Teaching a First-Year Seminar

The First-Year Seminar Program welcomes students to Mount Holyoke College, inviting them to join in the pleasure of an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts. In these small, discussion-based seminars, students work with faculty to achieve the first learning goal of the Mount Holyoke curriculum, which will form the foundation for their education here: the ability to think analytically and critically by questioning assumptions, evaluating evidence, and articulating well-reasoned arguments. All First Year Seminar are also Writing-Intensive.

We offer more than 30 courses each Fall, across every division of the College. A more limited selection is offered in the Spring. All First-Year Seminar courses are taught Tuesday/Thursday, at either 10:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.

This required course is limited to new students and is taken in the very first semester of a student’s time at MHC. Those entering post-first-year, as transfer students or as Frances Perkins scholars, are exempt from the requirement if they are transferring in with sophomore status or higher.

Benefits of teaching in the First Year Seminar program

  • Help students develop into the learners you want to teach
  • Collaborate with colleagues across the College
  • Dedicated faculty development and class activity funding opportunities
  • Guaranteed SAW mentor

What does Writing-Intensive mean in a First Year Seminar?

  • The process of writing in English is a significant focus of the course
  • There are frequent opportunities for writing (usually at least 15 pages over the course of the semester in at least 4 assignments or stages of a larger project)
  • Students have opportunities to draft, receive comments, and revise writing, as well as opportunities to reflect of their writing process and progress
  • Students are expected to meet individually with their professor or SAW mentor—ideally both—for further discussion of their development as writers

For more information, please contact Liz Markovits, Director of the First Year Seminar Program.