Academics

First Year Studies

First-year students participate in a series of seminars in writing, reasoning, and religion, where students reflect on what it means to be an individual in today’s society and their responsibility for others. Students become part of a small group who come together to study, discuss, and explore these concepts of individual and community as part of the larger dialogue between faith and reason which is central to a Catholic liberal arts education. 

The First Year Seminars are three distinct yet connected courses:

FYS: Writing focuses on teaching students to read and write about the ways in which non-fiction expository and literary texts inform the study of nature of the human individual and the relation between the individual and community.

FYS: Reasoning focuses on teaching students skills of good reasoning by using selected passages about the human individual and the relation between the individual and community.

FYS: Religion focuses on the ways in which religious traditions, texts, and figures articulate the nature of the human individual and the relation between the individual and the community, drawing in particular on the Catholic theological tradition.

Distinctive Features

  • Summer Reading: The dialogues begin with a book to be read in anticipation of the Academic Convocation, held the day before classes open for the fall term.
  • The Academic Convocation: The event (comprising of a Convocation Mass, the investiture of the sophomore class, a guest speaker, and discussion groups) introduces first-year students to the nature of college education at Rivier.
  • Cohorts: Students will take each seminar in a cohesive group (the same 18 students will stay together in all three seminars).
  • The Reader: The seminars share a set of readings that help students and faculty explore the Catholic identity of the College's mission.
  • Dessert and Lecture: Once each term, students and faculty will gather in the evening for dessert and a lecture presented by of the faculty.

For more information, contact the First Year Studies program director, Paul Lizotte, at (603) 897-8267 or e-mail: plizotte@rivier.edu.

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