First-Year Seminar: Trying to Find a Way Back Home

"I don't take credit for these fine young people or their accomplishments. They choose the course. I am just grateful for the opportunity to help them develop the tools they need to pursue their goals and choose from the paths open to them." Professor Chris Fee, Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities, on his First-Year Seminar Trying to Find a Way Back Home: An Introduction to the Literature and Legacy of Homelessness in America.

Structured around a lengthy reading list, the course also requires students to complete weekly writing assignments, create blogs, and write a 15-page research paper. In addition to this rigorous academic component, all students must complete 20 hours of service at a local social service. They are also required to join a student service organization on campus, such as Alpha Phi Omega, Habitat for Humanity, or CPS. Add a five-day service trip to Washington, D.C., and you start to get a feeling for how demanding the course is.

The great paradox is that a course concerning poverty is exceedingly expensive to run. This year the five-day trip to Washington, DC, a linchpin of the experience, cost $4,250. Many offices dip into their operating budgets to help, but securing the funding is a struggle each and every year. Gifts to the Gettysburg Fund make this course and these experiences possible."

Related Links:

Read the student blogs about this course: 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Read the article on Fee's course in the Winter 2007 Gettysburg magazine.

Watch the video in which Fee speaks about his book God's, Heroes, and Kings: The Battle for Mythic Britain.


Read more giving stories.