In place of a formerly required freshman seminar, incoming
freshmen will have the option of taking a one- to two-credit
discipline-based course from a wide selection of topics, depending
on students’ interests.
“These are expected to be exciting courses which we are hoping
that entering students will enroll in,” said Faculty Council Chair
C.W. Miller, a professor of biomedical sciences. “These courses
will permit students to connect with a faculty member with whom
they can have contact with for four years.”
The Faculty Council made the decision in December to permanently
do away with the freshman seminar courses starting in summer
These current seminars were designed to combine discipline-based
content and orientation content. The orientation content, which
includes advising, library, financial aid, time management and
career services, will be covered in a program called Ramfest that
will run several days prior to school.
The non-orientation-based courses will cover topics a faculty
member feels passionate about.
“There will be lots of ideas coming forth and the idea is that
students could pick from a list of courses that interest them,”
Every associate dean of undergraduate education is working with
the faculty to try to identify topics that would appeal to students
and would be especially fun to teach. The seminars will be held in
small classroom settings.
“Enrollment will be gained during Preview,” Miller said.
“Parents and students will learn about the advantages of signing up
Sarah Hortmann, freshman biochemistry major, said she probably
would not have taken a freshman seminar if it had been optional
because she had a heavy course load already, but she did think it
was worthwhile in the end.
“I think it had a lot to do with the way my professor structured
it,” Hortmann said. “We had a lot of guest speakers and there was
The new orientation program might be modeled after Ram Camp, a
program designed for first-year students in the College of
Agricultural Sciences. It is planned by the Ag Ambassadors and
takes place the Friday before school starts.
Robert Miller, director of diversity and recruiting in the
College of Agricultural Sciences, said the main objective of Ram
Camp is to ease the transition from high school to college.
“Ram Camp was a great opportunity for me to know my classmates
and my faculty before I started classes,” said Sarah McFarlane, a
sophomore animal sciences major. “It was an upbeat and exciting way
to begin my time at CSU and definitely made me feel more at
Although Ram Camp takes place in Estes Park, Ramfest will be
held at CSU. The orientation programs are not finalized, but the
Division of Student Affairs in conjunction with the Associated
Students of CSU will develop a two- to three-day orientation that
will take place before school starts.