First-year Program Overview

The First-year Program, designed to support the engagement of first-year students in the liberal arts at Cornell College, consists of two academic courses: the First-year Seminar and the First-year Writing course. All incoming first-year students will be required to enroll in a First-year Seminar during their first or second term.  First-year Seminar and First-year Writing courses, regardless of discipline, have the following goals in common.

Course Goals

  • Encourage an understanding of the liberal arts and an appreciation for their value

  • Foster a sense of responsibility and empowerment in the achievement of personal educational goals

  • Enhance academic culture and foster intellectual community

  • Develop skills necessary for academic success

The development and understanding of essential academic concepts will inform students of what it means to be a college student in a residential liberal arts college. Learning to analyze, speak, listen and create are important parts of the Cornell experience. The First-year Program is dedicated to helping students develop these abilities by enhancing interactions with both their peers and faculty members. The ability of students to master these concepts allows them to be more productive and to gain greater satisfaction from their college experience.