WISe: The First Year Experience

All first-year Wesleyan students are required to take WISe 101. The very foundation of a Wesleyan education, WISe 101 is an interdisciplinary seminar that introduces first year students to academic life at Wesleyan, and focuses on honing academic skills, especially writing and critical thinking. It models Wesleyan’s diverse and challenging academic community and helps students make the transition to college. In WISe 101, you will learn from faculty and lab instructors; you will also teach each other—exploring divergent perspectives, deepening meaningful discussions, and working together to solve problems.

WISe 101 expects you to jump into the Wesleyan community. Your voice, your ideas, your feelings, and your beliefs all matter here. We want to learn from you as you become part of a community of engaged young women from around the world. As part of WISe 101, students will participate in a lab that focuses on transitioning to college. The lab challenges students to assess their current skills and provides information on developing and honing college success skills.

Wesleyan cares as much about the future as we are proud of our past. We’ve partnered with the Interactivity Foundation to enhance WISe 101. One day a week students meet in small groups and facilitate their own class discussions. The discussions build on ideas from large, common sessions and faculty-led discussions and requires students to share their own experiences and ideas. Faculty serve as coaches to help students develop speaking and listening skills as participants, and planning and facilitation skills as discussion leaders. Groups stay the same the whole semester, so students develop close bonds, getting to know each other as thinkers and as people. The discussions are connected by the theme of the class—what does it mean to be wise? At the end of the semester, groups share with each other their visions of wisdom in a final PechKucha showdown.

For more information contact Professor of Modern Foreign Languages Saralyn DeSmet or Assistant Dean of Academic Resources Christy Henry.