In a commitment to enhance the transition experience of all University of California undergraduates, President Atkinson and the Chancellors of the University of California campuses launched in 2002 an initiative to expand existing Freshman Seminar Programs so as to make seminars available to all interested freshmen.These one-unit seminars introduce students to the research university and encourage them to become active participants in intellectual interactions with their peers and professors. With small classes of fifteen students led by Academic Senate faculty, the seminars emphasize analysis and communication, and give faculty and students a chance to explore academic topics and new lines of inquiry in a supportive, interactive, and congenial setting.Freshman seminars…
• are conducted in a small group setting, limited to 15 students.
• typically meet for one hour a week as one-unit courses.
• focus on academic topics of interest to the faculty member.
• center on class discussions of selected readings.
• expose students to new and unfamiliar fields of study.
• attract students to schools and majors.Faculty participants…
• share their research and scholarly work with undergraduates in a group setting.
• explore new lines of inquiry with students as active participants.
• help students understand the culture of the research university.
• participate over and above their regular teaching assignments.
• broaden their academic horizons.
• explore possible majors.
• are introduced to the culture of the research university.
• learn in a supportive and congenial atmosphere.
• have close contact with professors and future mentors.
• develop communication skills through class give-and-take.
• can, in most cases, receive a letter grade or elect the pass/not pass option.