What is the Freshman Seminars Program?
Freshman Seminars offer incoming students an opportunity to take courses in a small class setting. Classes are limited to ten students and are led by advanced student leaders under the direction of a faculty member within the department of the course being offered. Although a few of the FS courses are electives, most of them fulfill general education core requirements at the University. Freshman Seminars are an excellent way to supplement a learning community schedule, or can be taken outside of a learning community.
History of the Program
Freshman Seminars started in the spring of 1970 under the guidance of Director William Bach. It began as a residential academic program for first year students. Originally housed in Johnson Hall, students both lived in this dorm and took classes in the basement of the dormitory. Classes were taught by senior students under the supervision of faculty. It was originally an experimental type of program using senior leaders to guide freshmen students through a course and help them learn and take responsibility for their own progress. What started out as an experiment, this innovative program has become a necessary method of learning in higher education. Over the years, the location of the program has changed, but the goals have remained the same.
1) To create an intimate learning community for faculty and students who place high value on the human dimension of education;
2) To provide students with small classes in which they take an active and responsible part and in which they receive constant peer stimulation, support, and feedback.
3) To offer advanced students an opportunity to gain experience in leadership and mastery over their major by teaching it.
“After working with Freshman Seminar classes for about fifteen years, I believe they provide new students at UH with the most lively, the most personalized educational experience they can possibly have. Go for it!”
- Noel Kent, Professor, Ethnic Studies