Foundations Pathway

Diverse minds open doors

The Faculty of Arts and Science is pleased to announce a new initiative that supports the transition from high school to university. Students will have an opportunity to take unique courses that inspire curiosity and provide an open dialogue for discovery. This pathway is intended for students who are determined to earn a university education but have faced challenges in an academic environment. Through our customized classes, students gain the skills and knowledge required for continued success as they work towards their Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. The pathway admits students applying directly from secondary school who have an average below the 70% admission requirement.

Engaging Courses

This suite of courses provides students with an exciting opportunity to choose between a journey of two tracks: arts and science. Students will explore "Big Questions" from diverse perspectives, encouraging a dialogue between disciplines and modeling a productive learning environment where learning becomes a tool for building a better world, achieving academic success, and creating meaningful career opportunities. 

In addition to the Arts or Science courses geared toward individual interests, students will take a core course in each semester and choose 2 of 3 transformation courses.

Diverse Mindfulness (FYFE 1001) & Diverse Minds (FYFE 1002)

Diverse Mindfulness (FYFE 1001) & Diverse Minds (FYFE 1002)

Through the study of a topic in the Humanities, Sciences, or Social Sciences, students learn how to approach and engage with the world academically. Students examine and apply theory drawn from various disciplines to various worldviews. Topics vary from year to year.

FYFE 1001 - Fall: Diverse Minds

FYFE 1002 - Winter: Diverse Mindfulness

(First Year Foundations Core Courses - 6 credits total)

Critical and Applied Thinking

Critical and Applied Thinking (FYFE 1011)

Students become familiar with the rules of logic, quantitative, and qualitative analysis, and their practical applications, including improving of learning techniques. Students analyze typical situations in social, economic, political, and other contexts. Students assess credibility of various sources of information using the rules of logic and qualitative analysis.

(3 credits - Choose 2)

Building a Better World

Building a Better World (FYFE 1021)

This course gives students the opportunity to imagine and analyse different ways to make life better for themselves, their fellow humans, and the animals and plants that humans share the planet with. Students engage with aims and methods of different disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities in order to discover new possibilities for change, both idealistic and practical.

(3 credits - Choose 2)

Social Media: Untangling the Threads

Social Media: Untangling the Threads (FYFE 1031)

This course analyzes the effects of social media on both society and media. Students evaluate their own consumption of and participation in various platforms of social media and engage with current debates about the harms and benefits of widespread use of social media in various countries and cultures.

(3 credits - Choose 2)

Experiential Learning

Student's personal and academic growth takes place through experiential learning in transformation courses that highlight the importance of community involvement, civic responsibilities and global citizenship. Experienced faculty members will be mentors and guides as they teach skill-building courses to bolster academic success and foster meaningful relationships with the Foundations Pathway students.

Lectures, guest speakers, and a capstone project will nurture an environment where students can develop critical thinking skills and analyse global events through the lens of their chosen discipline. 

Your path, your way

In first year, students take a reduced load of full-time courses and receive support from a team focused on teaching the skills required to thrive in an Arts or Science degree. Upon successful completion of the Foundations Pathway, students will have earned up to 24 credits towards their Arts or Science degree. This strong foundation will provide tools and strategies that ensure continued academic success at Nipissing and offer Foundations Pathway students an easy transition directly into the second year of their degree program.

View our Arts and Science degrees here.

The reduced load enables students to participate in a series of workshops and activities to support personal development. Students will also have access to:

  • an advising team that will assist in creating a customized academic plan;
  • a small-class environment with one-on-one faculty-student engagement; 
  • one-on-one guidance and access to various supports and services offered; and
  • support from the top-rated Student Services team in Canada (Maclean’s University Ranking). 

Student Testimonials

"The first year foundations class has been a very beneficial course to take this year. This course has taught me so many skills that I would consider critical in my education yet have not been discussed in any of my other courses! Skills such as how to effectively study, time management and how to get the best out of your lectures has been so helpful and applicable to all of my other courses. I would definitely recommend this class to all first year students."

- Jessie, Foundations Pathway Student

"…the discussion is applicable to all classes and real life. It lets us discuss in a smaller group on relatable topics which I enjoy. I like the hands on aspect of it. Not everyone learns the same, and I think this program is a perfect example. I like the different vibe of this course oppose to my other electives."

- Brooklyn, Foundations Pathway Student

Contact Us

Foundations Pathway,
Faculty of Arts and Science
100 College Drive, Box 5002,
North Bay, ON P1B 8L7
(705) 474-3450 ext. 4315