All FYE courses include a weekly synthesis seminar (FYES 101)
Please refer to MyCharleston for most up-to-date course openings. View instructions on how to register/look up FYE courses on our How to Register page.
- Archaeology: Where the Present Meets the Past (CLAS104/ANTH202)
- Life, the Universe, and Writing about Everything (BIOL112/ENGL110)
- Engaging Charleston (ENGL190/POLI150)
- Visual Culture in a Connected World (FYSM103)
- Biology of Sex and Gender (FYSM109)
- Citizenship: Ancient and Modern (FYSM113)
- What Does Google Know? (FYSM117)
- Improving Decisions for a Lifetime of Well Being (FYSM120)
- Monsters and Monstrosity (FYSM123)
- Literature and Film of the American West (FYSM125)
- The Scientist in Society (FYSM125)
- Visual Identity (FYSM126)
- Special O.P.S. Therapy Tactics (FYSM126)
- Earth Detectives (FYSM130)
- A Window into Russia (FYSM133)
- Opportunities and Challenges in Medicine and Allied Health (FYSM134)
- Living the Good Life (FYSM138)
- Remembering Conflict, Seeking Justice (FYSM143)
- Technology and the Modern Enterprise (FYSM148)
- Relationships and Mental Health (FYSM158)
- The Virtuous Life: Religion and Ethics (FYSM160)
- Religion, Food, and Food Ethics (FYSM161)
- Sociology of Peace (FYSM162)
- Economics of Globalization (FYSM174)
- Crossing Borders: People and Places in the Era of Globalization (FYSM176)
Archaeology: Where the Present Meets the Past
CLAS 104: Intro to Classical Archaeology & ANTH 202: Intro to Archaeology
CRNs: 23810 & 23812 & 23808
TR 1:40-2:55pm & MW 2:00-3:15pm & FYES 101: M 1:00-1:50pm
James Newhard & Maureen Hays
3 humanities & 3 social science credits
How do real archaeologists go about reconstructing past societies? What are the tools of their trade, and how do they use them? How do they go about combining data from different sources to paint a picture of the past? This learning community will answer these questions and many others. ANTH 202 (Introduction to Archaeology) covers methodological techniques while introducing you to prehistoric cultures. CLAS 104 (Introduction to Classical Archaeology) investigates the history, traditions, and methods behind classical archaeology, delving into why and how the remains of these cultures continue to captivate western society.
Life, the Universe, and Writing about Everything
BIOL 112: Evolution, Form, and Function of Organisms & ENGL 110: Intro to Academic Writing
CRNs: 20177 & 22334 (lab) & 23817 & 23818
TR 3:05-4:20pm & M 1:31-4:30pm (Lab) & TR 12:15-1:30pm, R 1:40-2:30pm & FYES 101: W 3:00-3:50pm
Melissa Hughes & John Warner
4 natural science & 4 English credits
Want to know the secrets to life, the universe, and everything? Study Biology. (Okay, the universe stuff is more physics, but you get the idea.) Want to learn how to take your own observations and turn them into knowledge? Study writing. Want to do both of these at the same time? Try this Learning Community Course that pairs the majors’ introductory biology sequence (BIOL 112) with the required academic writing course (ENGL 110). You’ll learn to ask questions of the living world and explore your answers in both formal and informal writing assignments while killing two required birds with a single stone. (Metaphorically speaking. Biologists do not approve of killing birds with stones.)
Engaging Charleston (2 sections)
ENGL 190: Special Topic & POLI 150: Intro to Political Thought
CRNs: 23800 & 23806 & 23804
MWF 11:00-11:50am & MWF 10:00-10:50am & FYES 101: T 12:30-1:20pm
CRNs: 23819 & 23820 & 23821
MWF 11:00-11:50am & MWF 10:00-10:50am & FYES 101: R 12:30-1:20pm
Joe Kelly & Claire Curtis
3 humanities & 3 social science credits
How is it that we manage to live side by side with total strangers? Did you ever wonder why we're not strangling each other all the time? These courses combine the study of the two oldest and most complex of human technologies, politics and cities, to figure out how human beings organize themselves. Ride the buses, chart the neighborhoods, study the streets even as you learn the theories that underpin it all. You'll learn to read in the concrete walls, roads, and buildings the ideas of political thinkers from Plato to Hobbes to Marx and the present day. Three hundred and forty years old, the gem of a pre-modern feudal society, the African portal to North America, a nexus of the Atlantic World, Charleston cherished Enlightenment ideals even as it shackled the nation to slavery. In this class you’ll study Charleston’s structures, its people, and history, alongside those who have struggled to find answers about justice, equality and freedom.
