The First Seminar is a small seminar-style class that all entering first-year students take during their first semester at TCNJ. The course enables students to work closely with a professor and their fellow students on a topic of your choosing outside of your major. It offers students an opportunity to engage in an intellectually exciting and challenging experience at the beginning of their college careers. They live in the residence halls with the other members of their FSP course as a living-learning community.
The FSP is a stand-alone requirement within the Liberal Learning Program; it does not count toward fulfillment of major requirements, but may satisfy one of the Civic Responsibilities.
Each year, the Cultural and Intellectual Community Council (CICC) selects the intellectual theme for that year and funds related programming during the academic year.
All incoming first-year students participate in the Summer Reading Program. Over the summer, students will read the book selected for this year, respond in an online discussion to three prompts, and comment on the responses of three other students from their FSP class. On the last day of Welcome Week on the Monday before the first day of classes, students participate with your FSP classmates in a face-to-face discussion led by a faculty, staff, or administrator. This activity introduces students to college-level discussion of ideas and civil discourse.
Early in the Fall Semester, the author of the book comes to speak on campus, and throughout the year, faculty, staff, and students from around the college will present speakers, film series, performances, and other events related to the theme of the book.
Information literacy is measured by students’ ability to determine the need for and gain access to information, as well as to develop the means of evaluating and using it with proficiency. It is accomplished through an on-line, non-credit course administered by the library staff (IDS 102). Students must meet this proficiency prior to graduation, but are encouraged to do so as early as possible.
Students’ ability to demonstrate well-developed, confident identities as good writers is accomplished through completion of: WRI 102/Academic Writing; First Seminar; a second or third year writing intensive course in the major or liberal learning; and a capstone or other fourth year writing intensive course in the major.
All incoming students for Fall 2019 are required to take the Writing Placement test to determine whether or not they need to take WRI 102. The score on the Writing Placement test will determine placement in WRI 102 for students who score below the following thresholds for SAT, ACT or AP scores:
- SAT scores of at least 600 in Math and 640 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; OR
- An ACT composite score or 26 or higher; OR
- An AP score of 4 or higher in English Literature, English Composition, US History, or World History.
For students scoring above these thresholds, placement will depend on the Writing Placement test score and the SAT, ACT, or AP score.
Achieving speaking proficiency is measured by students’ ability to demonstrate well-developed, confident identities as good speakers, and is the responsibility of each major program.
Proficiency in a second language enables students to access perspectives and information from communities other than their own. Only those in departments and programs in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and selected programs in the Schools of Arts and Communication; Business; and Science currently have a second language requirement. Second language proficiency is met by completing the third introductory course, or testing out of it.