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First-Year Experience Program
Sample Syllabus DS 107

DS 107 - First Year Seminar - First-Year Seminar

Course Description:

First Year Seminar is a one credit course recommended to all freshman students and required of some. This course is designed to maximize students' success in transitioning to college. Course content Includes; academic and student resources, study habit techniques, career and educational planning and self adjustment concerns.

Course Text & Required Materials:

Text: Santrock, J. W., & Halonen, J. S. (2005). Your guide to college success: Strategies for achieving your goals (Concise 3 rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.


  • Montgomery College Catalog
  • Montgomery College Credit Schedule of Classes
  • Montgomery College Student Handbook
Goals & Objectives (Student Outcomes)

Students will:

Develop and improve their academic and life skills by means of: self assessment, reflection and practice. Students will gain knowledge of time management techniques, coping skills, critical thinking skills, and understanding of self will be increased by use of:

  • exercises,
  • group interaction,
  • lectures,
  • counseling, advising, coaching
  • assignments, and
  • class presentations

Develop an understanding and tolerance of social/cultural differences by:

  • discussing and defining "socially" responsible behavior
  • developing effective oral and written communication skills
  • providing students a vehicle for exploration of self and culture

Develop skills and understand the value of higher education:

  • Through participation in various social, cultural, intellectual, cultural programs and career and academic counseling
  • By assisting students in recognizing their individual potential
  • Encouraging their pursuit of excellence in the emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical dimensions of their development

Develop knowledge of College resources, policies, procedures and mission:

  • By familiarizing students with College and community resources, through assignments, lectures, guests presenters
  • By providing exposure to intercollegiate athletics, student government and college clubs and organizations.

Develop an educational plan and tentative transfer and career goals

  • By exploring relevant resources
  • By meeting with a counselor



Instructional Methods:  Lectures, small group activities, self-assessment, practice exercises, and class discussion.


Grading and course requirements:  All assignments will be graded using a point system. Particular assignments will be worth more points than others. Note that Attendance and Participation are worth a substantial amount of points. Final grades will be calculated using the total amount of points received. All assignments must be completed in order to pass this course. Points will be awarded based on the following system:


Class Attendance/Participation


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

MC Catalog Worksheet

MC Student Handbook Worksheet

Career Transfer Center Worksheet

Resume Draft

Campus Resources Project

Cultural Experience Reports

Individual Appt. & Educational Plan 












660 total

Below 59%

Statement on Disabilities: If you have a disability that will require accommodation, please make your request known. I am reasonably sure we can work out whatever arrangements are necessary, be it special seating, testing, or other accommodations. If you have not already contacted the Disability Support Services Office, please do so to obtain a letter authorizing your accommodations.

Policies and Procedures:

Course Expectations:

  • Students are encouraged and expected to attend each scheduled class meeting and participate actively in class activities and discussions. In the event that a student is unable to attend a class meeting, within good reason (e.g., emergencies, illness, religious observances, etc.), appropriate notice should be given to the instructor via email, phone, and/or in person. The student is responsible for making up the work that was missed or due on that day. Please note that in accordance with Montgomery College Policy, a one-credit course allows for only one unexcused absence. More than one unexcused absence may result in a lower grade. Three unexcused absences may result in the student being dropped from the class with a failing grade.

  • Students are expected to complete and turn in all assignments on time, unless previous arrangements have been made with the instructor. Late submission of an assignment, regardless of the reason, could result in a lower grade or no grade all.

  • Students are expected to be respectful of themselves, their peers, classroom guests, and the instructor. Moreover, confidentiality is essential; some personal information may be discussed or shared in this classroom and should stay in this classroom. Therefore, nothing should be discussed with anyone outside of this classroom.

  • Students are expected to abide by the policies and procedures set forth in the Montgomery College Student Code of Conduct document, which is available at: http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/academicevp/Student_PandP.htm

Audit: Students auditing this class are required to complete all assignments, attend class regularly, and take all exams. While no grade will be recorded, the student is expected to participate in class activities as if he/she was being graded.

