Non-embedded FYE Courses: Duration and Time for Peer Leaders (contributed by Emily Smith, Shayne Koplowitz, & Sherreida Reid)  


                Embedded and non-embedded courses differ in a variety of ways.  One such way is the duration of each course.   While embedded courses meet once a week for a total of minutes, non-embedded course meet once a week for 50 minutes.  The duration of each type of FYE course has its advantages and disadvantages.  Below are a few.


One advantage of non-embedded FYE courses is the duration of the course.  Non-embedded FYE courses are one credit courses that meet once a week for 50 minutes, as introduced earlier.  A commitment of 50 minutes a week is not terribly demanding.  During these 50 minutes one should expect a series of event of events to occur.  Such events include, the taking of class attendance, announcements about upcoming events and assignments, the administering of assignments and homework, the collecting of such assignments and homework, classroom discussions, out of classroom activities (e.g., library tours), and the presence of guest speakers. 

Another advantage of non-embedded FYE courses is that peer leaders are provided an array of opportunities during the course of the semester to contribute to classroom discussions.  Peer leaders have a little more flexibility to interact with students due to less rigid course curriculum, which is quite the opposite for embedded FYE courses. 


 While the duration of the course can be an advantage, it may also disadvantage as well.  Fifty minutes a week goes by faster than one may think it does.  Fifty minutes Is often an insufficient amount of time to cover a lot of course material during one class.  Due to the time constraint of a non-embedded FYE course, the peer leader may not allotted much time to interact with students.  A solution to this issue is possibly organizing some out of class activities to facilitate better bonding with students and a stronger sense or community students themselves (this is a good idea for embedded sections as well!).  A lack of peer -student interaction may also be the result of the structure of the course.   For example, an FYE may be organized to have several guest speakers come in and speak to students.  On such days, you may rarely had opportunities to interact with students.  Once again, a possible suggestion to this issue is to try organizing out of classroom activities for students.


In spite of the advantages and disadvantages of a non-embedded FYE course, a peer leader's experience in his or FYE class is what he or she makes of it.  The goals of peer leaders, regardless of the advantages and disadvantages of non-embedded FYE course, are to build a strong sense of community among their first year students and act as positive role models to these students.    

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