The first year curriculum is designed intentionally for commencing students, based on evidence from practice and research.

Good first year curriculum design is student-focussed, explicit and relevant and provides the foundation and scaffolding for learning success. The first year curriculum objectives should be articulated and, desirably, the first year curriculum should form a coherent, integrated whole.

For example:

  • student ePortfolio population and reflection might be built-in to emphasise the program’s career/ employability/ discipline relevance;
  • a series of co-curricula presentations by the discipline’s researchers, industry representatives and alumni could be offered and students be required to attend X number to reflect on later in class;
  • linkages could be intentionally promoted across individual first year subjects for a more integrative and holistic view of the curriculum (Westcott, 2008 ALTC Kift Fellowship Case Study).

See: S. Kift. (2008). The next, great first year challenge: Sustaining, coordinating and embedding coherent institution–wide approaches to enact the FYE as “everybody’s business”. In 11th International Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference, An Apple for the Learner: Celebrating the First Year Experience, 2008, Hobart, 16-17. Retrieved August 14, 2008 from (pdf 280KB)