2018-2019 Pitzer Catalog 
    
    Nov 15, 2018  
2018-2019 Pitzer Catalog

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) Program


First-year seminars challenge students to achieve the following aspirations:

  1. Regard learning to write well as a life-long pursuit, not the accomplishment of a single semester or even an entire undergraduate career.
  2. Grapple with the ambiguity and complexity found within texts, which range from the written word to film, art, performance, and beyond; respond to texts critically and thoughtfully.
  3. Engage in an ongoing process of intellectual inquiry and “conversation” through writing:
  •  Appreciate and experience the creativity, independent thinking, and intellectual risk-taking involved in effective academic writing.
  • Craft thoughtful and insightful questions worthy of investigation; raise significant problems.
  • Recognize and contend with alternative viewpoints/counter-arguments.
  • Identify research/information needs.
  • Locate appropriate scholarly and popular sources.
  • Engage with, evaluate, and draw inferences from sources.
  • Craft a clear, arguable, and compelling thesis.
  • Experience writing as a complex social interaction between writer and reader
  • Participate in an intellectual community of peers where writing and ideas are exchanged and critiqued.
  • Rethink and deepen ideas through a recursive process of discussing, drafting, receiving and giving feedback, and revising at any and every point along the way.
  • Gain awareness of audience and of voice.
  • Practice writing as a form of critical thinking, rather than merely the achievement of sentence-level correctness.

All first-year seminars meet Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00-12:15.

A student’s FYS instructor is also that student’s initial academic adviser. Because professors teaching a FYS serve as their students’ faculty adviser for the first three semesters, students in the program develop strong mentoring relationships with faculty and gain a broad understanding of how the curriculum intersects with their individual educational goals. Starting Orientation week, incoming students meet with their adviser/FYS instructor to select their Fall courses.