Our culture is becoming increasingly saturated with visual media every day. The dividing lines between fine art, pop culture, and science are becoming blurred, as are the definitions of local, regional, and global culture. This First Year Experience seminar will explore and decode the visual culture that surrounds us by examining every day "texts" (images, film, television, video, advertisements, art) found in the media and on the Internet. Students will be introduced to key digital fluency skills required to become active participants in their culture rather than just passive consumers. The seminar introduces key theories on visual culture, examining social and economic impacts of technology and exploring ethical issues, such as privacy and censorship. Students will develop an understanding of the ideological contexts within which visual culture is produced and interacted with in daily life. Experimentation and creativity will be highly valued in this seminar.
Sex-changing fish, all-female lizards, and bisexual flowers, oh my! It turns out that there’s a lot more to sex in the natural world than just “the birds and the bees.” What can sexual diversity in other organisms teach us about human sex and gender? In this course, we will explore the diversity of approaches to reproduction and sexuality found throughout biology, from single-celled organisms to complex plants and animals. How and why did sexual reproduction evolve? What does it mean, biologically speaking, to be male or female? Is it possible to have more than two sexes? What determines whether an individual turtle, honeybee or human becomes male or female? Are females really the gentler sex? Appreciating the tremendous biological diversity in sexuality will help us to critically examine biology as a way to understand human sex and gender. To what extent are gender stereotypes based on real biological differences? Is there a biological basis for human sexuality? When it comes to sex and gender in humans, what is natural and does “nature” matter?
What can the Greeks and the Romans teach us about how we should participate in the political life of our community, state, and nation? What issues should we consider in casting our votes? How should we treat our fellow citizens, especially those with whom we strongly disagree? These are just a few of the questions that we will consider as we spend time with some of the most important thinkers in the history of the world: Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, and others. This course will survey how classical history and literature influenced modern political thought and will return to the intellectual roots of Western civilization.
What Does Google Know? (2 Sections)
CRNs: 23753 & 23766
MWF 9:00-9:00am & FYES 101: F 12:00-12:50pm
CRNs: 23754 & 23767
MWF 12:00-12:50pm & FYES 101: M 3:00-3:50pm
3 elective credits
Students in this course for all majors will examine the disruptive technologies that have shaped the 21st century and explore their context in the global environment of business, government, economy, and infrastructure. Through interactive labs students will gain an understanding of the basic principles underlying today’s technologies and survey today’s most powerful and useful emerging technologies. Issues covered include the impact of digital technologies on local and global culture and the ethical dilemmas that arise. Through discussions and group projects, students will discover how the seismic shifts in the "flattening world" have positive and negative impacts personally, locally, nationally and internationally.
This course is an introduction to financial management concepts. Topics include money management, investment fundamentals, budgeting and an introduction to consumer credit. An emphasis will be placed on financial goal setting with a view toward personal values and the effect of financial choices on quality of life. In addition, we will consider these topics while contemplating the impact of cultural, societal and emotional influences on financial behavior.
Monsters and Monstrosity
CRNs: 24497 & 23771
MWF 2:00-2:50pm & FYES 101: R 1:40-2:30pm
Kathy Beres Rogers
3 humanities credits
Did you ever wonder why monsters have pervaded popular culture since the middle ages (and probably earlier)? What does it mean to be monstrous, and why have we clung so tightly to this category? This course will examine the ideas of monsters and of monstrosity by reading texts such as Beowulf, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Christine Sparks's The Elephant Man, Richard Matheson's I am Legend, and sections of Robert Kirkman/ Charlie Adlard's The Walking Dead. We will supplement these readings with a few disability studies articles that consider questions of disability and difference. In the end, is it the monsters or society that is "monstrous?"
