Academic Courses

As an incoming freshman, you will take classes within the First-Year Program that help you develop skills and perspectives that enhance your academic and personal experiences at Fisher. What you learn in these courses can easily be applied throughout your studies within your chosen major.

Freshman Seminar and Learning Community are taken in the fall semester, while Research-Based Writing is a spring semester offering.

Freshman Seminar (ITDY101)

Freshman Seminar is a 1-credit course that fosters academic success, personal growth, and career exploration. Designed as an orientation to college life, the class meets once a week, led by a Freshman Seminar leader, who also serves as your academic advisor over the course of your freshman year. The seminar leader is assisted by a current student acting as a peer advisor. Class discussions include issues such as personal wellness, community, diversity, goal-setting, study skills, time and stress management, and the ins-and-outs of successfully navigating the academic world of St. John Fisher College.

Learning Communities (LC)

In your Learning Community, faculty from two different academic disciplines teach two linked courses sharing a common theme, giving you the opportunity to learn about a topic from at least two perspectives. You will explore topics of social importance both in discussions and in writing. Past Learning Community topics have included, "Work in America," "The Fog of War," "YRU? Nature and Nurture in Human Development," "Living with Other Gods," and "Empowering the Powerless."

Learning Communities target writing, discussion, research, and group work skills as the first step in improving your ability to succeed in college. Since you will be meeting with the same group of students for both classes, you'll form close friendships that will complement the academic objectives of your first semester.

Research-based Writing (DEPT 199)

In this course, you will learn the basics of writing an academic research paper, with an emphasis on the research process, elements of persuasive argumentation, proper use and documentation of sources, integration of more than one perspective on an issue, and the revision process. You also will learn to make an effective oral presentation of your research.

You may choose to register for a 199 section in any department, regardless of your major. Past topics have included "Scientific Writing," "Literature and Politics," "Computers, Communication, and Culture," "Political Tolerance," and "African American Cinema." Check out 3690, Fisher's online journal of first-year student research writing, for examples of student writing.