Families of Future Students

Core Seminars for Freshmen 2016-17

At the time of registration, you'll select a Core Seminar.  This 3-credit class takes an interdisciplinary approach to a course-specific theme while allowing you to explore personal development, intellectual growth, and what it means to have a liberal arts education. The First-Year Seminar is designed to introduce you to the standards of academic rigor while providing you with the knowledge to make informed decisions in your transition to college. You'll compose a variety of projects that demonstrate critical inquiry and information literacy skills.

Working Your Patterns
Students in this course will examine patterns in their lives. Topics will include genealogy, personal DNA data, brain research, and knitting patterns, all aimed at developing individual patterns and plans for time management, research and writing, and life skills, not to mention completing a creative project they will keep as a reminder of their goals and skills as a student.

Lying, Deception and Fraud
Why do people lie? And why are even really good liars just as susceptible as the rest of us to deception, wacky superstitions, phony scientific claims, and all manner of cheap hustles? This fun, skill-building first-year seminar will explore the mechanics of lying, the psychology of magical thinking, and our human tendency to be fooled and even to fool ourselves. We’ll also look at cons and explore our love affair with the huckster and scam artist, all while building critical thinking, writing, and information literacy skills needed for success at the university level.  So what do you think? Ready to get fooled?

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
Students in this course will examine how to survive in a world filled with the undead. How will you feed yourself? Stay healthy? Treat injuries?  Defend yourself? This seminar will help you decide what to put in your bug-out bag to survive as long and as well as you can. Along the way, you’ll watch TV shows and movies, read books and articles, refine your research and writing skills, and explore topics in a range of disciplines, including chemistry, biology, medicine, and history.

Popular Culture, Making Meaning, and You
Religion is often defined as a way of living, a set of beliefs, values, and rituals by which a community defines itself. It provides a sense of meaning and purpose. Does popular culture do the same thing? People define themselves on Facebook and Instagram, find their values in television shows and movies, and form communities around sports teams and musical tastes. How does popular culture define our identities, values, and forms of life? Students will research an aspect of popular culture and how its activities “make meaning” for us—whether it is computer games, rap music, horror movies, fashion trends, sports fandom, shopping, food, graphic novels, or something else that interests you. We’ll study the effects of popular culture on our society and our values and consider whether that influence is good or bad.

Global Trotters
This will be an all-inclusive seminar to learn about culture: your culture, new cultures, and cultures you thought you knew. We will look at music, humor, food, art, dance, sports, and more. It will be empowering to learn about ourselves and one another. This seminar will explore culture as a way to look at your current world view and draw new conclusions. We will learn from one another through a variety of activities and events on campus to understand where we all fit in the bigger picture. Campus resources will become your BFFs!

What’s on Your Playlist?
Music is all around us--movies, commercials, live performances, and easily available recordings. We use music in times of celebration and sadness. We use music to study and work-out to. What is on your playlist? What types of music do you listen to and how does it impact you as a person? What types of music influence the world around you? This seminar will explore what is on your personal playlist and examine how it fits your lifestyle and career goals. You will examine the first-year experience with a musical twist.

“It’s Just a Theory”
Public opinion and science have historically had a strained relationship, but why? From Galileo’s trial for heresy to the teaching of evolution in public schools, this course will examine some notable scientific controversies. We will start with science's clash with religions, governments, and even itself, and end with contemporary issues that impact education, economics, and public health.

This course will challenge students with the concept of sustainability and its implementation in their personal lives. We will start by analyzing your preparation and readiness for college success. In particular, we will consider questions like: Can you sustain a successful college career under the rigor and demands of your courses and campus life? Is the major you are planning to pursue one that will give you the opportunities to make a difference in this world and have a meaningful life? Once those personal goals have been established, we will consider the local community, our country, and our world and how these can be sustained. We will follow your interests and consider sustainability from the perspective of stewardship within our communities, nation, and world.

The Pursuit of Happiness
What makes people happy? How do they create happiness in their lives? How does our understanding of happiness depend on religion, culture, economy, politics, and well being? This seminar will explore what it means to be happy while negotiating the complex boundaries of society.

Gut Feelings and Common Sense – Can They Be Trusted?
We all rely on our gut feelings and common sense to make our way through the twists and turns of life. For the most part these serve us well, helping us to accurately assess situations and make decisions. But can gut feelings and common sense always be trusted? Do they always lead us to the truth? This course will explore these ideas in a variety of contexts, including scientific decision making, religious beliefs and conspiracy theories.

Decision Making and Change
Entering into college is an exciting and scary experience for all! This section of Core Seminar 1 will examine various decision-making models and change experiences to help guide you through your college career. Making decisions with all the facts may seem easy but is usually an unrealistic situation. In most cases, we have to make assumptions and “best guesses” on outcomes. During this class you will have the opportunity to explore decision making within certain (low risk, high information) and uncertain (high risk, limited or no information) environments and then assess how change may be a result of the decisions.

7 Ways to Change to the World
Leonardo Da Vinci used his art. Mohammad Ali used his fists. Helen Keller used her willpower. Robin Williams used his charm. There are many ways to change the world. And if you so desire you can make a difference, too. Our primary goal will be set no lower than to help you plot your path to greatness. Your life consists of two dates and a dash. You will learn at least seven ways to make the most of that dash.

CATS: What they do for the health and success of a college student
This seminar will empower students to develop ways to integrate health and success during their first year of college. We will explore Complementary and Alternative TherapieS (CATS), popular practices to enhance health, decrease stress, and affect injuries, through healing touch, massage therapy, supplements, meditation, music therapy, art therapy, and the evidence necessary to integrate into one's life. In addition to exploring health, students will become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful college student.

Logos Core Seminar (Honors)
By invitation only.