First-Year Seminar 2018 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar introduces students to many of the core values of a Westmont education. It provides opportunities to explore ideas and perspectives within a small community of learners. The seminar strives to help students gain confidence in their own inquiries, to develop their own voices, to hone their thinking and writing skills, and to reflect on the purposes of a Christian liberal arts program. Each seminar has its own thematic focus.
Joining a First-Year Seminar is a perfect opportunity to participate in a small, discussion-oriented course where you can develop a relationship with a faculty member and a small group of peers on a topic of interest. A First-Year Seminar is a great addition to a three or four-course load.
These seminars are only offered in the fall semester. They are open to any new student (first-year or transfer).
2018 First-Year Seminar Courses
IS-015-13, Discovering the Bible
This two-unit, first-year seminar teaches students the larger biblical narrative and characters in the Bible. The course is designed for students who would like additional exposure to the Old and New Testaments before they take the required GE Introduction to the Old Testament or Introduction to the New Testament.
Instructor: Helen Rhee
Class Time: Mondays & Wednesdays, 3:15-4:05 PM
IS-015-1 or IS-015-14, Starting Well
This first-year seminar helps students get off to a good start in their academic career at Westmont. Students will have the opportunity to learn about valuable study habits, note-taking strategies, and test-taking skills. The seminar will also help students discover how they can best use college services to make an effective transition to college. Students will not only examine notions of "success" in the academic program but also begin to explore career options and ways of thriving in other areas of life.
Instructor: Dan Taylor and Sonya Welch
Class Time: Section IS-015-14 Thursdays, 1:15-3:05 PM or Section IS-015-01 Thursdays, 3:15-5:05 PM
This first-year seminar invites you into a theory-driven conversation about Christian leadership. This discussion-based interdisciplinary course will walk you through leadership development concepts and build a base of understanding for the skills and frameworks necessary for effective leadership. Students will consider topics such as self-awareness, privilege, ethics, and emotional intelligence as you seek to envision how you might lead and serve at Westmont and beyond.
Instructor: Angela D’Amour
Class Time: Thursdays, 3:15-5:05 PM
“An exploration of Happiness and Well being in the 21st Century”
Today, there is a plethora of books, songs, movies on happiness and well-being but do we really know what constitutes happiness for individuals and communities? Can we study “happiness?” We will explore various perspectives on happiness and well-being through current research in positive psychology and neuropsychology. We will also examine what the Bible has to say
about happiness and God’s design for human flourishing. Finally, as you begin your college journey, this seminar encourages you to reflect upon what happiness and well-being will look like during your time at Westmont and beyond.
Instructor: Beverly Chen
Class Time: Wednesdays, 3:15-5:05 PM
“Creativity and Innovation”
Do you think creativity is a result of a genetic roll of the dice? Or that certain majors, like art or music, are more creative than others, like economics or physics? Do you ever wish that you could develop ideas more easily and excel in creative thinking? In this seminar, we will discover how everyone can become more creative and innovative with an open mind and lots of practice. Through hands-on activities and experiments, motivational coaching, applied readings, and guided debriefs, students will be equipped with the methods and strategies to become more creative thinkers—a skill that will serve you throughout your Westmont career. Note: Be prepared for an active class. Most of our class time will be devoted to learning by doing and then reflecting on those experiences. This class will be held at Westmont Downtown (only a short shuttle ride away from the main campus).
Instructor: Rachel Winslow
Class Time: Thursdays, 1:15-3:15 PM
IS-015-6, Sports and Culture
“Sports and Culture”
Much more than "only a game," the multi-billion-dollar international sports industry pervades today's society. We will explore the role of college and professional sports in contemporary culture through a range of disciplinary perspectives.
Instructors: Robert Ruiz and Tom Knecht
Class Time: Tuesdays, 1:00-2:50 PM
“Foundations of American Democracy”
Is American democracy broken or resilient? This course will look at what works in America, what issues need attention, and why American politics have become increasingly divisive.
Instructor: Tom Knecht
Class Time: Thursdays, 1:15-3:05 PM
IS-015-10, Sense of Place
“A Sense of Place”
How do “spaces” become meaningful “places” for us? How do we make sense of space and place that include both the physical landscape as well as the stories we tell, the photos we take, the museums we build, and the paths we walk? How do the layered texts and images in places become bedrock to our identity and public memory? And finally, how do spaces act upon us, or shape us, while we simultaneously shape our stories about these spaces, turning them into meaningful places? The seminar will include readings, vigorous discussions, and some visits to local spaces that may well become your favorite places.
Instructor: Deborah Dunn
Class Time: Wednesdays, 3:30-5:20 PM
IS-015-11, Backpacking Adventure
This course is only open to students who are attending the Pre-Orientation Adventure trip. Meet at Westmont and travel to Sequoia National Park to hike Mineral King. Mineral King (7,525-ft) is truly a special place. The gorgeous valley is tucked in the southeastern corner of Sequoia National Park at the head of the East Fork of the Kaweah River. An elongated cirque of peaks, towering over 11,000-ft., rise above the valley floor. Steep, scenic trails ascend from the valley to glistening lakes, beautiful alpine meadows and stunning passes with panoramic views.
Instructor: Telford Work
IS-015-12, Multi-Sport Adventure
This course is only open to students who are attending the Pre-Orientation Adventure trip. Includes 7 nights of camping, ropes course with high and low elements, belay clinic at UCSB Adventure Climbing Center, guided hikes and kayak tour, day of outdoor rock climbing, and a round-trip ferry to the Channel Islands National Park with a 3 day stay on Santa Cruz Island.
Instructor: Ronald See