FSSE 1000 Syllabus

Subject Code


Course Number


Course Title

First Semester Seminar


This course must be taken during new students’ first term of enrollment at Athens Technical College. New students who have earned the minimum of an associate degree or who have successfully completed a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of coursework at another postsecondary institution will be exempted from taking this course.


Terms Offered

Offered every semester

Credit Hours


Course Description

This course is designed to introduce first-time college students to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve their educational and career goals. Emphasis is placed on promoting connections between student needs and college resources, and the development of college-level learning and success skills (study skills, career exploration, goal planning, time management, financial planning). Through the use of academic strategies and self-discovery, students will acquire knowledge and skills to help them succeed in college and in life.  Additionally, this course introduces the fundamental concepts and operations necessary to use computers. The course emphasizes word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software; the Internet; and utilizing the college's learning management system and student information system.

FSSE must be taken during students' first term of enrollment. Students who meet any of the following criteria are exempt from taking FSSE 1000:

  1. Successful completion of 30 semester hours
  2. Earned associate's degree or higher
  3. Successful completion of COMP 1000 and COLL 0099 or other combination of coursework as approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs

Course Competencies and Student Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate appropriate communication skills.

  • To demonstrate written communication skills through assignments, online discussions, and email.
  • To model oral communication skills during presentations.

Students will be able to apply time management strategies.

  • To describe time management strategies.
  • To create a weekly schedule to incorporate time management strategies.
  • To describe strategies to handle stress.

Students will be able to identify effective study strategies.

  • To identify study strategies
  • To identify personal learning styles.
  • To analyze personality traits for effective use of study strategies.
  • To identify strategies for active reading.

Students will demonstrate appropriate computer skills

  • To demonstrate an understanding of fundamental computer concepts and operations necessary to use computers
  • To demonstrate how to create word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation documents

Students will be able to describe various student resources at Athens Technical College that contribute to the educational experience.

  • To identify student resources at ATC.
  • To produce a Passport to Instructional Resources.
  • To describe the policies and procedures of ATC.

Students will create an education and career plan with defined short-term and long-term goals.

  • To develop an education plan.
  • To develop career goals.
  • To create a resume and a cover letter.
  • To identify skills needed for employment.

Students will develop a College Success Portfolio.

  • To list skills needed to prepare for success at ATC.
  • To list skills needed to prepare for classes at ATC.
  • To list skills needed to be prepared for a career after ATC.

Required Textbooks and Materials

Students enrolled in this course are obligated to have the following:

Gardner, John, et al.  Understanding Your College Experience: Strategies for Success.  2nd ed., Bedford-St. Martins. 2016.  Print.  ISBN: 9781319029180

USB storage device.

Microsoft Office accessibility for assignments (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint).

Access to a computer with reliable, high-speed internet connection.  *Computers are available to use in all campus libraries.

Grade Distribution: 

30% Cooperative learning activities and participation

20% Assignments

20% Quizzes

10% Final Portfolio

20% Division final Exam


Grading Policy and Criteria

Course addendum will provide details concerning class grading and assignment submission policies that will be used for evaluation.

Grading Scale

The grading scale is detailed in the Catalog and Student Handbook and listed below for reference. All faculty members follow this scale when assigning grades to reflect a given student's performance in the classroom.

Grade Numerical Equivalent Grade Point
A/A* 90-100 4
B/B* 80-89 3
C/C* 70-79 2
D/D* 60-69 1
F/F* 0-59 0

Effective Summer Quarter 2006, Athens Technical College replaced the S/U grading system used for learning support classes with an A*-F* grading system. The registrar uses an asterisk (A*, B*, C*, D*, F*, W*, WF*, WP*) to designate learning support course grades on transcripts and grade reports because these grades are not components of the term grade point average.

Academic Support Center

The Academic Support Centers of Athens Technical College (ATC) provide free tutoring for enrolled students. Both instructors and peer tutors provide tutoring in almost all subjects offered by the college. Information about the Center is accessible via the ATC website at http://www.athenstech.edu/StudentDevelopmentServices/AcademicSupportCenter. To find out the specific services available on the Athens, Greene, and Walton Campuses, please call (706) 583-2839. To contact the Academic Support Center on the Elbert County Campus, please call (706) 213-2129.


Regular class attendance is important and expected. The college considers both tardiness and early departure from class as forms of absenteeism. Students absent from class for any reason are still responsible for all work missed. Instructors have the right to determine whether work missed can be made up and have the liberty to set reasonable expectations for attendance based on frequency of class meetings and on the instructional delivery method, subject, type, and level of the class. Class attendance policies will be clearly stated for students by their respective instructors on separate documents (course outlines/schedules) or appendices to the master syllabus.