Attendance and Participation: You are expected to attend all class sessions. It is your responsibility to confer with your instructor in the event of a necessary absence. Going to each and every class prepared to learn is one of the keystones of success in a college class.

Classroom Conduct: The College seeks to provide an environment where discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter of the class are recognized as necessary to the educational process. However, students do not have the right to interfere with the freedom of the faculty to teach or the rights of other students to learn. All students are expected to comply with the Code of Conduct as it appears in the MC Student Handbook on the web at: www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/academicevp/Student_PandP.htm

In order to facilitate learning, it is imperative that the classroom atmosphere be one of mutual respect. Students are expected to abide by the "Student Code of Conduct" copies of which are available on the Montgomery College Website. An excerpt follows:

Standards of College Behavior

The following statement appears in College offices and labs to remind students of the behavior standards and process adopted by the College. All full and part-time faculty are strongly encouraged to include the statement in their syllabi.

  • The College seeks to provide an environment where discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter of the class are recognized as necessary to the educational process.

  • However, students do not have the right to interfere with the free­dom of the faculty to teach or the rights of other students to learn, nor do they have the right to interfere with the ability of staff to provide services to any student.  

  • Faculty and staff set the standards of behavior that are within the guidelines and spirit of the Student Code of Conduct or other College policies for classrooms, events, offices, and areas, by announcing or posting these standards early in the semester.  

  • If a student behaves disruptively in the classroom, an event, an office, or an area after the instructor or staff member has explained the unacceptability of such conduct and the consequences that will result; the student may be asked to leave that classroom, event, office, or area for the remainder of the day. This does not restrict the student’s right to attend other scheduled classes or appointments.  
  • If the student does not leave, the faculty or staff member may request the assistance of Security.  
  • The faculty or staff member and the student are expected to meet to resolve the issue before the next class session.  
  • The Dean of Student Development or designated instructional Dean of Work Force Development and Continuing Education should be informed verbally or via email about any situation that violates the Student Code of Conduct. 
  • If, after a review of the situation and a restatement of the expected behaviors, the student refuses to comply with the stated standards of conduct required, then the faculty or staff member should refer the issue in writing to the dean of student development for action under the Student Code of Conduct.  
  • The faculty or staff member will provide the Dean of Student Development with a written summary of the facts or conduct on which the referral is based, which must include the date, time, place, and a description of the incident.

Cell Phones/Pagers

Cell phones and pagers are very disruptive to the learning environment. The use of cell phones and text messaging is prohibited during class sessions. Please turn off all cell phones or put them on vibrate. If you have an emergency situation, please speak with the Instructor.  

Emergency Class Cancellation Policy: If inclement weather or other emergencies forces the College or any campus or College facility to suspend classes or close, public service announcements will be provided to local radio and television stations as early as possible. If you have checked several stations and have not heard an announcement, you may call the numbers listed below or go to our Web site for closing information:

  • Montgomery County Emergency Information Line ...........................301-217-8800
  • Montgomery College’s Institutional Advancement Office .................240-567-5310
  • Montgomery College Web Site ………………………www.montgomerycollege.edu

Religious Observances : In the event that a student needs to miss class and as a result an assignment for religious reasons, please give the instructor reasonable notice (i.e., a week or more) and the appropriate accommodations can be made. However, it is the student’s responsibility to make up for the work she or he missed.  

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism : When completing assignments, students are expected to create original pieces of work, without the help of others unless they are otherwise notified, and cite the literature they used themes, ideas, concepts, etc. from. For more information on academic dishonesty and plagiarism please consult the Montgomery College Policy on Academic Integrity at http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/verified/pnp/42001.doc and http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/ctl/Resources/teachingtips/academic_integrity.htm 

Syllabus Amendments : The instructor reserves the right to make any necessary changes, whether they are additions or submissions of assignments, as he sees fit. However, students will be notified of any changes that make occur in a reasonable amount of time. 





  Content Manager: Christy.Partlow@montgomerycollege.edu
Last Updated: March 16, 2009