What You’ll Learn

Dr. Ethan Schmidt
FYS Director
Jobe Hall 215
DSU Box 3162
Cleveland, MS 38733
P: 662.846.4170

While each course section is taught by a different instructor, they all cover the same concepts. Below is a list of topics to be covered  in your First Year Seminar course:

Cultural Awareness/Diversity/Disabilities

There has always been diversity in the classroom, but in today’s society it is important to embrace it and make positive use of it. This class provides insight on the ways in which our diversity strengthens us as a society.

Info/Tech (Canvas, OkraMail, MyDSU)

Navigating the various systems used on campus for submitting assignment, emailing professors, enrolling in class, checking grades and the like can be mind boggling. This class provides the “how to” on each of the systems used here at Delta State and how to properly use social media in a college setting.

Intro to Higher Ed/Student Activities/Networking

The world of higher education is very different from high school. Studies have repeatedly shown that those students who are more connected on campus are far more likely to earn their degree. This class demystifies higher education and focuses on how to build and use those campus connections.

Time Management

So many late night pizza runs, residence hall pranks, video games, television marathons, games of Frisbee on the Quad (oh yeah and homework), and so little time! Getting control of your time and using it wisely is the key to success both in and out of class. This class introduces various strategies for managing your time in college to your best advantage.

Learning Styles/Study Skills

People learn in various ways.  Because of this, it is important for you to figure out how you learn best so that you can gravitate toward instructors and courses which best match your style. Additionally, most students enter college with very little idea of how to properly study. This class provides instruction on various systems for studying effectively.

Educational Planning/Career Exploration

It is often said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. This class guides you in the essential steps needed for well-developed educational and career plans.

Value of General Ed/Academic Conduct/Faculty Interaction

Many students find themselves frustrated by the fact that they are required to take general education courses. This class demonstrates the value of general education not only for your chosen major, but for the rest of your life. It also provides critical information designed to help you avoid academic misconduct and plagiarism and help you interact with faculty most effectively.

Special Communication/Conflict Resolution

One of the challenges college students often face is how to effectively manage their relationships with their friends, classmates, and roommates, etc.  This class addresses ways to effectively communicate with your peers and provides effective tools to resolve conflict.

Critical/Creative Thinking

For years you have probably been told that critical and creative thinking are extremely important to college success. However, most students are never taught how to engage in critical/creative thinking, or even what these words mean!  This class provides clarification of these terms and how to apply these skills.


In college, you have to coordinate assignments, work, class meetings, extra-curricular activities, and social events. There is usually no one to remind you to eat right, get enough sleep, exercise and basically make sure you take care of yourself. This class focuses on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle (both physically and emotionally) while diving in to college life!


For many college students, the library can be an extremely intimidating place. This class guides you in developing the skills to utilize the library as a place for research and general study. It also emphasizes the importance of applying those same skills to both virtual and physical resources that extend beyond the doors of the campus library.

Money Management

A college degree will open many doors for you financially, but its ability to do so will be seriously curtailed if you do not manage your finances wisely while you are in college.  This class provides strategies designed to ensure that you will graduate from college on a firm financial footing.

Instructor's Choice

All topics listed above are required in First Year Seminar. This leaves 3-4 additional class meetings in which your instructors can cover whatever material they feel would most benefit their students.

COMPASS  (noun)
: a device that is used to find direction by means of a needle that always points north
: something that helps a person make choices about what is right, effective, etc.