Making Sense of College
FYS 015, CRN 6515
Most students enter college having just graduated from high school and, a few years later, their college career ends with the expectation that they will be self-sufficient adults. What is this ‘college experience’ that allegedly transforms the high school graduate into someone significantly better prepared to flourish in society? In this course we will, with the primary goal of improving students reading, writing, thinking and discussion skills, focus our attention on developing an understanding of higher education in the United States and the role it has, can and should play in the lives of young adults. We will do this by working on the dual task of better understanding young adulthood and better understanding higher education. To better understand young adulthood we will draw on work in sociology and psychology with a bit of history. To better understand higher education we will look at, among other things, the history of higher education, the purpose of higher education, the economics of higher education, the depictions of higher education in popular culture, and the state of higher education in the United States today.
Our conversations will be aimed at, on the individual level, developing a sense of how to make the most out of the college experience and, on the broader level, developing ideas about what higher education, as an social institution, ought to be.