Ithaca College

School of Humanities and Sciences

First Year Seminar Program

Jodi Cohen, Professor and Coordinator

First-year students in the School of Humanities and Sciences are encouraged to begin their college experience with a first-year seminar taken during the fall semester. The seminars are four-credit general education courses specifically designed to help first-year students establish a solid academic and social foundation for a meaningful college experience. Each seminar is taught by one or more members of the H&S faculty, incorporating disciplinary knowledge in the liberal arts with experiential learning activities, both in and out of the classroom. The first-year seminar instructor is the academic adviser of all students in the seminar who are either in the Exploratory Program or are declared majors in the instructor's home department. Some of the seminars are seminars in residence, where students share a common residential experience during the first semester. Students can only receive credit for one first-year seminar.

The goals of the H&S first year seminar program are

1. To help students work toward a deeper understanding of and tolerance for perspectives outside the students' own experience by

a. providing challenging courses in engaging topic areas that make connections among the liberal arts as reflected in the School of Humanities and Sciences general education program,

b. encouraging students to be active participants in the learning process through analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of course material, and

c. developing each student's ability to articulate his or her perspective in both written and spoken communication.

2. To provide a foundation for a meaningful college experience by

a. smoothing the academic and social transitions faced by students during the first semester,

b. creating a supportive, small-group experience in the first year that fosters intensive interaction with faculty and other students,

c. integrating academic and cocurricular activities to provide first-year students with a coherent and broad introduction to the college experience, and

d. fostering excellent advising relationships, especially for new exploratory students.

Seminars change yearly.