The goals of the First Year Experience component are to connect you to life in an academic community and to introduce and practice in a meaningful context the skills listed earlier in this section of this book. The component consists of the following three courses to be taken during the first year.
Composition 4 credits
The Composition requirement is intended to help you become a responsible writer who can take charge of your own writing process. It is satisfied by the course EN 1400 Composition or its equivalency. You will learn how to draft, respond to feedback from peers and the instructor, revise and edit successful college prose. By the end of the course, you should be able to write essays that are unified by a central thesis, well-developed in carefully organized paragraphs with vivid details, and grammatically appropriate with effective sentence structure and correct mechanics.
You will also learn to read comprehensively and effectively in order to relate ideas and arguments to your writing and thinking. You will be expected to summarize different kinds of texts, paraphrase the ideas of someone else, analyze others’ arguments and positions, compare and contrast ideas, and generate your own thoughts and ideas following research and observation. You will be required to engage in library research and to write papers based on your research. Thus the General Education Skills being given special emphasis in this course are writing, reading, conducting research, and collaborating with others.
First Year Seminar 3 credits
You are currently taking IS 1111 The First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry. This course introduces you to the concepts of general education and the academic community and to the skills educated people use to generate and address important questions. Using critical thinking skills and basic tools of gathering and evaluating information, you, your peers, and the instructor together explore a specific question which challenges contemporary thinkers. The question varies across sections of the course.
The First Year Seminar is a cornerstone course, through which you begin to build the repertoire of intellectual skills needed for university-level work. The skills are not taught in isolation but rather in the context of the topic or problem of the course. Assignments and activities introduce all of the skills listed above, but special emphasis is given to critical thinking, conducting research, working with information technology, writing, speaking and listening, and collaborating with others.
Mathematics Foundations 3 to 4 credits
Through the Mathematics Foundations requirement, you will become aware of the importance of mathematics and its application to fields as diverse as art, music, and science. It is satisfied by a mathematics course numbered MA1500 or above, or by a mathematics course that is equivalent to MA 1500 or above, including credit-by-exam as explained in the Academic Catalog.
Mathematics Foundations courses focus on problem solving using the language of mathematics and on developing your ability to reason quantitatively in diverse contexts. You will learn to reduce complex problems to their fundamentals using algebra and geometry.
The Mathematics Foundations requirement enables you to make connections between mathematics and your own life and to explore the roles of mathematics in society, culture, and politics. General Education skills given special emphasis are quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and working with information technology.
More information about fulfilling the Mathematics Foundations requirement can be found in the Academic Catalog.