Aug 17, 2018  
2018-2019 College of Liberal Arts 
2018-2019 College of Liberal Arts

First-Year Experience

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Director: Jill Cermele, Professor of Psychology  

About the Program

The First Year Experience introduces students to the intellectual life of a liberal arts education. Led by a faculty member dedicated to working with first-year students, the seminar provides a stimulating introduction to rigorous, college-level work that centers on the exploration of a particular topic or subject area, and includes development of critical thinking, information literacy, and writing and oral communication skills. Students select from a wide-range of seminar topics.

Drew Seminar

Taken by all entering students in their first semester, the Drew Seminar (DSEM) revolves around an engaging intellectual area of exploration, designed by the faculty member. These seminars are engaging explorations of a significant question, mode of inquiry, or topic. The goal is to help students develop academic skills and habits of mind that are central to higher education; faculty are invited to share their intellectual passions and welcome students into the collaborative culture of the liberal arts college.

Core skills developed in the Drew Seminar

The seminar will help students develop the following skills and habits of mind:

  • Critical thinking – the ability to analyze a situation or text and make thoughtful decisions based on that analysis, through discussion, writing, reading, and research.
  • Writing Skills – the ability to plan, draft, and revise texts for both form and content.
  • Rhetorical knowledge – the ability to articulate how audience, purpose, and context shape a text, and to apply that knowledge appropriately when writing across a range of academic and nonacademic genres.
  • Oral Communication – the ability to listen to, explore, and share ideas in discussion and informal presentations.


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