First-Year Seminars offer the benefits of an experience often reserved for college seniors to students beginning their college career.
These courses, designed for and offered only to students in their first semester at Gettysburg College, provide an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and a small cohort of peers to explore a topic that they all find interesting. First-Year Seminars employ and develop a variety of skills including writing, speaking, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and the use of technology or instrumentation.
All students in a First-Year Seminar live in the same residence hall, which provides them with an opportunity to integrate their academic and residential lives. This experience, alongside programming offered through the college’s extended orientation program, offers students the opportunity of learning and working with other students and faculty on common educational interests and goals while deliberately fostering connections that support the transition to college.
First-Year Seminar may include field trips, films, guest speakers, workshops, and community service projects. Many of these opportunities are designed for a specific seminar or group of related seminars.
“How we understand our past and the past of other people, changes in response to present-day concerns and reflects the shifting nature of collective memory. Our own histories and experiences shape how we view the past and present day.”
Ebola. Enterovirus D68. This fall while the world was challenged with how to contain the latest epidemics, the students in Health Sciences Prof. Amy Dailey’s first-year seminar were studying them.
Can one’s life really change unalterably in one day? That’s the question English Prof. Christopher D’Addario’s students spent a semester answering by viewing films and reading novels that take place over the course of 24 hours.
“Alongside the supernatural and fantastical contexts of comic books, we talk about historical fiction, we talk about realistic work, and we reflect upon things that have happened in the world around us.”
Professor Stephenson asks students to think about how this may affect the scientific process. Is science always really objective? If we’re told our gender is bad at math or good at science, what does that do to our test scores?
“It was awesome that I could take a class that had focused study and discussion around great musicians like Woody Guthrie, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.