First-year seminar classes connect students to Thiel and prepare them for academic success

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Incoming students at Thiel College are selecting their first-year seminar classes, which combine the academic rigor of college-level work with subjects that interest a wide variety of incoming students.

In its fourth year, the program includes a seminar-style class for all incoming first-year students. The courses are designed to serve as an introduction to college-level learning while exploring compelling issues and topics. Faculty members teaching the courses also serve as academic advisors to the students enrolled and engage the students in various texts, experiential activities and co-curricular events throughout the semester. Students select from a slate of courses designed to hone critical thinking skills. Topics include Star Wars and Shakespeare, photography, explorations of Greenville, medical career preparation, environmental awareness, leadership, art and religion.

Twelve courses are available for first-year students. The courses introduce students to the purposes of higher education and to the skills needed to use the information technology and academic resources available at Thiel College. Seminar classes are limited to 20 or fewer students brought together to study a single topic using a seminar format (discussion, sharing, group-interaction). The seminar classes are part of the First-Year Experience designed to transition high school students to higher education and enhance academic skills as a scholar, speaker, writer and thinker.

According to published reports, students who enroll in first-year programs regularly demonstrate higher retention rates than similar students who did not participate in a first-year program.

According to the 2015 National Survey of Student Engagement, “setting high expectations and supporting students to meet those expectations is an important element of educational effectiveness. When students are both challenged and provided the appropriate amount of support, they are motivated to reach their potential.”

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 25 varsity sports, and a 10:1 student-faculty ratio to more than 900 students. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.