100 students at Hood College were asked if they agree with a first-year seminar. Of the students surveyed, there were 50 first-year's, 22 sophomores, 14 juniors, and 14 seniors.

Students who agree: 66

Students who disagree: 32

Students who are not sure: 2

Of the 50 first-year's who were asked:

Students who agree: 70 percent (35)

Students who disagree: 30 percent (15)





First-Year Seminar's at Other Comparable Peer Institutions to Hood College:

McDaniel College

Mount St. Mary's University

Gettysburg College

Notre Dame of Md.

Stevenson University





Hood College's course catalog may be changing in the near future.

Photo Courtesy of Hood College



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By Doug Raftery

A task force of five is proposing to add a first- year seminar to the core curriculum, but students are split on the addition.

The first-year seminar, which would be a part of the proposed core revision, would focus on writing and literacy due to the ever-changing learning environment in the world today.

The task force, appointed by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Katherine Conway-Turner, includes Dr. Karen Hoffman, assistant professor of philosophy and head of the task force, Dr. Anne Derbes, professor of art history, Dr. Susan Ensel, professor of chemistry; Dr. Sang Kim, associate professor of economics and management, and Dr. Kerry Strand, chair of the department of sociology.

“We want to improve the core to meet requirements in the work force,” Hoffman said. “A first-year seminar starts students off on the right foot when it comes to learning in college.”

The addition of a first-year seminar in the core will stress reading, writing, critical thinking, oral presentations and information literacy, according to the core committee report.  All first-year students would be required to take it during the fall semester. The report says that students will be required to write 20 pages over the length of the semester and read about 50-100 pages a week.

While the task force agrees students often lack reading and writing skills, some students are being cautious when it comes to saying they agree with the faculty.

“I think that much of the faculty gets caught up in thinking that college students don’t have much to do,” said Trevor Shell, a junior and management major. “Many first-year students take around 15 credits, and asking them to come in right out of high school to take this first-year seminar isn’t realistic.” Shell believes that the work load should be cut to reading 25 pages a week and writing 10 pages over the semester.

A major topic of concern regarding the first-year seminar is how it will be graded. “What is the scale going to be like?” asked sophomore Katie Hays. “If it is a class to teach first-year’s how to write and more than one draft will be submitted, I think all papers will be the best they can be at the end of the day.”

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