Everyone knows the props and territory of the classic American Western. These lonely men on horseback, with hats and guns, are part our national DNA. Throw in a cast of characters (cowboys and Indians, farmers and cowhands, good women and rowdy men, sheriffs ad desperadoes), and the pieces of the American epic drama fall into place. This course will examine the Western myth in fiction and film and trace modern retellings and challenges. Specifically, we’ll consider how classic Western narratives rewrite the national fantasy of escape and regeneration; and we’ll listen for the voices of those who are left out of the fantasy. The New West is an exciting, multi-ethnic contact zone where new myths are being dreamed.
This seminar asks future science majors how scientists should function in their communities. Topics include death/dying issues, the nature of scientific thought, and the social responsibilities of scientists. We focus on how to find and assess information, how to put ideas into written form, and how to rewrite effectively. Students who have taken an earlier version of this course have found it very useful in preparing for future allied health careers.
Express yourself! Images are powerful tools that can help you depict your identity. This course will research self-identity through art making, video journals, and narrative writing. Students will explore past, present, and future selves through their culture, influences, and aspirations. Weekly video journal entries will lead to the discovery of each stage of identity, accompanied by the creation of an original work of art and narrative. The final project will be an iMovie that uses both the artwork and video journal entries to express the students’ visual identity. Non-Art majors are encouraged to register.
Special O.P.S. Therapy Tactics course is designed to provide students interested in pursuing a degree in occupational & physical therapy as well as teacher education, with the knowledge and skills to design & implement movement experiences to enhance children’s physical, social and emotional development. Students will participate in an aquatic and motor clinic putting theory to practice teaching young children in a therapy setting.
Did you ever wonder how mountains came to be? Where oil comes from? Did you ever consider if we are actually going to run out of oil? Or if global climate change is real? In this course you will use forensic style geology techniques to look at geologic evidence and answer these and many more questions. Topics will vary from volcanoes to water resources and you will have the opportunity to not only use real evidence to answer these questions, but also to direct the path of the course by raising questions of your own. A mixture of lecture, discussion, and hands-on activities, you, as students in Earth Detectives, will be expected to be active and engaged in this exciting class that includes a field trip to a Charleston graveyard! Because lab is an integrated part of this class, you will have the opportunity to explore something in lecture/discussion and then take the time to really examine the evidence and perform experiments in lab. This course counts as a GEOL 103/103L equivalent and if GEOL 105/105L is taken afterwards, the sequence will count for the general education science requirement.
Do you think you know Russia? Think again. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world has only begun to glimpse Russia’s rich history and extraordinary culture. “A Window into Russia” leads you through 1200 years to the present in a sweeping survey of Russia’s major historical turning points and figures, with special insight into the worlds of literature, art, music, and dance. You have never seen Russia—the real Russia—like this, and you will never think of it in the same way. Come travel with us as we explore one of the world’s most dynamic and intriguing cultures.
This course will introduce students to professional opportunities within the medical and allied health fields, expose students to basic terminology, psychomotor skills, and current issues/challenges facing health-care professionals. Students will be exposed to the spirit of volunteerism exhibited by health care providers through service learning alongside these providers and they will participate in on-campus lectures presented by health care providers similar to continuing education required by most health professions. Students will ascertain the professional attitudes and attributes of medical and allied health professionals through one on one observation and interaction.
“What should I do with my life?” “ Is happiness important?” “ What makes a life worth living?” All of these questions have been asked, and answered, over the course of western civilization. The answers, though, often have differed radically across time and space. We will read and discuss some answers to the question, “What is the Good Life?” from ancient Greece to the present. Looking at texts as varied as Vergil’s Aeneid, Cicero’s On The Good Life, Einhard’s The Life ofCharlemagne, Gawain and the Green Knight, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, we will read about engaged lives and contemplative lives, heroic lives and quiet lives, religious lives, questioning lives, and questing lives. Some weeks you’ll be puzzled. Some will find you angered. Some might even confirm your beliefs. All weeks, though, you’ll be interested. No worries - it’s all good.
