Each first-time-in-college (FTIC) student who is pursuing an Associate in Arts (AA) degree is required to enroll in the First Year Seminar course. The goal of this course is to provide the skills and information necessary for students to be successful at Polk State and graduate on time.

The First Year Seminar course offers creative, interactive activities to help first-time-in-college students acclimate to Polk State, integrate into the campus community, and achieve academic success. Students form a connection with their faculty seminar leaders, seminar classmates, and peer mentors. More importantly, using the results of the academic success evaluation (i.e., the LASSI) and other self-reflection exercises, students learn more about themselves and the behaviors, tools, and resources necessary to be successful.

The First Year Seminar course includes a Common Reading Program. This program provides all first-year students with a common experience to stimulate discussion and critical thinking, and to encourage a sense of community among the students, faculty, and staff engaged in this experience. The books selected for the Common Read are intended to promote issues of global relevance while giving students an opportunity to relate thematic concepts to their own experiences. A panel made up of faculty, staff, and students selects books for the program. The Common Read selection for this year is The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore.