The First-Year Experience (FYE) introduces students to the unique value of an LVC education. Through participation in small, seminar-style courses, the FYE promotes intensive intellectual questioning and develops a foundation in core skills essential to meet the rigorous curricular demands of our College. The FYE develops writing and critical reading skills, assists students with the education and emotional transition to college, and fosters a sense of community within the first-year class. FYE topics include “Sports and Society,” “Art and the Body,” “Thinking Changes Everything,” and “Horror in Film and Literature.” Class size is small (16 students) and the primary instructor for the course is a full time faculty member. Students in each FYE course may be housed together in Learning Communities in residence halls.
All undergraduate students participate in an integrated learning experience called “Constellation LVC.” Constellation LVC is intentionally designed to help students develop the skills necessary for success in the 21st century: written and oral communication, critical reading and analysis, information literacy, quantitative reasoning, intercultural competence, problem solving, and integration. This last skill—integration— distinguishes Constellation LVC. It enables students to make connections among their classes, to understand disciplines as different modes of understanding the world, to integrate these ways of knowing into a more complex and accurate model of our society and globe, and to apply these skills to demonstrate their value in a competitive job market. This common learning experience has six components that provide opportunities to develop these skills at multiple points in the curriculum.
Components of Constellation LVC
19 credits, one course from each area and additional credits from any area. Can be taken in any year. Formative Experiences are courses designed to develop the specific skills necessary for success in the 21st century. Formative classes require students to develop skills in intercultural competence, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, analytical writing, and a second language.
The Connective Experience is a unique feature of LVC, in which students choose a topic reflecting their interest and explore that topic from three angles. Each of the three courses explores the topic from a specific disciplinary perspective, or 'path of inquiry', either in the natural sciences, humanities, or social sciences. These courses allow our students to pursue their own interests within our core curriculum, to recognize the unique contribution of each discipline to human knowledge, and to develop their ability to integrate information from a variety of perspectives.
At LVC, your education is not pre-packaged. Every student has a passion, and every student gains important skills during their education. In these immersive experiences, students apply their learning in a real-world context, whether through an internship, directing a play, leading a service trip, writing a book, or conducting research alongside a faculty member.
The Integrative Experience is the culmination of the common learning experience. This experience allows students to complete an interdisciplinary project and reflect on their learning experiences at LVC.
Throughout the common learning experience, students will collect samples of work in an ePortfolio that enables students to reflect on their educational experiences at LVC, both inside and outside the classroom. The portfolio may also be a repository for work to be shared with potential employers and graduate programs.