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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 2020. You will make your FYE selections along with your other courses during New Student Advising in May.

Fall 2020 Sections

The American Dream

The term American Dream, coined in 1931, suggests an ability for us to reach complete success and happiness in our personal and professional lives. Much has changed in American society and culture since 1931 leading many to question if the American Dream still exists. Through selected readings on family, education, and technology, this course will challenge you to think critically about the ability of a person to achieve the American Dream today. The readings will be supplemented with numerous media clips that will push us to explore the representation of ideal families in TV sitcoms from 1950-2000s, educate ourselves about the state of the education system through the documentary Waiting for Superman, look at how technology might change our world through the science fiction drama Humans. We will specifically challenge, revise, and defend the role of family, education, and technology in our pursuit of the American Dream.

Instructor: Professor Terri Rosenberg

Let the Great World Spin

The world became entranced by "The Crime of the Century" in 1974 when a young Frenchman danced along a tightrope strung between the top of the nearly completed World Trade Towers. Colum McCann's novel, Let the Great World Spin (winner of the 2009 National Book Award), uses the daring act of this "angel in the sky" to contrast with people in the depths of the city who struggle with diverse issues, ultimately searching for joy and redemption. Using film and other texts, both fiction and nonfiction, we will spin off of McCann's novel to explore such subjects as art and risk, faith and belonging, loss and grief, and the systems that often pin those who are marginalized to the ground. As Esquire's Tom Junod explains, "We are all dancing on the wire of history, and even on solid ground we breathe the thinnest of air."

Instructor: Professor Sally Clark

Let's Talk About Adoption

Six out of ten Americans have had personal experience with adoption. We will discuss issues of adoption: Should adoption be open/closed? Should single men & women be able to adopt? What about same-sex couples? What about families of a different race? How old is "too old" to be adopted? We will focus on populations involved in adoption, including birth parents, adoptees, foster & adoptive families, and agencies, in both domestic & transnational adoption. What is the impact of orphanages on the developing child? We will examine cultural, economic & policy factors in countries involved in transnational adoption. In giving assignments (making a family tree), are teachers sensitive to their students who are adopted? How can these assignments be modified to be inclusive of the adopted child? We will welcome speakers who are adoptees & professionals who work in the adoption field.

Instructor: Professor Sharon Arnold

Once Upon a Time: Adaptations

And they lived happily ever after.. Whether there be ogres, monsters, princes, 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 and Beauty and the Beast, or ads for Chanel No.5 and Adidas? We will explore the frame narratives of the "classic" fairy tales of the Grimm brothers and Charles Perrault in the hands of twentieth-century writers to reflect on modern renditions of the "ever after" myth. The class will investigate the validity of fairytales in an era of reworkings and adaptations through various readings, music videos, films, ads etc.

Instructor: Dr. Shayani Bhattacharya


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.

Instructor: Dr. Michael Pittari

Race in the 21st Century

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. The 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.

Instructor: Dr. Cathy Romagnolo