BDEBethany-197.jpgFirst-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience is comprised of the First-Year Seminar, Connections and the First-Year J-Term.

The First-Year Experience is designed to meet the following goals:

  • Provide a small seminar of students with a faculty mentor/advisor who will help them to improve writing and thinking skills and familiarize them with the academic life of the College, while they study a specialized subject area
  • Provide a bridge between the high school experience and the Bethany experience designed to enable students to engage actively and successfully as they grow and learn inside the classroom and out
  • Provide students with an intense, single-class, topic-driven learning experience designed to enhance college-level reading, writing and research skills

First-Year Seminars introduce students to the study of a specialized subject area, help students improve writing and thinking skills, and familiarize students with the academic life of the College. The faculty member who leads a student’s seminar will serve as that student’s academic advisor and mentor.

Success in college and beyond depends on a successful adjustment in many areas of one’s life. For each student, this will mean different things. As such, Connections allows for an exploration of skills needed for success. Students develop their own, personalized plan to develop socially, personally and as an engaged member of the campus, the community and the world. Each student develops a co-curricular portfolio of their experiences demonstrating such growth.

During the First-Year J-Term Experience, students enroll in a small, topic-driven seminar (generally students remain in their seminar group from first semester and continue to study with their seminar professor, although they may explore a new topic). The seminar allows students to learn deeply, rather than broadly, since this seminar will be the only course they take during January Term. Topics vary, but all seminars are designed to enhance college-level reading, writing and research skills.