First-Year Experience

Guttman Community College is more than a college located in the heart of New York City—it is a college with New York City at the heart of its curriculum.

In our First Year Experience Program, students enroll full-time and take a core set of classes their first year. These classes present students with academic topics, themes, and content to think critically about our City and what it takes to sustain and improve the vibrancy of New York. Our first year courses are experiential; we believe that in order for students to understand the curriculum and how the issues of sustainability, food, housing, gentrification, consumerism, and immigration affect them, they must leave the classroom and go to different neighborhoods, museums, and even grocery stores to conduct their own research. We see New York City as our laboratory; it is a space that challenges all of us to think, learn, and grow.

Our calendar offers two cycles per semester for the academic success of all students.  If, as a student, you excel in your courses, you have the chance to take more courses and achieve more credits towards degree completion during the additional 6-week cycle. If you are a student who struggles with your courses, you have the chance to finish what you started the semester before during the 6-week semester. We believe students learn at different paces, and our choice of academic calendar reflects that. Each of our semesters has two cycles:

  • Fall I, 12-week cycle
  • Fall II, 6-week cycle
  • Spring I, 12-week cycle
  • Spring II, 6-week cycle

We require students to commit to full-time enrollment during the First Year Experience. We ask for this commitment because research shows that students who enroll in college full-time the first year graduate at higher rates than students who attend part-time. Additionally, during the first year students are placed in Houses and travel together for the year. Each House has a set of faculty who teach the students throughout their First Year Experience as well as its own Student Success Advocate. This continuity of faculty and advisement for students offers the academic and social/emotional support that many first year college students need.

Students have a full course load; they can choose to take classes in the morning (8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) or the afternoon (1:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.).

This is a first year’s student’s Fall I schedule:

  • City Seminar I — an interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences course centered on New York City
    10.5 hours weekly
  • Ethnographies of Work I –– a course about the working world and your place in it
    4.5 hours per week
  •  Statistics— a course that covers fundamental concepts of statistics and computational techniques
    5 hours per week

Fall II*

In Spring I, a student takes these courses:

Spring II*

Students also take Composition II, part of our core curriculum, in the Fall of their second year.

*The classes students take during Fall II and Spring II depend on academic progress made during Fall I and Spring I.