to find out when the next information session is scheduled.