ERIC Number: ED341023
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Integrating the Freshman Seminar with a Developmental Reading-Writing Course.
Meyer, Margaret Dietz
First-year students taking developmental courses need the kind of guidance a freshman seminar can provide when the advice is directly relevant to their progress. An alternative to assigning a heterogeneous group of students to an academic advisor is to offer a course which enriches the key elements of a freshman seminar while applying the standard components of a developmental course in college reading and writing to its content. The advantage of this integrated approach is that students get help at the right level from a professor who knows them and their abilities. To plan an effective syllabus, instructors must consider both the students' and the administration's goals. It has been found valuable to build the course around 10 themes culled from 10 issues that students have cited and that they considered crucial to their adjustment to college: (1) roommates whose values differ; (2) relationships with parents; (3) weight; (4) grades, study habits, and time management; (5) drugs and alcohol; (6) coaches and sports performance; (7) career goals; (8) boyfriends and girlfriends; (9) minority issues; and (10) attitudes about students with disabilities. Integrating these concerns with administrative goals produces eight key elements to address in the course: career exploration, getting along with others, communicating with professors, individual conferencing, studying for exams, schooling versus education, equitable opportunity, and self-evaluation of the freshman experience. A sample syllabus demonstrates topics and activities which can be addressed in one semester, and prior research supports the implementation of such an integrated course. (One appendix--a grid which summarizes the contents of 3 texts which include important topics for a freshman seminar--and 15 references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the New York College Learning Skills Association on Developmental Education (14th, Ithaca, NY, April 7-9, 1991).