Discovery Seminars

Research shows that first-year college students benefit enormously from the experience of a small discussion seminar taught by a faculty member. Classes that engage students actively in their first year, and provide the context for a close intellectual connection between students and faculty, are known to improve students’ overall satisfaction and success at college. The College of Arts & Sciences at UK has developed a pilot program of Discovery Seminars on a variety of topics, taught by some of our best faculty members in a discussion format. Each Discovery Seminar will be paired with a second course from a different department with a shared topic or theme; students will enroll in both courses in the same semester. Both courses will satisfy UK Core general education requirements.

The goals of the Discovery Seminar project are:

  • To engage first-year students in lively discussion seminars led by a faculty member;
  • To offer the opportunity for students and faculty to explore a particular theme or topic in depth while developing a close and supportive intellectual community;
  • To pair the seminar with a larger, thematically-related course that will provide more context for the focused theme;
  • To link the small course and the larger course so that students benefit both through the shared intellectual engagement, and through the social and interpersonal benefits of knowing other students in the larger lecture course

We plan to offer a second set of Discovery Seminars in the spring semester for students who were unable to participate in the fall program.

Students will normally only be selected for one pair of discovery seminar courses per semester but may request additional discovery seminars by contacting their academic advisor.

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