Hiram College

First Year Colloquium

First-Year Colloquium

Colloquium serves as the first formal Connect experience. This course begins during Institute Week – before upperclassmen arrive on campus – and is all about finding your footing, developing your writing skills and learning to think outside the box.

Faculty from all disciplines teach Colloquium courses, and they examine a range of topics, such as “Sociology of Sex, Love and Relationships,” “The Art of Making Dough,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Search for the Holy Grail.”

All first-year students take Colloquium during the first semester, and though class material may vary from course to course, the type of learning students experience is similar. You’ll form a bond with your fellow freshmen as together, you begin to understand the Hiram way of learning:

  • how everyday conversations and experiences can relate back to classroom material
  • how to connect what you are learning in one class with what you are learning in another
  • how out-of-classroom and in-classroom experiences are shaping the person you hope to become
  • the college writing process and how writing skills can be applied across the curriculum

You’ll also participate in out-of-classroom, interdisciplinary experiences:

In the first few weeks of classes, students and faculty gather over lunch to discuss multi-faceted issues related to the annual ethics theme. You’ll then reflect upon and respond in writing to this experience in Colloquium and at your first advising appointment.

In the spring, participate in the campus-wide day free from classes to perform community service on a day called Sugar Day. This day of service emphasizes the importance finding meaning and purpose in your future career and calling.

Five Things to Know About Colloquium:

Full-time faculty members teach Colloquium.ethics teaching

At many colleges, adjuncts and graduate assistants teach the equivalent of First Year Colloquium. We, on the other hand, have experienced, highly regarded faculty teach these classes.

Colloquium courses have 10-15 students. This means faculty deliver lots of close attention and feedback to first year students.

Every First Year Colloquium class has a student Teaching Assistant or Writing Assistant.

These student assistants provide social counseling, helping you form your new home among the Hiram community. Teaching Assistants also are very strong academically and provide another set of talented eyes on each student’s written work.

The topics are very diverse.

classEvery class is unique and draws from multiple disciplines. With course titles that draw on popular culture and subjects like “The Art of Making Dough” or “Victorian Sci-Fi,” you’re bound to find something that interests and excites you. You are more likely to grow as a writer when you are engaged with the subject material.

Colloquium faculty serve as advisors.

At many colleges and universities, new students are assigned to staff advisors at random. These advisors only get to know the student in the context of advising meetings.  At Hiram, we pair students with professors they will have in class so that the professor will better know the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

We keep them small and deliver lots of personal attention.