Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

First Year Program

The First-Year Program at Manhattanville College is a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students. Its primary goals are:

1.) To provide students with foundational instruction in critical thinking in a First Year Seminar, which also serves as an introduction to the liberal arts curriculum.

2.) To provide intensive foundational instruction in the mechanics of academic writing, with exercises and assignments relating to the Seminar topic.

3.) To build close faculty/student relationships during the first year.

First-Year Program Structure 


The First-Year Program is a year-long course sequence. It includes:

Fall 2014:

FYP 1001: First-Year Seminar I (3 credits)
FYP 1003: First-Year Writing I (3 credits)

(FYP 1002 and FYP 1004 are also offered in the Fall 2014 semester for students who began their studies at the college in the previous spring semester.)

Spring 2015:

FYP 1004: First-Year Writing II (3 credits)

(FYP 1001 and FYP 1003 are also offered in the Spring semester for students who begin their studies at the college in the spring semester.)

First-Year Program Curriculum

First-Year Seminars are topical or thematic, reflecting faculty interest and/or expertise. Seminar topics and themes are diverse and reflect the broad spectrum of the undergraduate liberal arts curriculum. First-Year Seminars are not survey or introductory courses in any particular discipline, but rather are seminar-style and participatory.  Some carry departmental credit, and all count toward the fulfillment of college-wide requirements.  All first year seminars address the College's General Education Critical and Analytical Reasoning Competency; some, by virtue of their topics, also address a second General Education Competency.

First-Year Writing I and II count toward the college's General Education Written Communication Competency. Each section of First-Year Writing provides thorough instruction in composition with the aim of enabling students to develop the writing skills necessary for college level study. The course includes an intensive review of English grammar, as well as academic style and structure; it examines strategies for written analysis, persuasion, and argumentation. Instruction emphasizes revising, editing and drafting skills. In coordination with the First-Year Seminar, students learn to recognize connections between critical thinking and successful academic writing.

An introduction to Information Literacy is embedded within the First-Year Writing sequence: this includes library tours, introduction to information resources, and approaches to scholarly research.

In the Spring semester of the First-Year Program, students will compose a persuasive/analytical Freshman Essay that incorporates preliminary college-level research.

By the end of the First Year Program sequence, students are able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to write clearly and with grammatical accuracy in English.
  • Produce written work that has been improved by supervised revision for style and content through multiple drafts and/or sequential assignments.
  • Engage critically with primary and secondary sources, while following both ethical and formatting guidelines for quoting, paraphrasing and citing this material.
  • Employ the vocabulary, concepts and compositional techniques appropriate to the academic discipline(s) reflected in their First Year Seminar topic/theme.

First-Year Program Grade Requirement

Students must earn a minimum grade of C- in all FYP Seminar and Writing courses to complete the First-Year Program requirement at Manhattanville College. Failure to meet this requirement in any FYP Seminar or Writing course triggers two consequences in the following semester: registration in a remedial FYP course, and automatic placement on Academic Probation. Failure to earn a C- in any combination of FYP Seminar or Writing courses in two consecutive semesters results in academic dismissal from the College.

Note: Separate course grades are awarded for First-Year Seminar and First-Year Writing.

First-Year Program Withdrawal Policy

Students may not withdraw from a First-Year Program Seminar or Writing course. Only in rare circumstances are exceptions made, such as instances of serious and extended illness. Any request for withdrawal from an FYP Seminar or Writing course requires formal approval by the FYP Coordinator and Dean of the First Year Experience. If granted, such a withdrawal does not constitute an exemption from completion of all FYP requirements.