Faculty Information

ICSM Program Description

Description of Ithaca Seminar Program

Ithaca Seminars are 4 credit interdisciplinary liberal arts courses.  Approximately three credits is taken up with topical course content and 1 credit is directed toward ‘transition to college activities’. All ICSM sections have a “Common Noon Hour” and we are able to facilitate co-curricular programming as well as provide space and time for sections to work together. We encourage co-teaching and/or linking sections. We are particularly interested in sections from different Perspectives within one Theme working together.  Please get in touch with Shaianne Osterreich, to discuss ideas.

Overall Goals of the Ithaca Seminar

  • Offer first-year students a liberal arts integrative experience in a small class setting;
  • Introduce students to the Themes and Perspectives component of the Integrative Core Curriculum and their electronic portfolio;
  • Connect learning with other aspects of academic and college life to help first year students make a successful transition to college.

 Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop and evaluate ideas and arguments.
  • Students will demonstrate consideration of context, audience comprehension and purpose in written and/or oral communication.
  • Students will create their ICC e-portfolio and include at least one artifact.
  • Students will reflect on quality peer-to-peer interaction.
  • Students will use the resources and services on campus to achieve academic, personal, and career goals.

Practical aspects of teaching an ICSM:

  • Each ICSM will align with at least one Theme and Perspective from the ICC. The ICSM proposal process includes the application for the appropriate designations.
  • ICSMs are 4-credit courses and must meet for a total of 200 minutes per week.  All ICSMs will meet M, W, or F from 12:12:50 and one of the following times slots.  You will be asked to select your preferred time slots in late January 2015.   Under certain circumstances exception to these time slots are allowed, especially for non-peak times. 
    • MWF    9:00-9:50, 11:00-11:50, 3:00-3:50
    • TR       8:00-9:25, 1:10-2:25, 4:005:15
  • During Spring 2015 faculty development sessions for new instructors on developing excellent seminars in the liberal arts tradition, specifically for first year students. 
  • In May 2015 all new and returning faculty will meet for 1-2 day-long workshops oriented around new faculty training (half-day), Theme building in the ICSMs, and supporting first year students in transition. It is expected that all faculty teaching in 2015 will attend.
  • ICSM instructors participate in the ongoing assessment of the courses and the program.
  • Faculty are asked to be the academic advisor for Exploratory students


To foster the development of the outstanding courses that form the backbone of this college-wide program, faculty scheduled to teach a course in the program for the first time in Fall 2015 will receive a summer course development grant of $3,300. This grant is to support the faculty member in the development of excellent liberal arts pedagogy and syllabus development. The expectation is that the faculty member will teach an Ithaca Seminar three times in the next five years.  After you have taught the course three times, you are eligible to apply for a course revision grant.

If teaching the 4 credit course will put the faculty at an overload, the ICSM program pays for that overload.