Core Seminars for First Year Students

You will need to choose a Core Seminar at orientation. 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.

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 psychology.
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?
Critical Thinking: Skills You Can Use!
Students in this class will learn what critical thinking looks like and how to be better critical thinkers. You will also learn how to use critical thinking strategies when presented with unfamiliar content and situations. You will have many opportunities to explore the theme and learn how to be creative in your thinking.
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.

Islands
Islands are unique geological formations and microcosms of larger sociocultural phenomena. In this class you'll explore islands as places where discoveries have been made, political battles fought, and beautiful art made. A diverse cultural universe will unfold through the case studies of the Caribbean, Indonesia, Polynesia, and the Indian Ocean.
Graphic Novels
From fantasy and horror to autobiography and history, stories told in graphic novel format cover a wide range of issues and themes. In this course we will examine how words and pictures work together to create meaning. We will experience graphic novels from many different styles of artists and authors, think critically about the visual world around us, and tell our own stories through research, words, and images.
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.
Sustainability
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.
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. 
Game On!
The focus of this course is game literacy. Games are complex cultural and aesthetic objects. The class will incorporate lectures, discussion, readings, and writing assignments, but the primary activity of the class is critical play. You will play games in order to better understand and appreciate them. The class will cover games on and off the computer, including classic and contemporary board and card games, sports, and games on the PC, internet, and consoles. Education through games is an important way to increase professional literacy for students seeking work in art and design, business, computer science, marketing, tech, and entertainment industries.
Exploration and Discovery
Humans are naturally curious. We have been on a quest to explore and discover the world around us. The search for new experiences, scientific discoveries, places, and cultures have had a profound impact on the human experience. As you begin to explore and discover Grand View, we will engage with questions about the experience of journeys, the qualities of explorers, and how to engage with the world around you. Through the course we will explore your personal journey to college, what qualities will help you to succeed, and interweave some stories from the great explorers of the past to learn from their experiences.
Human Identity, Justice, and the God of the Bible
What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be human in relation to others? What is the “just” life? These are three main questions of life, and they have been at the root of human existence for a very long time. Exploring these questions is central to finding meaning in life and even the pursuit of happiness. These questions also stand at the center of the “forgotten story” of the Bible – what the story of the Bible is fundamentally about. The Bible has been used and misused as people across centuries have tried to answer these fundamental human questions. In this seminar, we will take a close look at these questions of existence in dialogue with the ways the Bible addresses them, and we will do this in light of concerns of our world today and the various ways our culture tries to answer these same questions of meaning. 
Logos Core Seminar (Honors)

By invitation only. Check out this video about the Logos program at Grand View.