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Advice for Freshmen Selecting a First Seminar

You will complete an online directed self-placement process as part of the New Student Checklist in May or June. Through that process you will select a First Seminar experience that best suits your writing needs. If you select a Foundations or ESL Seminar, you will be placed accordingly. If you select a Topical First Seminar, you will receive an email in early August via CWRU webmail and be asked to review descriptions of First Seminars that fit your course schedule and identify those that appeal most to you. You will be enrolled in a First Seminar based upon your expressed interest and course availability. In advance of registering for courses, you may view the list of First Seminars in the schedule of classes (under the headings FSNA, FSSY, and FSSO) and browse course descriptions. Based on your interest in certain seminars, you may choose to arrange your schedule (if possible) to make a seminar available to you. However, note that this does not guarantee being enrolled in a specific First Seminar; it simply makes enrollment a possibility.

International students will complete a writing sample during International Student Orientation. After the review of these statements is complete, students will be either placed into a section of First Seminar designed specifically for students for whom English is a second language or prompted to select from the list of regular First Seminars.

As your SAGES First Seminar provides a foundation for your subsequent educational experience, careful selection is critical to your satisfaction and success. Although all First Seminars are interdisciplinary and share common goals, each seminar comes with its own unique course description. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY ALL FIRST SEMINAR COURSE DESCRIPTIONS BEFORE MAKING YOUR SELECTION.

As a general rule, students tend to perform better and are more engaged in courses that align with their interests, whether or not those interests are related to any particular major or program. Taking the time to carefully read the First Seminar course descriptions and identify those that stand out to you is a critical step in your future academic success. As you do this, consider the following:

Your interest in and affinity for a First Seminar topic is much more important than the time of day that the seminar is offered. Choose seminars that “speak” to you regardless of the time of day.

First Seminars are not necessarily designed to be connected to a specific academic major, minor, or program, so you do not need to find seminars that you feel are “related” to your intended major. Instead, they may provide a way to explore or extend a secondary interest or avocation.

Page last modified: April 22, 2016