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The First-Year Program

In your first year at Elizabethtown College, you will embark on a common learning experience with others in your incoming class. The First-Year Program (FYP) has two components: First-Year Seminar and First-Year Advising.

First-Year Seminar (4 credits)

This interdisciplinary educational experience develops skills of critical thinking and writing and broadens definitions of learning. The course is a serious academic one, and it is topical in nature, meaning that each seminar has its own emphasis. Our faculty members teach seminars on subjects of passionate interest to them, but no seminar is grounded in a particular major. This is all part of Elizabethtown's commitment to a liberal arts education. We want our students to become well-rounded scholars.

Each seminar also includes out-of-class learning experiences, which will expose you to educational opportunities and cultural events on campus and, in many cases, beyond Elizabethtown as well. In recent years, students have attended plays, lectures, art exhibits, and film screenings. Some instructors have taken their students to museums in Philadelphia and Washington and even hiked the Appalachian Trail. The possibilities are endless!

As part of your orientation paperwork, you will select your top ten seminars from a list of more than thirty courses. Most students who submit on time received one of their top three choices! Each seminar is capped at fifteen students, allowing you to develop close relationships with your instructor and peers.

First-Year Advising

The second component of the First-Year Program is advising. Your seminar instructor will be your official advisor for the year. Once you declare a major, you will be paired with a faculty mentor in your discipline.

Letter from Dean of the FYP

Now that you know a little bit about the First-Year Program, maybe I should tell you a bit about me. I am an associate professor of history specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France and teaching broadly in modern European, Middle Eastern, and North African history. I find the interactions I have with students to be both rewarding and uplifting. Elizabethtown is a special place. It is all about relationships. You definitely are NOT a number here at Elizabethtown! You will forge amazing relationships with your professors, staff leaders, student peers, resident assistants, and athletic coaches that will last a lifetime.

The education you receive at Elizabethtown will endow you with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to compete with the best of the best in your chosen field. The First-Year Program you will complete in the fall will provide the necessary structure and support to excel in anything to which you put your mind. The First-Year instructors/advisors will stimulate your curiosity and passion for learning, while providing the necessary guidance to make the transition from high school to college seamless. Our hope is that your experience in the First-Year Program will set the tone for a rewarding and successful college experience at Elizabethtown College as well as a lifetime of learning. Welcome aboard, we're happy you've selected Elizabethtown for the next chapter of your life!

Dr. Brian Newsome
Assistant Dean for General Education and Assessment
Associate Professor of History
Co-editor, Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques


Introducing the Sophomore Year Experience!

The NEW Sophomore Year Experience will kick off in the KAV at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2014 with a dinner, keynote speaker, break-out sessions and the distribution of the NEW sophomore-year student advising handbook.

Elizabethtown College