New first-year seminar at CCAC

Bill Bailey, North Campus Staff

CCAC has made the decision to add a new mandatory class for all incoming first-year students. The course is designed as an introduction to college that will help students make connections early and teach skills that are deemed valuable in a college environment. It can be found as SEM-105. The class is considered a seminar-based course, and will be geared towards students who are coming in new to college.

The course itself can be broken into three main areas; setting up a career path, development of an academic plan, and how to navigate resources. This will give students the opportunity to learn how to use and access all the resources that CCAC provides, giving students a practical availability to the resources that the college can offer.

Two credits are given for taking and passing the course. It’s a full length course, meaning it’s 16 weeks long. The class is one hour long twice a week, or it can be taken online. All first-time college students must take the class within their first nine credits at CCAC. However, if a student transfers with 15 or more credits from their previous school, or if they are coming to CCAC for nursing, an apprenticeship, or trades, there will be exceptions set for each of these circumstances.

Lynn Super, an academic adviser at CCAC, offers help with understanding the basics of the course. “This kind of thing is important at community colleges because they can miss those connections,” says Super. “Students work, and have other responsibilities.”

“It does have the cost of two credits,” says Super. “But I see it as a benefit for students in making early connections with many of the affiliations that the college offers, and it’s found that students are more likely successful with these programs.” Looking at other colleges, such as West Virginia University and Slippery Rock University, have similar programs to this and they credit student success to the programs. 

“Advisers should present it as a part of starting school, and it will be based a lot in the presentation of the class to incoming students,” says Super.

An anonymous student said,  “I understand the practicality of a class like this, but I don’t feel the need for a class like this to be mandatory. While people may like to take the class, some would just have to worry about the extra costs, I think.”

Given that similar classes have sparked student success across the country, the general emotion from staff at CCAC is that this class will benefit students across the board in terms of academic careers.