UCCP 1101/1102, First-Year Seminar I/II, is an important part of the first-year experience at TAMUCC. The first-year learning communities—and especially the Seminars—are designed to help students achieve success, academically and socially, as they make the transition from high school to the university. The teachers in each learning community invest considerable time and energy developing and scheduling shared assignments and activities, choosing readings, and developing connections among their courses. The work students do in Seminar is related to the work in other learning community courses, and often the grade students earn for work in one course will count in the others, too. Seminar professors attend the lecture course(s) in the learning community, and (in Liberal Arts learning communities) they will also grade the work done in the lecture course, in addition to evaluating the work completed for Seminar itself.
First-Year Seminar challenges students to engage in significant learning in college-level intellectual work. Taking advantage of the small-class environment of 20-25 per section, students discuss and write about the readings/topics from the other linked courses. Students develop their skills to work productively in small groups. To develop critical thinking skills and information literacy, students learn how to examine problems and questions from multiple perspectives.
In addition to the focus on academic achievement, Seminar focuses on other aspects of the successful transition to college life. Students learn about the wide range of resources available to meet their needs academically and socially, as well as the many opportunities they have to participate in student activities. Most importantly, students learn about and develop skills that will help them succeed during their transition to life as an Islander.