Freshman Experience

Freshman Year Experience

Dr. Jeffrey Adams, Associate Provost at Millersville University, explains the purpose of the First Year Inquiry Course and the Exploratory Living/Learning Community.

The Millersville Marauder welcomes you to the program to discuss the Freshman Year Experience, including Housing and the Inquiry Course.

Zack on changing majors and freshman success

Freshman Housing

Millersville University has designated part of a residence hall as housing for Exploratory Students. Special programming will be available in the hall to aid Exploratory Students in their adjustment to college life and in their search for a major. In addition, specially trained peer mentors (upper classmen/women) will be available in the residence hall to support these students. For more information about this special living arrangement, call Resident Life at (717) 872-3162 or visit Harbold Hall.

Freshman Inquiry Course

In conjunction with the Freshman Residence Hall, each student will be assigned to a special Freshman Inquiry Course (UNIV 103). This course is designed to cover a wide variety of topics, many of which are essential to students' success. Each section of the seminar will be taught by a trained faculty member who may also serve as an advisor to those students in their section. If their seminar professor is not their advisor, then the student will be assigned to an advisor trained to work with Exploratory Students.  The job of this advisor is to provide aid in course selection and in helping the student decide on a major. For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Adams, Associate Provost at (717) 872-3703.

Dr. Dan O'Neill discusses his role as professor and adviser for a UNIV 103 Seminar course

Kelsey reflects on her first year experience

Jared reflects upon his first year experience


The following are examples of First Year Inquiry Seminars offered:

A Different View: How Can We Change the World?

Students will participate in a United Nations Simulation with teams from other universities throughout the world, each representing a different country. Millersville’s team will represent Spain. The semester begins with an in-depth study of Spain, its history and its culture; past civilization and how it informs its present-day civilization; its politics and foreign policy. Students, working in teams, will investigate some of the major problems facing the United Nations, such as world health, the global environment, terrorism, conflict resolution, the refugee problem, and world trade. Students will then enter the negotiation and decision-making phase through interactions with teams from other universities using the ICONSnet online communication system via messaging, conferences, writing and considering proposals.

Biodiversity and the Sixth Great Extinction

This seminar will introduce students to biodiversity, an exciting current global issue, by providing the biological and geological background to understand it, introducing the actions that humans are taking to prevent losses of biodiversity, and to allow freedom to choose examples of different concepts to present to the class. Human actions are reducing biodiversity which includes species diversity (number of species), genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. Scientists have coined the accelerating loss of biodiversity as the "sixth great extinction," since the present estimated extinction rate is similar to the five previous great extinctions know from fossil records. The fifth resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs. This course will provide background on biodiversity, analyze how humans impact biodiversity and consider how humans can restore and prevent biodiversity losses.

Homes and Homelessness

What is a "home?" What elements—both physical and psychological - make up the experience of home? How does one come to feel "at home" in a new place? In contrast…what are the social/emotional, economic and psychological consequences of being without a home? Who are the homeless? Why are people homeless? In this course we will attempt to answer these and other questions by studying the concepts and realities of "home" and "homelessness." The course will also offer a service learning opportunity as students investigate the problem of homelessness here in Lancaster County.

The Greek World

Where did this whole idea of "Liberal Arts Education" come from anyway? Does it work? What am I supposed to learn? Was Troy real? And did all 300 really die the way the movie says? Find out the answers to these and other questions in the FYE about the world of the Greeks. Not only is this ancient culture fascinating to learn about, it was the beginning of the whole way that our modern Western culture thinks about the development of the human mind. By reading Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and Sophocles, students will begin to appreciate the values of a Liberal Arts Education. Then students will be able to explore how to use this knowledge to help achieve their own life goals.

The Call of Service: A Force for Social Change

Serving vs. being served? Students in this course will obtain knowledge of the role of service in American democratic society. How to make profound social change as demonstrated by the disability rights and emerging civil rights movements is explored. Developing skills useful as vehicles for change  can assist many vocations such as teachers, social workers, business people and engineers, and to see how personal power can be conducive to being a member of a democratic society. (Be aware, this LC requires at least one Saturday class time 8:00am - 4:30pm).

The Search for an Identity: The Puerto Rican Experience

As a territory of the United States, the island of Puerto Rico, and those born there, are citizens of the U.S. But for those that live in the United States are they Puerto Rican Americans or American Puerto Ricans? Immigrants or migrants? The search for an identity will involve addressing these, and other themes in the study and analysis of the history and culture of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. and their migration from the island.

Ethnic Studies: A Focus on African American and Latino Experiences

Social, cultural, ethnic, religious, social class, and gender inequalities combine to describe the historical, social, political, and cultural events that contribute to African American and Latino experiences at the beginning and end of the 20th century. Students in this class will look at these experiences to understand and explain the significance of African American and Latino contributions to the United States.

Culture, Science And Mathematics in the Pre-columbian Americas

An introduction to the study of the Pre-Columbian Americas, part of the broad interdisciplinary field of Native American Studies. The emphasis will be on the role that science and mathematics played in the culture of these indigenous groups (including the Aztec, Incan, Mayan and other Native American groups). The course will explore the Pre-Columbian world through the eyes of our ancestors, as well as through our classmates. Special attention to the science of archaeoastronomy and mathematics in which all of the great cultures of antiquity have left a mark.

Scientific Revolution

The world is a complex place where discussion about science and the scientific enterprise are part of mainstream media and public discourse from the dinner table to political rallies. Our understanding of global hot button issues such as fuel consumption, food consumption, or global warming, are all based on scientific facts and data. Without an understanding of what science is and how science is practiced, it becomes difficult to distinguish between good science and good propaganda. This course will engage students in the ethical and policy debates associated with these and many other issues. By studying scientific revolutions in a historical context students will better understand the way both technology and society influence the development and acceptance of scientific ideas.

Telling Your Story

Telling Your Story provides students a broad understand of narrative practices, including how they are constructed, how we act upon them, how they act upon us, and how we employ them in every aspect of our daily lives. Students will also experiment with the techniques/theories they have studied to write stories of their own lives.

Political Engagement, Citizenship & Communication

This seminar is designed to provide students with an understanding of the importance of political awareness, citizenship and how best to communicate with key communities. The course will focus upon the interdependent role of individuals, policymakers, and media in political processes. Students will be able to: understand how to professionally communicate with policymakers are the local, state and/or national levels, identifying the significance of political awareness and civic participation in the election and non-election years, more effectively participate in and communicate about issues important to various communities, recognize the outcomes of nonparticipation in community issues, and understand the importance of civic engagement to lifelong learning.