Course Type Descriptions and Sections

There are several types of courses students are encouraged to sign up for at Orientation.  

First Year Only (FYO) - Every first-year student at UNI has the opportunity to enroll in a first-year only Liberal Arts Core course. This classroom experience connects students to a faculty member who will assist them through the transition to college, a peer mentor who will provide support inside and outside the classroom, and a tight-knit community of other first-year students who are also experiencing their first semester at UNI.  We encourage each student to have 1 FYO course on their schedule.  

Cornerstone - This unique year-long course allows students to take a course for a full academic year with the same professor, satisfying two Liberal Arts Core requirements (1A and 1B).  The course integrates topics of writing, speaking, civility, and student success within a vibrant classroom community.  Students also have access to a peer mentor who will be there for all course sessions, providing mentoring and answering any questions they have about their college experience. *Also considered a FYO course.

Supportive Seminars -  Some LAC course sections are organized study groups that provide students additional strategies and support for their course. Supportive seminars are offered one or two times weekly outside of the class time. Seminars are led by Academic Coaches who incorporate study strategies, reading strategies, note-taking strategies, and test preparation into their seminars. Students practice these skills while working with course material. The seminars are completely student-orientated. Academic Coaches do not re-teach material. Instead, they redirect the teaching back to the students and the students teach each other. The Academic Coaches are responsible for the planning and facilitation of the seminars.

Academic Coaches have taken the course and have access to the same reading materials as the students. Academic Coaches are not required to attend the course regularly; however, the Academic Coach collaborates frequently with the course instructor. Together, the Academic Coach and instructor can discuss which content should be emphasized during seminars. The Academic Coach and course instructor also discuss students’ attendance and progress while addressing the concerns and challenges of specific students.  

Supplemental Instruction - Developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a non-remedial academic assistance program.  SI provides regularly scheduled, out-of-class, peer-facilitated sessions designed to increase student performance and retention.  The SI program targets historically difficult academic courses and not high-risk students.  Difficult courses are those that have a high rate of D or F grades, incompletes, and withdrawals.  

Supplemental Instruction has been offered at the University of Northern Iowa since Fall 2012 and has three major purposes:

  1. Increase retention within targeted historically difficult courses
  2. Improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses
  3. Increase the graduation rates of students

Writing Enhanced - Combines instruction and practice in college-level writing with an LAC "subject matter" course.  Students who take a Writing Enhanced section will satisfy LAC 1A and LAC 3B.  Prerequisite is an English ACT score of 25 or higher. 

Freshman Only / Transfer Only - course sections that are designated for new Freshman or new Transfers.