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First Year Seminar


First Year Seminar is a year-long course that is designed for you in your first year at Wittenberg: to become rooted at Wittenberg in your academic work, your social life, in connections with the community and beyond—and to lay ground work for what lies ahead after college. To that end, this fall we will have a range of topics for discussion and exploration.

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of FYS 101 reflect this range of topics:

  1. You will learn about Wittenberg’s mission, values, and history to get a sense of what makes Wittenberg unique as a college, and how you connect to that story.
  2. You will practice key components of academic life, including critical reading, careful reflection, analysis and synopsis of materials, and prepare for discussion of this material; you will practice the craft of writing. These are capacities that are basic to your time at Wittenberg, and will provide you with skills that you can use after college, whatever your work.
  3. You will gain information about and engagement with people and resources that will help you navigate the college experience, both the routine (like how to register for courses) and the unexpected (where to turn for help with various challenges).
  4. You will develop a cohort of friends and colleagues over the year. Specific events, including those that meet outside of class time, have this as an outcome of the course.
  5. You will learn the language and strategies for identifying calling and vocation: to identify what you do well and what you enjoy—and how this serves your community and the greater good. All of this plays into your decisions about classwork, major and minors, internships and other off campus experiences, co-curricular activities, and reflection on the challenges and changes of being an undergraduate.

FYS continues into the second semester with the same themes but has a focus that moves from campus to Springfield and beyond, and takes a more comprehensive look at your strengths, skills and vocation/calling.

Course Requirements - General Expectations

FYS meets for one hour each week, typically from 12.00-12.50 p.m. on Tuesday. For most class meetings you will have prep work that is described on your syllabus. Work listed on a class day is due for that day unless otherwise noted. Readings are on the short side; this is so you can spend some time reading, rereading (!), jotting down notes, and thinking through possible class discussion. If you see DRQs (directed reading questions) listed for a day, use them: they will give you a focus for your class discussion and prep.

Some classes will have a different kind of preparation; you’ll get the info you need from your FYS team and/or from the syllabus and prompts. Keep up with the syllabus and class, and you’ll be set.

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