The Drew Seminar introduces students to the intellectual life of the liberal arts college. The seminars revolve around an intellectual area of exploration, designed by the faculty member.  The Drew Seminar is rigorous and analytical, engaging explorations of a significant question, mode of inquiry, or topic. The goal is to help students develop the academic skills and habits of mind that are central to higher education; faculty share their intellectual passions and welcome students into the collaborative culture of the liberal arts college.  The seminar will help students develop the following skills and habits of mind: critical thinking, writing skills, rhetorical knowledge, oral communication, and information literacy.  Activities include formal and informal writing, discussion of readings, oral presentation, and writing revision.

Course Goals

The seminar will help students develop the following skills and habits of mind:

  • Critical thinking – the ability to analyze a situation or text and make thoughtful decisions based on that analysis, through discussion, writing, reading, and research
  • Writing Skills – the ability to plan, draft, and revise texts for both form and content.
  • Rhetorical knowledge – the ability to articulate how audience, purpose, and context shape a text, and to apply that knowledge appropriately when writing across a range of academic and nonacademic genres.
  • Oral Communication – the ability to listen to, explore, and share ideas in discussion and informal presentations.
  • Information literacy – the ability to evaluate information and its sources critically, to manage and use information, and to use the ideas of others as part of an intellectual conversation.

Student Learning Outcomes in the DREW Seminar

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • articulate an evidence-based point of view on a topic in written form based on an interaction with texts and ideas.
  • communicate effectively in oral forms in ways that are appropriate to the situation.
  • identify the audience, purpose, and context for written texts (including their own) and explain how these features shape the text in form and content.
  • identify a topic and argument in a text and in oral discussion and describe how the author/speaker develops and supports that topic or argument.

Each Drew Seminar will be assigned a Drew Writing Fellow, an undergraduate student trained to work with peers as they strengthen their writing skills.

Some students may elect to also co-register for Writing Studio, where they will continue to strengthen their writing skills conjunction with the seminar.