In the Freshman Seminar program—a three-hour credit class that introduces students to college-level skills– students must write essays that involve more thinking and higher order writing skills than the sort of report writing that comprises a good deal of high school writing. In addition, in seminar students give major presentations, read and discuss material that presents real challenges every step of the way.
I often think that such a class comprises one of the significant ways that Bellarmine provides extra value for its students. Because these classes are small seminars of fifteen students, every student gets the opportunity to develop the speaking and presentation skills that will be so valuable to them in the future when such skills will enhance their job prospects and their leadership capacity once they land that first job out of college.
Whether our students graduate to employment or graduate education, the critical thinking and communication skills they develop in seminar will stay with them forever. Students who graduate from universities in which they’re in classes greater than about thirty never have such an opportunity to develop these speaking and leadership skills. If they’re one in a hundred or more in a class, they may never even meet the professor who teaches them.