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.

We Are the Walking Dead: Interpreting the Zombie Apocalypse (LIBA-110-A)

Students in this course will examine what the zombie apocalypse means to society, culture, the future, and ourselves. Is a zombie apocalypse a theological crisis? Is it a test of morality, to determine whether one can remain “human,” to say nothing of “good,” in a world filled with monsters? Is it an examination of societal fears to soften the blow of discussing racism, capitalism, the military-industrial complex, genetic engineering, loneliness? We will examine these question by watching TV shows and movies, playing video games, and reading books.

Global Trotters (LIBA-110-B)

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!

Islands (LIBA-110-C)

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.

Lying, Deception and Fraud (LIBA-110-D)

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?

Friday Nights Lights (LIBA-110-E)

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. In this seminar, we will explore the transition to American university life through viewing key episodes of the television program Friday Night Lights. We will examine the ways our identities shift (or not) and how our conception of "home" may change over time (or not) in order to understand the various roles and identities we occupy and perform.

Women in the Bible: Mates, Mothers, Murderers, and More (LIBA-110-F)

Have you ever read the bible and wondered what this story is about? Or, maybe, where are the stories about women? This class will focus on women in the bible-- exploring the courageous, faithful, violent and sexual roles women play in the biblical narrative. We will also reflect on the influence of the bible on women’s roles in the church today. Reading the bible has never been so much fun!

The Pursuit of Happiness (LIBA-110-G)

What makes people happy? How do they create happiness in their lives? Is it possible to increase happiness? These questions and more will be explored in this seminar. We will look at how happiness has been talked about for thousands of years and try to find connections to our modern, hectic lives. We will discuss who has a right to happiness and begin to practice steps that are scientifically proven to increase our happiness.

Sustainability (LIBA-110-H)

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.

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse (LIBA-110-I)

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? Not lose your mind? This seminar will focus on what will help you 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.

Embarking on the Hero's Journey (LIBA-110-J)

What does it mean to be an everyday hero? How can we survive our journey in an often brutal world? What can we do to ensure our lives have meaning and leave a positive, lasting impact? In this class, you will study texts that help us understand why heroes mean so much to us, including Joseph Campbell’s concept of The Hero’s Journey. You will discover how you can be the hero of your own life—how to maintain positivity in a world that is sometimes incredibly frightening—and how you can also be a hero to others, through service and civic engagement. We will unpack the mythology of the hero, tracing the legendary journeys of pop culture and literary figures we admire in film, video games, comics, and the written word while applying the core principles of their stories to our own journeys.

Happy Holidays (LIBA-110-J)

One commonality among many countries throughout the world is the celebration of holidays. While some are celebrated in many countries, others such as Bonifacio Day and Croatia’s Statehood Day, are celebrated in only a few. Holidays provide a rich, fun way to learn about a country’s history, traditions, food, and music. This course will explore the world by investigating numerous holidays, and students will partake in these traditions as a way of experiencing life as locals. These activities will open up students’ minds and hearts to the wide variety of celebrations that occur around the world each day.

Exploration and Discovery (LIBA-110-M and LIBA-110-N)

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.

Stranger Things in the Bible (LIBA-110-O)

Young people changing the course of history? Women leading a nation? Following a leader who was executed as a criminal? Speaking for those who have no voice? Finding life by losing it? This seminar will look at the edgier parts of the Bible with the hope of empowering you to live the wonderful, scary, exhilarating, life God has for you.

True Crime Investigation (LIBA-110-P)

This armchair detective, multimodal class will focus on learning about historical and current true crime cases, mysterious disappearances, and unexplained events. As each case is investigated, we will seek knowledge about society at the time of the crime or event, the marginalized and privileged  groups involved, whose voices are heard and whose are kept silent, motivation for breaking the law, as well as positive outcomes from studying crime and the people who commit them. The final project will be investigating a case and producing a podcast for audio publication.