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News

College Success Seminar: Helping new students succeed

September 01, 2016

College Success Seminar may not be for credit, but it may be one of the most important classes that every first-year Carthaginian takes. The 10-week, hour-long course is designed to help transition first-year and transfer students into Carthage. The class is taught by Carthage’s first-year advisors.

Students listen during class.“It’s like an extended orientation because there’s just so much information that we can’t fit in during the three days before classes start,” said First Year Advisor and Academic Support Specialist Kari Brownholland. “There are certain things that would fall on deaf ears if we talked about them when students first arrive. You can hear all about studying for midterms, but it’s another thing entirely when they’re actually coming up.”

The course teaches students certain skills that will help them in their Carthage career, and also lets them know about the resources available to them on campus. During the course, students tour Hedberg Library, hear from guest speakers from various campus offices like Career Services, and learn the importance of staying healthy and making good decisions.

While what’s taught in the class is obviously important, it’s the only class taught at Carthage where the curriculum isn’t the most important aspect of the class.

“The course allows us to have one hour every week to check in with students,” Ms. Brownholland said. “It’s a time for students to ask things they couldn’t ask their professors, and allows our advisors to see how a student is doing and help them out in any way they can.”

“Transitioning to Carthage is a big deal, whether you’re coming in from high school or transferring in from a different college. So I like to view this class as less of a class and more of a ‘cultural navigation’ of sorts.”