First-Year Seminar Mission and Goals

The First-Year Seminar Program is a Middlebury's gateway to education in the liberal arts, using intensive engagement between professors and small groups of students to facilitate an intellectual transition from high school to college.   Taught by Middlebury College faculty members who also serve as students' academic advisers, First-Year Seminars encourage students to be active participants in their own learning.  Seminars also provide the opportunity for students to begin to acquire the writing and speaking skills that enable them to perform high quality, independent work throughout College and beyond.  


In 2014, four broad, interconnected learning goals were suggested by the ad hoc committee on the First Year Seminar program: 

1. To Learn what is expected intellectually and ethically for college level work in the liberal arts;

2. to develop skills, both written and oral, in observation, analysis, research, argumentation, and the use of scholarly sources;

3. to engage seriously with a scholarly topic (the topic to which one's seminar is devoted);

4. to become (with the help of advising) active in exploring academic and professional goals, and to find rewarding ways to participate in intellectual life in the liberal arts.






Note:  the goals listed above have not been approved by the Educational Affairs Committee or the full faculty.  Currently, they are suggested, not required, of instructors.