First-Year Studies (FRST) Program

frst year studies

First-year Studies (FRST) is a program within the School of General Studies that provides first-year students with skills that will help them succeed in college. The program serves as an introduction to university work by offering small class sections taught by select faculty who are committed to helping students improve their academic skills. The curriculum includes courses associated with the University’s competency requirement as well as other courses in writing and mathematics especially suited to the academic needs of first-year students. Nearly all first-year students will take FRST courses in writing, mathematics and/or critical thinking. In addition, any first-year students may take F-designated courses.  F-designated courses are program and General Studies courses which are particularly appropriate for first-year students.  Faculty teaching F-designated courses opted into special training to teach these courses in ways that are appropriate for any student but that also especially support students transitioning into college.



Program Information

  • All newly admitted freshmen or transfer students with 15 or fewer credits are required to fulfill the University’s first-year competency requirement. The requirement may be met by demonstrating competency on the placement tests, or by passing, with a grade of C or better, all FRST courses—FRST 1101 – College Writing, 1002 – Readings, and 1103 – Quantitative Reasoning into which students have been placed. Students enrolled in FRST 1100 – Developmental Mathematics must receive a grade of C or better, and then enroll in and receive a grade of C or better in FRST 1103 to demonstrate competency. Full-time students must register for all required FRST courses in their first semester.
  • Except for FRST 1100, all students must satisfy the competency requirement within two terms of matriculation, although part-time students who cannot take all their required FRST courses during the first term may be granted an extension.
  • Students who fail to meet the competency requirement in FRST 1101, 1002 or 1103 in the first semester must retake the course in the next term in order to satisfy the requirement. Those who do not meet the competency requirement after two attempts are subject to dismissal from the University.
  • Students who are dismissed may not apply for readmission to the University for a period of at least one year. These students must demonstrate competency before their readmission application will be considered. Many students who are subject to skills competency dismissal are also subject to general academic dismissal. These students must satisfy both sets of requirements for readmission.
  • Students who do not receive a grade of C or better in FRST 1100 must retake the course in the next term and pass it, with a grade of C or better, before proceeding to FRST 1103. Those who do not receive a grade of C or better in FRST 1100 after two attempts are subject to dismissal from the University.
  • Note that a grade of W counts as an attempt at any 1000-level FRST course. This policy applies to all students who withdraw from 1000-level FRST courses, including those who withdraw from all of their courses. The only exception is in the event that a student receives a medical course withdrawal. In this case, the withdraw grade does not count as an attempt.

Courses for First-Year Students

Besides courses associated with the first-year competency requirement, the program offers a variety of other FRST-acronym courses in writing and mathematics courses that are designed especially for first-year students. These courses are equivalent to various G-acronym courses and carry credit that may be applied to the University’s general studies requirement. These includes the following courses:

  • FRST 2120 – Rhetoric and Composition (counts as a W1 and GEN course)
  • FRST 2131 Argument and Persuasion in the Humanities (counts as a W1 and GAH course)
  • FRST 2151 Argument and Persuasion in the Social Sciences (counts as a W1 and GSS course)
  • FRST 2310 Algebraic Problem Solving (counts as a Q1, W2, and GNM course)

 In addition to FRST-acronym courses, the University also offers other courses in program studies and in general studies that are designed especially for first-year students. These courses are labeled with an "F" attribute (appropriate for first-year students) so that students and their preceptors can identify them easily. These include special sectons of the following courses taught by faculty members who have participated in a special, First-year Studies institute: A comprehensive list of F-designated courses is available from the FRST Coordinator, and courses are listed online for each term.  Regularly offered F-designated courses include some sections of course like the following:

  • COMM1201- Introduction to Mass Communication
  • ECON 1200 - Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • GAH 2116  -  Argument and Persuasion in Arts and Humanities
  • GSS 2538  -   Perspectives on Women
  • HTMS 2101 - Introduction to HTMS
  • PHIL 1200  -  Introduction to Buddhism

Program Faculty

Robert J. Blaskiewicz (2015)

Robert J. Blaskiewicz (2015), Assistant Professor of Critical Thinking and First Year Studies

Ph.D., Saint Louis University; M.A., Saint Louis University; B.A., University of Notre Dame: rhetoric and composition, 20th century American literature, Cold War literature and culture, WWII veterans’ writing, US cultural rhetoric, the rhetoric of extraordinary claims, conspiracy theory, science and critical thinking advocacy.
Frank A. Cerreto (1976)

Frank A. Cerreto (1976), Professor of Mathematics

Ed.D., Rutgers, The State University; M.S., Stevens Institute of Technology; B.S., M.A., City College, The City University of New York: general education mathematics, mathematics education, curriculum development, first-year studies, technology in education, visual literacy.
Young Doo (Peter) Cho (2013)

Young Doo (Peter) Cho (2013), Assistant Professor of Developmental Mathematics

Ph.D., M.A., State University of New York at Buffalo; M.S., Molloy College; B.E., Korea University: mathematics education, function’s domain, range and slope.
Judith Copeland (2005)

Judith Copeland (2005), Associate Professor of Writing

J.D., University of Oregon; MFA, University of Iowa; B.A., Duke University: creative nonfiction, memoir, travel writing, humor writing, spiritual writing, freshman seminars.
Pamela G. Kennedy Cross (1986)

