Professor Liberko demonstrates an experiment in front of a first-year-seminar class.

The First-year Seminar is the foundation of the first-year academic program at Cornell College. All incoming first-year students will be required to enroll in a First-year Seminar. First-year Seminars are offered in Block 1 and taught by tenure-track faculty.  This structure allows students to work closely with other first-year students under the tutelage of an experienced professor.

Seminars will be offered in a range of disciplines. Most seminars are part of regular departmental curricula. 

Common Goals for First-year Seminars

  1. Introduce an academic discipline and the concept of a discipline within the context of the liberal arts
  2. Provide instruction for academic skills common to all disciplines:
    • Academic Honesty:  knowing when to document sources; understanding ethical, legal and professional reasons for documenting sources
    • Critical Reading: restating central points; making inferences; identifying and questioning underlying assumptions; assessing evidence
    • Information Literacy: distinguishing between and evaluating primary and secondary sources; popular and scholarly sources
    • Writing: using write-to-learn assignments to investigate, analyze, and summarize course material
  3. Address college-level academic expectations and practices
  4. Introduce academic support services