Remembering Conflict, Seeking Justice (2 sections)
CRNs: 23790 & 23791
TR 9:25-10:40am & FYES 101: M 11:00-11:50am
CRNs: 23792 & 23793
TR 10:50am-12:05pm & FYES 101: M 12:00-12:50pm
3 elective credits
This course will examine how societies have rebuilt in the wake of genocide and civil war. Looking at testimonies of survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders, we will look at how genocides came to be remembered. We will also consider the vexed question of achieving justice for the victims. By considering how the world has responded to genocides and crimes against humanity since the Holocaust, we will come to understand how contemporary discussions, such as the responses to the current civil war in Syria, have been shaped by a century of genocide and civil war throughout the world.
Technology and the Modern Enterprise (2 sections)
CRNs: 23772 & 23774
MWF 1:00-1:50pm & FYES 101: T 10:50-11:40am
CRNs: 23776 & 23777
MWF 2:00-2:50pm & FYES 101: R 10:50-11:40am
3 elective credits
Is Facebook really worth $15 billion? The intersection where web technology and business meet is both terrifying and exhilarating. But if you are under the age of thirty, realize that this is your space. While the fortunes of any individual or firm rise and fall over time, it’s abundantly clear that many of the world’s most successful technology firms were created by young people. Students in this business course will learn how emerging management information systems are applied for competitive advantage, and used to enhance other business disciplines such as marketing, accounting, finance, and operations.
We will explore how our relationships (how we think about each other and how we relate with one another) influence and are influenced by our mental health and how we adjust to transitions. We will pay particular attention to family relationships, romantic love relationships, and friendships. How do these social ties influence anxiety and depression? How do these relationships influence resiliency and happiness? Studying the intersection of social psychology and clinical psychology will help us answer these questions.
What are “Christian values?" What are the ethical obligations of Muslims? What are the stories of Hinduism’s “heroes” that exemplify living a noble and virtuous life? This course will explore these and many other questions and issues raised within a comparative study of religious ethics.
All Homo sapiens require fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Yet how the food items that supply these nutrients are produced, consumed, traded, and culturally understood vary greatly. This course explores some of the various ritual, symbolic, institutional, legal, and ethical understandings of food that humans have developed. The exploration begins 20,000 years ago and culminates by exploring contemporary sustainable food issues, with the uniting factor of the course being the element of religion. Specific topics the course explores include how food acts as a marker of status, how it encodes boundaries, how it is used to communicate with supernatural agents, how it structures gender, and how it acts as a mirror where humans reflect upon their own concepts of self in regards to the more-than-human world.
Sociology of Peace (2 sections)
CRNs: 23798 & 23799
MWF 12:00-12:50pm & FYES 101: T 1:40-2:30pm
CRNs: 23801 & 23802
MWF 11:00-11:50am & FYES 101: W 1:00-1:50pm
3 social sciences credits
Sociology of Peace is a course that sees the world through a sociological lens as students discover the making of a Culture of Peace. This class focuses on questions of “why war,” non -violent strategies, sustainability, inter-cultural cooperation, caring economics, and community peace-building with a global focus. This class is very hands on, as students will be taking their “knowledge and skills,” directly into the community with projects highlighting conflict resolution and peaceful collaboration.
Economic globalization touches many aspects of our lives. Ever wonder if the fair trade coffee or fruit that you buy at the store really helps poor farmers? Does China’s economic rise mean that jobs will continue to leave the US? Ever wonder how far the materials that we use every day have to travel and through what political hurtles they have to go through? This seminar introduces topics surrounding economic globalization and will examine globalization’s effects on domestic economies and policies, labor markets, production, and on the environment.
What is the nature of geographic, economic, political and cultural borders that divide the world today? What can a look at different types of borders teach us about how people and places are connected by global issues such as conflict, environmental problems, migration and trade? We will consider these issues and take a look at various world regions and how they are affected by and coping with the effects of globalization. In the process, you should find yourselves realizing that life elsewhere poses some challenges which are unique to those places, but also that people in other parts of the world share many of the same anxieties, hopes and aspirations as you do.