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Kennesaw State University

Focus on the First Year

Kennesaw State University

The first year of college marks a major milestone for students, most of whom will be experiencing increased independence and responsibility — both in their academic careers and their personal lives.


Learning Communities

A learning community is a cluster of two to four academic courses, designed around a specific major or a general interest theme. Typically, 20–25 students are enrolled in each learning community. Participating in a learning community allows students the opportunity to take classes together, form study groups, integrate their learning from one class to another, and get to know a small group of like-minded students during their first semester at college.

A list of learning communities with descriptions will be available prior to orientation at the website for the Learning Communities program. Students are encouraged to review the list of learning communities before attending orientation to become familiar with their options. Academic advisors and orientation leaders will review these options with students at orientation.

First-Year Seminars

A first-year seminar is a course designed to help first-year students transition successfully into academic life at Kennesaw State. Through this course, students develop a sense of academic and social belonging to KSU by learning to manage their time, connect to essential campus resources, and develop a purposeful path to graduation.

Kennesaw State University’s nationally recognized, award-winning seminars are limited to 25 students to allow them the opportunity to get to know their professor and interact closely with their peers. This three-credit-hour course is intended for students with fewer than 15 credit hours and counts for graduation credit as a free elective in most degree programs.

Faculty Expectations of First-Year Students

Faculty expect students to arrive in class prepared, complete work outside the classroom, and seek out professors when they have questions or need assistance. Faculty respect each student’s ability to assume these responsibilities while mentoring them to develop these skills.

Additionally, students are expected to communicate directly with their professors about any issues or concerns they might have. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA; see p. 29 for more information) protects a student’s privacy by prohibiting faculty from disclosing a student’s information, even to parents, without permission; therefore, students must learn to advocate for themselves and reach out to their professors on their own.

Services, Resources & Initiatives

Owl Advising

Owl Advising is the primary advising resource for students at Kennesaw State who have not yet chosen a major or focus area, are considering a change of major, as well as transient and non-degree seeking students. It is also a secondary advising resource for those students who have a declared major and want to explore other majors.

Owl Advising offers one-on-one advising for undergraduate students with fewer than 30 completed credit hours and any student who is considering changing his or her major.

SMART Centers: Academic Support When and Where You Need It! START SMART, STAY SMART

Kennesaw State University’s Science and Math Academic Resources and Tutoring (SMART) Centers provide academic support to KSU students. In the SMART Centers your student will find people and resources to help with most general education mathematics, chemistry, and physics courses along with select engineering classes offered at KSU.

No appointment is necessary to use the SMART Center’s services. Have your student stop by any time we are open for help in their classes.

Contact Info:

Kennesaw SMART Center
(470) 578-6044
Library, room 433

Marietta SMART Center
(470) 578-3874
Norton Hall (R2) 174

Supplemental Instruction

The Supplemental Instruction (SI) program offers free weekly study sessions for students enrolled in select sections of courses that many students find to be academically challenging. SI sessions are facilitated by SI Leaders — students who have earned a high grade in the class previously, have been recommended by faculty, and have received specialized training. The SI Leaders aid students in understanding important concepts, developing study strategies, and gaining mastery of the course material. SI sessions are offered on both the Kennesaw campus and the Marietta campus.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Center

The ESL Center provides support to international students in KSU’s undergraduate and graduate programs as well as those enrolled in the Intensive English Program (IEP). ESL staff offer tutoring in writing, grammar, reading, listening and speaking, pronunciation, and presentation skills. The Center also provides advising regarding KSU’s general education requirements and mentoring. ESL Centers are on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses.

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