Freshman Seminar

Students walking on campus

The First Year Experience (FYE) at Rockhurst is designed to facilitate your transition to the University and its tradition of Jesuit education. Our hope is that through Rockhurst experiences, you will engage at every level of the University and be reminded time and time again of the five learning goals for your first year. These experiences will facilitate your progress towards becoming an educated person by connecting you with the people and resources of Rockhurst. They will also help in developing your learning skills and encouraging self-reflection. The outcomes you can aspire to are academic, personal and spiritual success! Through these three seminar courses each class exemplifies the following learning goals.

First Year Experience: Five Learning Goals

  • Students will understand Rockhurst University’s mission and consider how they might respond to its call.
  • Students will examine and enhance their academic skills.
  • Students will become familiar with healthy habits and reflect upon how their choices affect their mental and physical well-being.
  • Students will explore possible majors, minors and careers in light of their gifts and passions and develop an understanding/ appreciation for the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum.
  • Students will develop constructive relationships with faculty, staff and fellow students, and will become familiar with campus resources.

Seminar Courses


First Year Seminar - FS 1100
Tuesday 11:00am-12:15pm
Coordinator: Matthew Beverlin, Ph.D., '98, Assistant Professor of Political Science

This seminar, offered to first-time college students, aims to orient students academically to Rockhurst University by introducing them to classmates, faculty, and staff, and by exploring the meaning of their core studies. We emphasize these core areas of the curriculum by defining them and by showing how they integrate all elements of holistic learning. Further, we introduce students to service activities and to such college events as plays, musical performances, and visiting scholar lectures. Additionally, students learn library usage, time and stress management, college level note-taking strategies, listening skills, and computer locations on campus. Students collect abundant written materials throughout the semester which they can use for all of their Rockhurst education. This course immerses students in the Rockhurst motto, "Not what to think, but how to think." First Year Seminar Instructors Jason Arthur, Ph.D., '99, Assistant Professor of English Ken Balusek, Ph.D., J.D., Department Chair of Criminal Justice Rob Hamilton, M.A., Director of Academic Advising Jennifer Oliver, Ph.D., Department Chair of Psychology Victor Penniman, D.M.A, Music Instructor


Freshmen in Science Seminar - NS1000
Thursday 11:00am-12:15pm
Instructor: Paula Shorter

The purpose of this course, as part of the first-year experience for Freshmen interested in the sciences, is to help first-time college students succeed as they transition from high school to Rockhurst University and its tradition of Jesuit education. The Freshmen in Science Seminar, along with other first-year experiences, will facilitate student progress toward becoming an educated person by connecting students with resources, developing their learning skills and encouraging self reflection.


Freshmen in Business Seminar - BUS 1000
Tuesday 11:00am-12:15pm
Thursday 11:00am-12:15pm
Instructor: John T. White

This course is designed to provide incoming freshmen with an overview of academic and social adjustment to college. Students are introduced to the missions of the Jesuits, Rockhurst University and the Helzberg School of Management. Additionally, students learn how the Rockhurst liberal arts core curriculum is an integral part of their educational experience, and how the theories, principles, and concepts studied in the core classes will be applied to life and the study of the business major. Students also meet formally and informally with faculty and staff, and are introduced to the range of student support services that are available on campus.


  • E-Chug Online Alcohol Program
  • StrengthsQuest