Your FYE will develop your critical thinking and communication skills, while also supporting you through your transition into college life. FYE classes have two components: first, a core 3-credit class focused on traditional academic skills like writing and analysis, and, second, a companion 1-credit class focused on transitional skills like coping with stress, planning for your career, managing time, and understanding major and general education (here called “Constellation”) requirements.

As an incoming first-year student, you will be assigned a room in one of our traditional residence halls designated as first-year residential communities. Because all first-year students live in close proximity to one another, you will enjoy related programming within the residence halls. For instance, films associated with various FYE sections may be shown in the residence halls.

Both inside your classrooms and outside them—in the dorm and the wider LVC environment—your FYE will provide you not only with the skills necessary to succeed academically at LVC, but also the community and relationships necessary to thrive here, so that you will be ready to take advantage of the many opportunities LVC offers. 

Please take a few minutes to review the FYE sections that are scheduled for Fall 2019. You will make your FYE selections along with your other courses during New Student Advising Day in May.

Fall 2019 Sections

The Examined Life

Professor: Dr. Noel Hubler


Socrates famously said that the "Unexamined life is not worth living," but what did he mean by an examined life?  For Socrates examination did not so much involve reflection of one's own views and values, but an active and critical inspection of the positions of others, primarily about the nature of the good life. In FYE 111, we will retrace the steps of Socrates through the writings of his most famous student, Plato.  We will also engage more recent philosophers both in class discussions and interactive writing assignments.

Faith & Doubt in 21st Century

Professors: Dr. Jeffrey Robbins & Dr. Matthew Sayers


This course will explore questions of religious meaning through the various ways contemporary individuals and traditions have sought to reconcile their faith with the modern world.  Objectives will include the effort to understand the continuing importance and impact of religion on contemporary culture, politics, and philosophy, to learn about the many facets of religious diversity in the United States and around the world, and to reflect on the crisis of traditional beliefs about God brought about by the development of modern science and technology. Writing assignments will provide opportunity for students to narrate their own spiritual journeys and identify their own questions of meaning.

Race in the 21st Century

Professors: Dr. Cathy Romagnolo


In this seminar we will investigate race as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon in the contemporary United States. By examining a variety of materials, including television, film, novels, and essays (e.g., Dear White People, Black Panther, Underground Railroad, Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility) we will analyze how the concept of race is perceived, experienced, challenged, and constructed in this historical moment. First semester will focus on history and theory. Themes and topics to be covered in FYE 111 include race and identity, and race and social relations.

Frame Tales

Professor: Dr. Shayani Bhattacharya


Whether there be ogres, monsters, witches, talking frogs, evil stepmothers or magic beans; almost every fairy tale has one thing in common - the happily ever after. But if fairy tales are the stuff of childhood why do they crop up in the adult world through films like the steam punk gore rendition of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters or the feminist retelling Maleficent, procedural TV shows like Grimm or fantasy dramas like Once Upon a Time, or ads for Chanel No.5 and Pepsi? In this class we will explore the frame narratives of the "classic" fairy tales of the Grimm brothers and Charles Perrault in the hands of 20th century writers and filmmakers to reflect on modern renditions of the "ever after" myth. We will read Angela Carter's feminist retellings of popular fairytales, participate in a D-I-Y shuffle narrative game, and create fairy tale adaptations of our own. The course aims to interrogate socio-political structures by examining the shared narrative fabric of society.


Professor: Dr. Michael Pittari


Noise, rage, rebellion–this is the ethos of punk. For nearly half a century, punk rock has endured through music, fashion, art, and politics, never getting old or wearing out and continuously redefining its boundaries. Yet the impulses of punk, its radicalism and violence, predate the 1976 explosion of the Sex Pistols onto the international scene. Its spirit was onstage in the '60s with the Stooges and the Velvet Underground, it was at the wheel when rebel icons Jackson Pollock and James Dean drove to their deaths in the '50s, and it fueled the most iconoclastic art movement in history–Dada–in the years following World War I. Flanked by two significant dates–1916, the year of the first Dada manifesto, and 1991, the year Nirvana's Nevermind was released–this seminar explores the origins and implications of punk as a pervasive cultural and socio-political force.

Old Stories

Professor: Dr. Gary Grieve-Carlson


In this first-year writing seminar, we'll read four old stories: Saramago's Cain (a re-telling of the Cain and Abel story from the Book of Genesis), the Book of Job (from the Old Testament), Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls (a re-telling of the story of the Trojan War from the women's point of view), and Emily Hauser's For the Winner (a re-telling of the story of Jason and the Argonauts). Each of these stories was first told long before the birth of Christ, but we'll think and write about what each may have to tell us, or to ask us, about our lives here in the twenty-first century.