The First-Year Seminars at Trinity date to the late 1960s, when they were among the first to be offered at any liberal arts college. Our first-year seminars are small, discussion-rich classes where students and their professor engage one another and wrestle intellectually with a topic. Driven by a faculty member’s passion for a subject, the seminars cultivate curiosity, introducing first-year students to academic habits of mind. Students practice critical reading and analysis, use writing as a mode of learning, and develop essential skills in research and documentation. Writing in a first-year seminar occurs regularly, takes various forms, and improves by means of revision and feedback. The intimacy of a first-year seminar prepares students for becoming active participants in their own learning, fostering the capacity to communicate effectively and collaboratively.

Related First-Year Programs

First-Year Mentors: Helping Students Find Their Place

Emily Wickles ’20 reflects on her experience in the First-Year Seminar Program as a mentor to 15 new Trinity students. “Mentee-mentor relationships do not and should not stop after the seminar is over. These relationships are indicative of a greater mentoring culture at Trinity,” she says.


First-Year Seminar Program

Leo Schuchert Associate Director of Academic Experiences
Dean of Faculty's Office
231 Williams Memorial