Pamela G. Kennedy Cross (1986), Writing Center Coordinator/Developmental Education Specialist

M.A., Georgetown University; B.A., Stockton University: tutor training, teaching first-year students, working with at-risk students, developing students’ information literacy skills, writing for the workplace, understanding learning differences.
Emari DiGiorgio (2006)

Emari DiGiorgio (2006), Associate Professor of Writing

MFA, New York University; B.A., Stockton University: creative writing (poetry and fiction), contemporary world poetry, why poetry matters, composition, women’s studies, social activism.
Lauren M. Fonseca (2015)

Lauren M. Fonseca (2015), Tutoring Center Specialist/Coordinator of Academic Support

M.A., Mercy College; B.A., Stockton University: working with students in special populations, first-year writing, fairy tales, hypertext.
Wondimagegnehu Geremew (2005)

Wondimagegnehu Geremew (2005), Assistant Professor of Developmental Mathematics

Ph.D., Wayne State University; M.S., University of Kaiserslautern; B.S., M.S., Addis Ababa University: variational analysis, optimization and applications.
Geoffrey W. Gust (2014)

Geoffrey W. Gust (2014), Assistant Professor of Critical Thinking and First Year Studies

Ph.D., University of York; M.A., Arizona State University; B.A., Drake University: Geoffrey Chaucer and contemporaries, medieval studies, premodern history, literary theory, critical thinking.
Carra Leah Hood (2005)

Carra Leah Hood (2005), Assistant Provost for Programs and Planning; Associate Professor of Writing

Ph.D., M.A., Yale University; B.A., Hunter College, The City University of New York: expository writing and research, digital composing, visual rhetoric, new and traditional media.
Marcy R. Isabella (2015)

Marcy R. Isabella (2015), Assistant Professor of Writing and First Year Studies

Ph.D., University of Rhode Island; M.A., B.A., State University of New York at Albany: critical pedagogy, writing center pedagogy, writing program assessment, zines, comics, anarchist praxis and poetics.
G. T. Lenard (1984)

G. T. Lenard (1984), Associate Professor of Writing

Ph.D., Temple University; M.A., B.A., Rutgers, The State University: American studies, 18th century literature, composition, popular culture.
Heather McGovern (2002)

Heather McGovern (2002), Associate Professor of Writing

Ph.D., Texas Tech University; M.A., Clemson University; B.A., College of Idaho: technical and professional writing, assessment of student learning, environmental rhetoric, composition theory, online writing, document design, rhetoric, rhetoric of science.
Betsy McShea (2001)

Betsy McShea (2001), Associate Professor of Developmental Mathematics

Ph.D., American University; B.S., University of Hartford: algebraic problem solving, quantitative reasoning, methods of teaching elementary mathematics, elementary school math, numbers and patterns, sports and math, politics and math.
Francis Nzuki (2008)

Francis Nzuki (2008), Associate Professor of Developmental Mathematics

Ph.D., M.S., Syracuse University; M.S., B.S., Nairobi University: algebraic problem solving, quantitative reasoning, elementary school math, college algebra.
John O’Hara (2013)

John O’Hara (2013), Associate Professor of Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing

Ph.D., University of Miami; M.A., University of Miami; B.A., Kent State University; American literature, American studies, gender studies, writing, critical and interpretive theory.
Luis E. Peña (2004)

Luis E. Peña (2004), Math Center Coordinator

M.S., University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign; B.S., Stockton University: mathematics, quantitative reasoning, tutor training, aerospace engineering, space science, history and policy.
Nancy Reddy (2015)

Nancy Reddy (2015), Assistant Professor of Writing and First Year Studies

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; MFA, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.Ed, University of Houston; BA, University of Pittsburgh: writing pedagogy, extracurricular literacies and writing groups, archival research, creative writing (poetry and nonfiction).
Emily Van Duyne (2014)

Emily Van Duyne (2014), Assistant Professor of Writing and First Year Studies

MFA, Pine Manor College; BFA, Emerson College: composition, first-year studies, critical race and feminist theory, poetry and poetics, rhetoric of social media.
 Anne F. Pomeroy (1999)

 Anne F. Pomeroy (1999), Professor of Philosophy

Ph.D., Fordham University; M.A., Columbia University; B.A., Connecticut College: social and political philosophy, Marxism, existentialism, process philosophy.
John M. Quinn (1990)

John M. Quinn (1990), Associate Professor of Education

Ed.D., Pepperdine University; M.A., Rowan University; B.S., Stockton University: mathematics, curriculum development, mathematics education, technology in education.
 Jack Connor (1984)

 Jack Connor (1984), Professor Emeritus of Writing

Ph.D., University of Florida; M.A., Seton Hall University; B.A., Franklin and Marshall College: composition, writing about nature, natural history, ornithology, the Pine Barrens.
Penelope A. Dugan (1976)

Penelope A. Dugan (1976), Professor Emerita of Writing

D.A., State University of New York at Albany; M.A., State University of New York at Binghamton; B.A., LeMoyne College: personal essay, memoir, African-American literature, autobiography, composition theory, history of rhetoric.