The First-Year Program

The First-Year Program is a significant part of the life of a first-year student at Trinity. It is designed to provide incoming first-year students with an introduction to Trinity’s intellectually challenging academic experience. Emphasis is placed on making a successful transition from a high school to a college mindset and to a lifelong habit of learning.

All first-year students are required to enroll in a first-year seminar or apply to be a part of one of the non-major Gateway curricular programs: the Guided Studies in Western Civilization Program, the Cities Program, the Interdisciplinary Science Program, the InterArts Program, or the Genomics Research Program. The First-Year Seminars and Gateway/Special Programs are academically rigorous, limited in size, and designed to enhance the new student’s abilities in:

First-Year Program faculty members represent a wide range of disciplines and departments at the College. First-Year faculty members share a commitment to work closely with new students in order to help them begin rewarding academic careers. A First-Year Seminar or Gateway/Special Program professor also serves as the student’s primary academic adviser until the student declares a major (usually during the second semester of the sophomore year). The aim is to give students consistent academic guidance during their first two years in college.

Each first-year seminar or Gateway/Special Program class is assigned a mentor, an upper-class student with a superior academic record who works as a liaison between students and faculty. The mentor often assists the faculty member in shaping the class and simultaneously explores the seminar topic along with the first-year students. Mentors also help connect first-year students with the many resources of the academic community at Trinity. They also provide assistance such as reading drafts of papers, offering study sessions, and bringing enthusiastic moral support, as needed.

(See First-Year Seminars, p. 244, and Advising, p. 69.)