CC First-Year Program

Throughout the two-semester First-Year Program sequence students read selected works of history, literature, drama, philosophy, and religion and consider closely the ideas that have shaped a range of traditions. Ideas are explored in many ways––through critical reading and close analysis of texts; through careful research and focused expository and persuasive writing; through scholarly lectures, faculty-guided small group discussion among classmates, and formal public debate (Oxford Debates); and through creative dramatic and musical expression (First-Year Production).

Works typically found on the first-year program syllabus include:

  • Plato The Trial and Death of Socrates
  • Aeschylus II: The Oresteia
  • Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics
  • Genesis: Translation and Commentary
  • Confucius The Essential Analects
  • Mencius: Basic Writings
  • ​Xunzi: Basic Writings
  • Zhuangzi: Basic Writings
  • Saint Augustine Confessions
  • Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • ​Machiavelli The Prince

In our first-year honors seminars, students explore diverse traditions of human thought in a collaborative classroom environment where world-class faculty invite them to consider fascinating complexities of our life together. Students quickly discover the excitement and joy of engaging challenging questions with their classmates in CC who are just as intellectually curious as they are. Inevitably, the friendships that form last not only four years at Valpo but a lifetime.

– Professor Matthew Puffer, First-Year Program Coordinator