Demographic data obtained from censuses over the past several decades indicate that more students from more diverse segments of American society are entering higher education. At the same time, those data specific to American colleges and universities suggest that as many as 2/3 of incoming freshmen have little to no idea about their intended majors. Furthermore, data on retention and persistence indicate that the largest percentage of dropouts occur during the first and second years of university.
By linking in class learning with out of class discovery, as well as co-curricular components with the course content, the First-Year Colloquium will enable students to situate their learning as part of their personal growth and as part of a process of lifelong learning rather than an isolated experience, disparate from the rest of their lives outside the University. The incorporation of collaborative learning within the course also will develop an understanding of the benefit of teamwork.
Finally, connecting experiential learning within the course will give students insight into the links between the courses they undertake as part of a study program and the type of careers that emerge from those disciplines.