FYE301, Peer Leadership Seminar [Fall 2012 Syllabus]  


FYE 301 F01 (Friday 10:50-12:50 in EW 005) September 7, 14, 21, and 28; October 26; November 30

FYE 301 F02 (Monday 8:40-10:40 in NC 24404) September 10, 17, and 24; October 1 and 29; December 3.


Prof. Chris Pudlinski, RVAC317-06, 832-2701, pudlinskic@ccsu.edu; OFFICE HOURS: TR 8:45-9:15 a.m.; R 12:30-2:30 p.m.; F 8:45-10:45 a.m.            

Scott Hazan, Director of Students Activities/Leadership Development, Student Center 201-03, 832-1992, hazanscz@ccsu.edu

This course is a mixture of lecture/discussion and a practicum (students are required to attend and actively participate in their assigned FYE101 section). 


1. Participants will understand the role of peer leaders within higher education.

2.  Participants will be introduced to issues of pedagogy (lesson plans, learning objectives, classroom management, active learning)

3.  Participants will understand basic theories of leadership, including types and situational aspects.

4.  Participants will improve their interpersonal and presentational communication skills, including speaking in a classroom setting, building peer relationships with others, and learning about peer support.

5.  Because this course is about personal growth, participants should be self-reflective, self-aware and open-minded (when dealing with others).


  1. Attendance, preparation, and participation:  This class will be a very hands-on and active learning environment.  Attendance and participation in class discussions and activities are crucial to your success in this course.
  2. Keeping a Log:  You will keep a concise and accurate log of all of your mentoring activities.  You are expected to hand in these periodically over the course of the semester (see Schedule of Events).  
  1. Desire to learn and have an open mind:  Peer leaders are expected to grow and develop through this leadership process.  Honest self-assessment will be an integral part of the course.  Peer leaders are expected to approach their work with an open mind and to be respectful of others.
  1. Lesson Plan:  During the first weeks of the semester, you will consult with your FYE faculty member to determine the subject of your first classroom lecture presentation. In preparation for your first lecture you will prepare a lesson plan to be implemented in your FYE course.  Lesson plans, which must reflect an understanding of class material and incorporate active learning techniques (see Paulson article), are to be reviewed by your FYE 101 instructor before they can be presented to the class.  A copy of these lesson plans must also subsequently be submitted to your FYE301 instructors.
  1. Final Group Assignment:  These written and mediated assignments will be based upon your group campus/community engagement project.  You will be expected to produce a mediated artifact (e.g., video, photo gallery, blog, PSA) documenting your campus/community engagement project.  This will be accompanied by a written summary of this experience.  It is expected that all group members participate in both pieces of this assignment.


FYE 301 Class Assignments determine 60% of your total grade.  This will be broken down into classroom participation (10%), informal written logs (15%), the group project (20%), and a formal write-up of the group project (15%).  

FYE 101 Instructor Input (tied to your participation in the FYE class and your required 50 minute lecture/activity with lesson plans) determines 40% of your total grade. 

Schedule of Events

Week 1            Basic pedagogy: Theories of active learning; Formation of groups (for projects)

Week 2            Personal responsibility and the Wise-Choice process

Week 3            Individuals and leadership: theories, types, styles

Week 4            Groups and leadership: theories, applications; Discussion: Peers as leaders

Week 5           Discussions: What does it mean to be a leader/mentor/teacher?

                                    Pros and cons of your leadership experiences (so far)

                        DUE: Written journal of your experiences (so far)

Week 6            Reflecting back on your peer leader experiences; Informal sharing: Group projects

                        DUE: Group project

                        DUE: Written reflection on your community/campus engagement project


Required Readings will be assigned (and posted online) for each class  

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