Should university seminar be changed?



Samantha Hirschman | Assistant News Co-Editor

University Seminar is offered to help students “transition to life within a learning community, and to facilitate understanding of the privileges, responsibilities, and expectations that accompany membership in such a community,” as stated by the BVU 2014-2015 academic catalog.

Coming in as freshmen, students are more than ecstatic about the college life: no parents, no rules, and no one to tell them what to do. Students often come to college forgetting that it is still education. One of the first encounters that freshmen engage in is Freshmen Seminar. As a sophomore and already having finished seminar, there are a few things that I wish to have learned in seminar that would have been very useful to my college career.

Freshman digital media major, Cole Haeska, brings up an important point. Studying in high school is extremely different from studying in college. College studying is much more intense.

“I wish that seminar helped me learn different ways to study,” Haeska said.

One part of University Seminar that I found difficult was that some professors specialize it to a specific topic. I came to Buena Vista University (BVU) with an undecided major. I was not sure of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Deciding your future does not happen in a matter of days. It took me my entire freshmen year to set a career path. I would like to see the course engage in a variety of education paths, in order to help students find the most fit career path.

“[University Seminar] should prepare you for the classes you are going to take.” Senior computer science major, Tyler Lafferty says.

According to the BVU 2014-2015 academic catalog, University Seminar’s goal “is to enhance critical thinking while sharpening ability in the skills areas of writing, reading, speaking, listening, and quantitative reasoning”. The seminar course should do just that.

Many other students feel similar ways.

“I learned what I wanted to. We learned how to write college level papers. We also read a book called ‘Telling True Stories’ edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call. The book helped me to understand how other people think.” sophomore political science major Robert Dearden said.

Dearden explained how writing college level papers helped to teach him proper citations and what words should and should not be included. He described that it was very helpful to see how other majors have different mind sets.

University Seminar would also be more beneficial if it provided basic help with resumes. It would also be helpful if it assisted students with interview skills. Often times, students will have interviews for leadership positions in student groups or organizations on campus.

BVU’s course, University Seminar, should assist students, in preparing for their future. It should help set the basic principles and foundations of critical thinking, broad-mindedness, and professional works.