One engaging experience shared by all first-year students is participation in a First Year Seminar (FYS). These four-credit courses are designed to introduce students to certain areas in our curriculum and to topics about which members of the faculty are passionate. All of the seminars are designed to foster successful academic and social transition to the College. The FYS also introduces students to the College’s learning outcomes of communication, critical thinking, collaboration, citizenship, and integrated/applied learning in a climate that encourages respect for the many points of view represented in our diverse community. Course instructors serve as academic advisors to all students enrolled in the course. In the context of the course the advising group will work to develop the skills necessary for academic success and will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their development as learners. FYS courses fit the Ideas 1 General Education Thematic Area and is a graduation requirement. Any student who does not receive credit for FYS must take an additional Ideas 2 class.
During the 2017 – 2018 academic year, all FYS sections will have the following theme:
Living in a Multicultural World (4 credits)
As Pine Manor College (PMC) is home to a diverse and multicultural student body, each student possesses a unique history, tradition, and value system to share and celebrate within the PMC community. By exploring our own backgrounds, can we achieve a better understanding of ourselves and how we see, communicate, and ultimately value other people? How do we recognize and embrace different perspectives so that we can effectively live and work together with a myriad of people? This course is designed to expand first-year students’ understanding of self and the dynamics of intercultural relationships in an effort to increase their ability to become effective at multicultural communication, both within the PMC community and beyond. Students will be led on a journey to deeply explore their own identity and how our various social identities (race, ethnicity, gender, social class, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) impact the way we see and interact with the world around us. Students will engage in a variety of projects and exercises that will help them to recognize these cultural differences, respectfully interact with culturally different individuals, and ultimately enhance their overall cultural intelligence (CQ). These powerful skills will allow students to flourish on whatever path (personal, educational, professional) they choose to follow.
First Year Experience (2 credits)
The First Year Experience is a 2-credit course, which meets once a week throughout the Spring Semester. This course is designed to continue the work begun in the first year seminar and to support students’ successful progression towards graduation. The intent of the course is to identify an issue of concern to the community or the world at large and create a program to raise awareness of the issue. The class will work together to design and implement a program on campus that addresses this issue. Students will learn leadership, team-building and communication skills. Some of the other learning activities in this course will include an introduction to career development, and the college’s competencies. Students will create an electronic portfolio to document their development of the college’s competencies through this course and other courses taken in the first year. This course is a graduation requirement.
Sophomore Colloquium: Career and Major Exploration (2 credits)
In this course students will explore the relationship between academic majors and career options in order to assist them in the selection of their college major. Students will clarify their values, skills, and career interests through a series of inventories and exercises. This course is designed to aid students in understanding the career development process, in order to make informed and appropriate occupational and educational decisions. In addition, students will learn about opportunities to develop their professional skills over their college career. They will document their progress in their electronic portfolio. This course or one of the alternative offerings listed below is a graduation requirement.
In the event of circumstances that prevent, or deem unreasonable, a student’s participation in SC201 Sophomore Colloquium, students have the opportunity to take another, relevant experience in order to achieve the same objectives of the sophomore colloquium. Examples of a relevant experience might be, but are not limited to:
- an exploratory internship
- a directed study in their area of interest
- an independent research project
In order for an alternative experience to replace the sophomore colloquium it must be worth 2-credits or more, as the sophomore colloquium is a 2-credit course. This experience must be approved ahead of time by the Assistant Dean for Foundational Learning.