Speak Your Mind FIG

First-Year Programs thrives on the enthusiasm, expertise, and creativity of our faculty. Faculty provide our students with unique opportunties to engage with the University of Oregon during their first year on campus. First-Year Programs offer faculty members unique teaching opportunities:

  • First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs) — collaborate with a colleague in another department

Faculty members from every discipline and department are encouraged to propose FIGs.


In a First-Year Interest Group (FIG), 25 students are co-enrolled during the fall term of their first year in two regular group-satisfying classes and a one-credit College Connections class.  College Connections, led by a faculty member and an advanced undergraduate, is intended to help students think critically, acquire necessary academic skills, and adjust to university life.  The two academic classes are from different disciplines, but are linked by a common theme. Collaboration between the two faculty members is encouraged and supported by a dedicated award.


Faculty Testimonials


Photo of Dan Close."Teaching a College Connections course is the highlight of the academic year for me. I enjoy meeting the new students and feel connected to the rhythm of the University.”

—Daniel Close
FIG College Connections Professor, “Education and Social Services”




Photo of College Connections faculty for Hidden History, Kevin Hatfield."The Freshman Seminar offers the most rewarding learning community and teaching experience of my academic career and I look forward to continuing to adapt this dynamic course all with the supportive collaboration of First Year Programs and my students.”

—Kevin Hatfield
First-Year Seminar Professor, “Uncovering the Past of the ‘Real’ Wild West”