Freshman Development Seminar (FDS 100) is a student success course for all first-year incoming freshmen, in all majors, matriculating with less than 24 credits, at the University of the Virgin Islands. FDS is designed to aid students in their successful transition to college.

UVI is dedicated to the success of its students and FDS fosters this pledge to student success. Numerous fundamental elements of lifelong learning are part of its curriculum, including critical thinking and written communication skills. FDS is housed under the University’s Center for Student Success and overseen by Dr. Eustace Esdaille, Executive Director of Center for Student Success. On the St. Croix campus, FDS is managed by Mr. David Capriola, Coordinator of Freshman Development.

Through a freedom of learning approach, FDS is taught with small class sizes to encourage the intellectual, communicative and collaborative skills needed for discussions, written work and readings that are an important part of academic success.  FDS helps students to develop and achieve academic success early.  In FDS, students are exposed to:

Developing Competence
  • Intellectual, physical and interpersonal skills necessary to navigate through your new college environment.
Managing Emotions
  • Recognize, accept, express and control (in acceptable ways)
Moving through Autonomy toward Interdependence
  • Not dependent or independent, can rely on others; role of mentors
Developing Mature Interpersonal relationships
  • Open to different cultures, lifelong, healthy relationships
Establishing Identity
  • Coming together of all aspects of self
Developing Purpose
  • Career direction, personal ambitions, interests (learn skills to build a successful future)
  • Devoting time, energy and resources to what matters and is meaningful to you
Developing Integrity
  • Values and internal and external motivators
  • Developing congruence (balance between self interest and social responsibility)
Although the course is introductory, it is interdisciplinary in nature and designed to encourage students to explore new ideas, new topics and new disciplines.  Prominent professors from various disciplines and departments within UVI help share and engage students with topics such as studying, test taking, note taking, time management, critical thinking, memory, how to register for classes, career awareness, health, relationships and information technology. FDS is offered each Fall and Spring semester. While geared mostly for new freshmen, the course is open to all students. Students who are undecided about their major, will especially benefit from this course.  It takes students down a path that often leads to a choice in major that allows them to feel more certain.

The course is earns students one degree credit and is required for graduation. New full-time students are required to take FDS in their first semester. Students transferring to UVI with more than 24 degree credits or who have credit for a student success course at another institution are exempt from the course. For more information about FDS contact the Center for Student Success or speak to an academic advisor when registering for classes. 

Resources for freshman