The present, Spring 2011, issue of Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge includes nine UMass Boston undergraduate student papers: seven from two sections of the first year seminar, Soc.
In his "Penning the Sociological Imagination: Writing about My Struggles with Writing," first year seminar student Thanh D.
Rivas, another first year seminar student, in her "The Race Against Oneself: Opening Up to Overachievement Using A Sociological Imagination," explores her experience growing up as an overachiever.
Sociological Self-Explorations of An Aspiring Realist," first year seminar student Ryan J.
First year seminar student Michaela Volpe studies her struggles with body self-image in her article entitled "Beyond A Lifetime of Comparison: A Sociological Self-Exploration of Body Image obsession." Reflecting on the relevance of Herbert Blumer's concept of "joint action," Volpe insightfully writes: "What we perceive as a normal value or action is only because we believe in the collective action of our culture.
In "An Exploration of the X-Rated World and Its Related Consequences," first year seminar student Rose Bautista (pen name) explores "how our bodies influence our genders and that our genders shape our sexuality and finally how we interact with the opposite sex" (p.
We develop this perspective through a description and analysis of a first year seminar
called "Making a Difference." We explore the non-academic, action-oriented expectations that students brought to the course, and describe the challenges to these expectations that emerged as students realized that the course entailed a significant academic component.
Research also supports the positive impact of first year seminars on at risk students.
For decades summer bridge programs and first year seminar courses have been designed by many higher education institutions to assist incoming college students' transition to college, mitigate the sense of fear of the unknown, increase persistence and address some of the other barriers to college success (Sabian, 2014).
Since the counselor is also the instructor of the students' first year seminar, they can also address the students' needs in the course.
SEEK's first year seminar course is not just a college readiness course, but a 3-credit bearing General Education course that meets the college's 100 level Justice Core.