Course Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from courses without academic penalty during the first 61% of an academic term. By withdrawing before the 61% withdrawal deadline, students automatically receive grades of W, which do not affect semester or cumulative grade point averages. Grades of W do affect students' satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes. After the 61% withdrawal deadline, students may withdraw from classes up to the final withdrawal deadline as indicated on the Academic Calendar. After the 61% withdrawal deadline, instructors must assign grades of WP-Withdrawal Passing or WF-Withdrawal Failing. Grades of WP and WF affect students' satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes. Grades of WF also affect students' academic standing. Instructors calculate withdrawing students' grades at the point they submit withdrawal forms for instructors to sign, not at the point when students stop attending class. W, WP, and WF grades appear on academic transcripts.

Students who stop attending classes without formally withdrawing from courses risk earning final grades of F, which appear on academic transcripts.

Refer to the Withdrawing from Classes section of this catalog for further information about withdrawing from classes.

Course Technology

Athens Technical College instructional technology is based on a Microsoft Windows® platform unless otherwise specified. Software and coursework may not function properly with other operating systems and mobile technology.

Course addendum will provide details concerning the use of technology in the course. Course schedule types include web-enhanced – taught face-to-face; online – taught online using the internet, may require proctored exam; hybrid – class time is split between face-to-face and online; video conference – taught at two or more campus locations simultaneously with instructor located at one of the classroom locations. More details are available on the Athens Technical College website. http://www.athenstech.edu/eLearning/CourseList.cfm

Continuation of Instruction

In the event of severe weather or other emergency, students will be expected to continue participating in learning activities via Blackboard, Athens Technical College email, or other modality. Instructors will provide a plan for the continuation of instruction.

Work Ethics

To fulfill the responsibility to teach essential workplace ethics, the college provides students instruction in, and evaluates students on, the following ten work ethics traits: attendance, character, teamwork, appearance, attitude, productivity, organizational skills, communication, cooperation, and respect. To best equip students for successful workplace experiences in their chosen profession, instruction and evaluation takes place in the context of their program of study.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is expected at all times. Any student found to have engaged in academic misconduct such as cheating, plagiarism, or collusion is subject to disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct detailed in the ATC Catalog and Student Handbook . See the following link for the complete Academic Honesty policy. http://www.athenstech.edu/StudentAffairs/AcademicHonesty/Academic%20Honesty.pdf
Students are also advised to complete the tutorial on Academic Honesty available here: http://www/athenstech.edu/StudentAffairs/AcademicHonesty

Americans with Disabilities Act

It is our goal at Athens Technical College to provide equal access to education for all students. Any student with a documented disability is eligible to receive reasonable academic adjustments and auxiliary aids in the classroom and/or for testing at Athens Technical College, as long as appropriate documentation of the disability has been submitted to the Disability Services Office in a timely manner. Students can access the application packet on our website. http://www.athenstech.edu/CurrentStudents/orientation/files/disability_services_application.pdf

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

Cell phone use in the classroom for non-instructional purposes, with the exception of receiving emergency notifications, is prohibited.

Food Drinks in Classroom

Classrooms and computer labs: food and beverages (other than water) are not allowed.
Science labs: Food and beverages (of any kind) are not allowed in the laboratory. Eating or drinking in the laboratory represents a significant breach of accepted safety practices and are not allowed.

Communication with ATC Faculty and Staff

Students, faculty, and staff must use Athens Technical College email and Blackboard accounts for all college-related communications. Students are obligated to check their email and Blackboard accounts on a regular basis, preferably daily.

Warranty of Graduates

The Technical College System of Georgia warranties every graduate of technical programs in which students may earn technical certificates of credit, diplomas, or associate degrees. The warranty guarantees that graduates demonstrate the knowledge and skills and can perform each competency as identified in the industry-validated standards established for every program of study. If one of our graduates educated under a standard program or his/her employer finds that the graduate is deficient in one or more competencies as defined in the course/program standards, Athens Technical College will retrain the employee at no instructional cost to the employee or the employer. This guarantee is in effect for two years after graduation.


According to the TEACH Act of 2002, Athens Technical College is obligated to advise you that instructional material included in this course may be subject to copyright protection. As such, you must not share, duplicate, transmit, or store the material of this course beyond the purpose and time frame explicitly stated in the syllabus of your course. If you are not certain whether a particular piece of material is covered by copyright protection, you should contact your instructor and obtain his/her written clarification. Failing to observe copyright protection is a violation of law.

Library Services

The ATC library staff on each campus are here for you! The Library offers print and online resources including articles, books, and videos. Librarians want to help you succeed, so contact them when beginning your research to find the best information in a timely manner and how to cite it, too. Assistance is available in person or by phone, email, text, and chat. Other services include borrowing titles from other libraries, issuing applications for a UGA borrowing card, printing & copying, and providing group study rooms (Athens). For more information visit the Library site: http://library.athenstech.edu.