The First-Year Seminars – Fall 2013

Dear first-year students,

First-Year Seminars locate you at the center of the classroom during your first semester with us and invite you to take an active role in your own education from the beginning of your UWM career. These courses differ in several ways from others you make take in the fall. They are smaller in size and broader in scope, in the sense that they are intended to enhance your skills (inquiry and analysis, critical and creative thinking, oral and written communication) and engage you in reflection about the process of learning at the college level. These transitional courses allow instructors and students to explore subjects of mutual interest, to talk to and learn from each other in spite of and because of their differences, to connect past and present as well as campus and community. Your First-Year Seminar instructors want to welcome you to UWM and involve you in the kind of intellectual activity that defines our work as scholars and teachers. Please join us!

Jennifer Watson, Associate Dean for the Humanities, College of Letters and Science

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"Marie Antoinette: Villain or Victim?" (Fall 2008)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a “Seminar”?
A: A course with a limited enrollment (in this case, 20) involving discussion (rather than lecture) and other work that engages you and your fellow students in active learning. The instructor facilitates, you participate, and we collaborate in the discovery and application of knowledge.

Q: How much time and credit do First-Year Seminars involve?
A: These 15-week, 3-credit courses meet for 150 minutes per week. In these, as in other courses, you should expect to do as much as six additional hours per week of reading, writing, or other assignments outside the classroom.

Q: Do First-Year Seminars count toward General Education requirements?
A: Yes. These courses explore a wide variety of engaging subjects in the Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences (see the "credit" line in the individual course descriptions), but they all develop skills that you will need during and after college.

Q: Why should I take a First-Year Seminar?
A: Take a First-Year Seminar in order to explore a topic in depth and have an intellectual adventure, get to know an instructor and other students in a supportive learning environment, enhance your ability to work independently and collaboratively. Convinced?

Q: What do students have to say about First-Year Seminars?
A: “The seminar is different because you get to discuss more and connect more with other students. You don't just have to sit there and listen to lecture." "It's nice to have all freshmen in your class and know they are going through a lot of the same changes you are.” “The professor really seemed to care about his students and wanted to help out and get to know them. I believe that's very important and helps everyone learn." "An excellent way of adjusting to the college learning method." "This class was very helpful in building my confidence for college."

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"Conflict, Communication, and Social Intelligence" (Fall 2009)