First-Year Seminar

This two-semester course addresses the Undergraduate Learning Goals that call for the development of clear thinking and communication skills, while helping students establish patterns of life-long learning and integrating knowledge of self and the world.

Students will improve their writing by:

  • Composing multiple papers in both semesters
  • Writing a major research paper in the second semester
  • Revising all papers after peer and instructor review
  • Learning to improve organization and mechanics, discover their own voice, and develop a sense of audience

Students will improve their discussion skills by:

  • Participating in discussion based classes
  • Receiving explicit instruction on discussion techniques
  • Practicing leading discussions
  • Receiving periodic feedback on their discussion skills

Students will improve their public speaking ability by:

  • Practicing public speaking over the year
  • Practicing and presenting a formal oral presentation on their research paper
  • Receiving peer and instructor feedback

Students will improve their critical thinking by:

  • Engaging in class discussions that focus on examination of arguments and evidence
  • Reading and evaluating increasingly challenging texts
  • Receiving feedback on essays that focus on critical thinking
  • Carefully examining multiple points of view in their research papers

Students will improve their understanding of information literacy by:

  • Completing a variety of small research tasks connected with librarian presentations
  • Learning how to conduct refined searches and evaluate a variety of sources in the research paper
  • Gaining an understanding of plagiarism and learning academic standards for citations

Students will learn some disciplinary content that integrates self and society by:

  • Reading to prepare for class, discussing material, applying critical thinking skills to discussion, writing papers, and completing the research paper