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First Year Experience

Claudine Grunenwald Kirschner
Director of First-Year & Sophomore Experience
(440) 826-8523

The first-year experience (FYE) class provides you the opportunity to discuss engaging issues while you develop your critical thinking and communication skills. Each class has around 16 first-year students, an upper class student mentor known as a course assistant, a BW staff member who works closely with first-year students and a faculty member. Each FYE class is focused on a unique subject (see examples below), but all FYE classes are about intellectual curiosity, making campus connections and learning how to thrive in the BW community.

Examples of Past First-Year Experience Courses

"This Course is So Gay: Debating the Current Pride and Pitfalls of LGBT Culture"
From RuPaul to Fred Phelps, marriage equality to employment discrimination, blood bans to school bullying, this course will examine hot-topics as they pertain to modern LGBT culture. We will explore that crowded intersection between identity, controversy, history and media representation.

"Public Health Within an Apocalypse"
How likely is a world-wide environmental or infectious disease-based calamity like the zombie apocalypse? In this course, we will examine apocalyptic/dystopic literature (movies, books) as a way to discuss real-world environmental and health issues. We will critically examine these stories in order to consider their plausibility and their similarity to existing issues within society.

"Barbie, Mad Men and Shopping Malls: Reading Popular Culture"
How do we experience and understand popular culture? In this course, we will examine the role of popular culture in everyday life, paying particular attention to the mass media industry, the role of consumption and identity, and the significance of leisure activities such as shopping and sports.

"The Quest for Immortality Across Time and Space"
Can we live forever? Would we want to? The goal of the course will be to explore these "enduring questions" while looking at immortality from multiple perspectives, from science and technology to pop culture. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and others), we will read texts that explore this topic over the spans of time.