History of Freshman Orientation/LIBA 100

In 1925-26, the college added a one-semester Freshman Orientation course that was required of all students.  In the next academic year, this was expanded to two semesters.  This course was soon replaced by a required first-year Contemporary Civilization course.

Between 1941-51, the faculty reintroduced a Freshman Orientation course required in the fall semester. At first, this was a one-credit class, but it was soon renamed Vocational Guidance and expanded to two-credits. The course description was:

1941-42 Catalog

In 1957, a one-semester, zero credit Freshman seminar course was once again required of freshman students.  By 1963, this had been renamed “Introduction to College” and remained part of the curriculum until 1970.

1967-69 Catalog

In 1988, the faculty decided a freshman course was needed again. This time, it was a one-credit course that met for the first half of the semester.  While each class had some similar elements such as an introduction to the library and study skills, each professor also chose a theme for his/her class. For instance, there were classes on Tolkien, art, artificial intelligence, and Christian discipleship. As with earlier freshman orientation courses, the hope was that this class would help new students integrate into the campus community.

1991-92 Catalog

By 2013, so many elements had been added to the Freshman Experience Seminar that it had become very difficult to complete these in a one-credit class.  Some also argued that students needed the connections and support of a full-semester class rather than one that was only six weeks. In light of these, the faculty began to design a new three-credit, full semester course that would introduce students to the history of the university and a liberal arts education along with ways of knowing and study skills.  Originally piloted in 2014, the course became a general education requirement for students in 2016.