First-Year Program

Professor McGrath, Biology, Director

As part of its General Education curriculum, the University of the South encourages first-year students to gain exposure to a wide variety of course offerings, made available to them through an expansive range of academic departments and interdisciplinary programs. Currently only one course, however, an innovative offering titled “Discovering a Sense of Place — Upon and Beyond the Domain,” has thus far been approved for presentation (on trial basis through Advent 2014) under this discrete rubric of First-Year Program.

First-Year Program 100. Discovering a Sense of Place — Upon and Beyond the Domain
This interdisciplinary course invites first-year students to reflect upon several dimensions of their new living environment, both within and beyond the University’s extensive landbase of the Domain — and thereby to enlarge their intellectual and existential understanding of what a “sense of place” might mean in several diverse and ever-widening contexts. Touching eventually on global issues, the inquiry begins with study of the Domain’s natural features in conjunction with its built environment — including its associations with surrounding communities, its stories of settlement past and present, and its agricultural and resource assets. Much though not all of this field and community-linked exploration takes place in concentrated form during a special curricular session, set aside for first-years only, scheduled for two weeks prior to the start of the regular academic term. Further class sessions within the regular term will conclude before Thanksgiving. Some instruction takes place in plenary group sessions, linked to a common core of reading assignments. There is also a variable thematic coloring to each small-group section of the course. Individual instructors define the angle of emphasis relevant to their section, and students have some option to enroll in a section whose subtitle accords with their interests. (Credit, full course.) Staff