The First Year Composition Program at NIU prepares students for participation in the academic and professional discourses that they will encounter in their undergraduate studies. To that end, the program develops students' abilities to read and think critically and to write meaningfully in response to what they read. The writing process is viewed as a way for students to develop their thoughts, to create meaning, and to construct texts that address personal, public, and professional issues.
First Year Composition is normally a two semester process, with most students taking ENGL 103 during the Fall semester of their first year, and ENGL 203 during the Spring semester of their first year. Advanced students may place into ENGL 204, which is an combined one-semester composition course. In addition, students admitted into the CHANCE program take a customized version of the first semester composition course and work closely with tutors in the Writers' Workshop. More information about these courses and important departmental policies, including the FYCOMP Plagiarism statement can be found in the Goals and Guidelines section of this site.
Further, the First Year Composition Program understands both writing and reading as activities that occur in both traditional and electronic media, and understands the importance of students' ability to communicate effectively in both. To this end, the First Year Composition class meets regularly in a computer lab and uses various elements of the electronic media insofar as these new tools are conducive to the teaching of written communication. The main goal of such course activities is not to teach specific computer skills, but rather to integrate and harness electronic technologies into the general goals of writing effectively.