Academic Foundations

First-Year Students

SLS 2901 Academic Foundations Seminar

Academic Foundations SLS 2901 is a three-credit, discussion-based introductory seminar designed to facilitate students' successful acclimation to the university and development of academic strategies. The course aims to prepare students for a successful college experience and provides students with the necessary knowledge and experiences to be academically and personally success at USF.
Each class consists of approximately 30 students and is taught by a caring and committed instructor. The course is built around the themes of developing effective academic skills, creating academic, career, and financial plans, and demonstrating knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Academic Foundations is a flipped class. This means students will complete readings, videos, quizzes, and homework BEFORE coming to class. Our time in class will be spent practicing, applying, and using students' knowledge and skills. During class time, students will spent time interacting and working together in small and large groups, helping to build their relationships with other first-year students. 

Course topics:

  • How Learning & Memory Work
  • Approaches to Learning & Study Strategies
  • Mindset & Motivation
  • Degree Planning & Academics at USF
  • Career Planning & Readiness
  • Critical Thinking
  • Argumentation
  • Communication
  • Research Skills
  • Managing Time & Money
  • USF Library & Technology Resources
  • Health & Wellness

We hope Academic Foundations will become a valuable beginning to your college experience at the University of South Florida!

Questions about Academic Foundations?

Contact us by email: academicfoundations@usf.edu.

SLS1101 University Experience - ACE Program

University Experience SLS1101 is an elective course for first-year students. The course is built around the themes of community building, learning about campus resources, developing effective academic strategies, and exploring personal character and values.

University Experience SLS1101 is currently taken by students participating in the Summer Academic and Cultural Engagement Program (ACE) program. The course supports students as they make the transition from high school to the University of South Florida during the summer term. Each class consists of approximately 25 students and is taught by a caring and committed instructor.

Course topics:

  • Campus Resources
  • Learning Strategies
  • Major Exploration & Academic Planning
  • Academic Integrity
  • Managing Time & Money
  • Library & Technology Resources
  • Health & Wellness
  • Diversity & Global Citizenship

Through four weeks of academic courses and social activities both on campus and abroad, ACE provides students with an introduction to both USF and the city of Tampa, and provides students with an Education Abroad experience their first semester.

SLS2901 U-First

"U-First" is a special section of SLS2901 Academic Foundations focused on putting the academic experience first.
First-year students identified as on Academic Probation following their first term of enrollment at the University of South Florida will be registered for the U-First course.

The goal of this special section is to address the unique challenges and concerns related to Academic Probation and the first year experience. This class will assist students in better understanding themselves as well as developing strategies for successful learning in college-level courses. 

SLS2901 U-Decide - Exploratory Curriculum Majors

"U-Decide" is a special section of SLS2901 Academic Foundations focused on major and career exploration. This course is offered exclusively to first-year students majoring in an Exploratory Curriculum area (ECM).

In the "U-Decide" sections, students can look forward to exploring their interests, skills, values, and personal strengths with the guidance of their academic advisor, who also serves as their instructor for the course.