The Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) provides a foundation in critical thinking, written and oral communication, the use of information, quantitative reasoning, engagement with ethical issues and diversity, and exposure to experimental and theoretical approaches to understanding human culture and behavior, scientific knowledge, and methods of research.
The First Seminar
The First Seminar (four credit-hours, taken in the first semester of enrollment) introduces students to the seminar format through reading, discussion, and intensive writing, and incorporates activities with University Circle institutions. The course focuses on the development of critical thinking and communication skills through the use of a variety of approaches, media, and perspectives to explore the human mind and the nature of inquiry. This course is designed to strengthen writing and analytical skills while building a foundation in ethics, information literacy, and cultural diversity.
Students select a course from:
- First Seminar: Natural World (FSNA 1xx)
- First Seminar: Social World (FSSO 1xx)
- First Seminar: Symbolic World (FSSY 1xx)
Based on test scores and a writing sample, some students will be placed in FSCC 100: The Life of the Mind, designed to provide additional writing support. Most students for whom English is a second language will continue their First Seminar experience in a second semester by enrolling in and completing FSCS 150 – First Seminar Continuing Semester (three credit-hours).
Transfer students only: Transfer students who have completed the English composition/expository writing requirement with a grade of C or higher at the college/university at which they previously matriculated will receive transfer credit for FSCC 100-TR (three to six credit-hours) and will be required to complete a supplemental one-credit-hour SAGES introductory seminar, FSTS 100 – SAGES Transfer Supplement.
After completion of the First Seminar with a passing evaluative grade and before the end of a student's second year, students must complete two University Seminars (totaling six credit-hours). University Seminars provide continued experience in critical reading, writing, and oral communication, as well as information literacy, ethics, and cultural diversity. Each University Seminar explores content determined according to the interests of the faculty. A student's First Seminar and two University Seminars must include a course from each of the three thematic areas: Natural World, Social World, and Symbolic World.
Students select courses from:
- University Seminar: Thinking About the Natural World (USNA 2xx)
- University Seminar: Thinking About the Social World (USSO 2xx)
- University Seminar: Thinking About the Symbolic World (USSY 2xx)
Students who complete their First Seminar requirement with FSCC 100, FSCS 150, or FSTS 100 may fulfill their University Seminar requirement by choosing courses from any two of the three thematic areas.
University Composition Requirement: The SAGES Writing Portfolio
Students develop a Writing Portfolio comprised of final graded writing assignments from the First Seminar and University Seminars. The Writing Portfolio is due the semester after completing the final University seminar.
The Departmental Seminar (three credit-hours), generally taken in the junior year after the completion of the University Seminars, focuses on discipline-specific methods and modes of inquiry and communication characteristic of the Departmental Seminar's discipline. The Departmental Seminar may be taken in the department of the student's major or in another department. A course used to fulfill the Departmental Seminar Requirement may not also be used to fulfill a Breadth Requirement. Courses meeting this requirement include the designation "Approved SAGES Departmental Seminar" in their course descriptions. Some majors include a specific Departmental Seminar as part of their requirements.
The Senior Capstone assimilates the knowledge and skills gained throughout the educational process. Students engage in a unique one- or two-semester experience (three to six credit-hours) designed in consultation with a faculty member. Each Senior Capstone must include key elements:
- Demonstration of critical thinking and writing skills;
- Regular oversight by the Capstone advisor;
- Periodic reporting of progress;
- Regular writing (e.g. drafts, progress reports, critiques) throughout the project including a final written report which may be a thesis or equivalent document associated with the project or activity (e.g., such pursuits as performance, experiment, live case analysis, or creative writing), as approved by the department of capstone origin; and
- Oral reports including a final public presentation at the Senior Capstone Fair, a conference, a performance, a public lecture, a teaching presentation, or another setting, as approved by the department of capstone origin.
Courses meeting this requirement include the designation "Approved SAGES Capstone" in their course descriptions. Some majors include a specific a Senior Capstone course as part of their requirements.