On my campus, students are required to take a freshman seminar course (called
The College).  It's graded S/U and is graded solely on attendance -- however,
students don't get credit for it, so if they get a U it doesn't affect their
grade-point average.  After teaching it for a year, my impression is that
students don't take it very seriously since it's a zero-credit course here.
There are six sessions on the following topics:

    1.  Transition from high school to college
    2.  Study skills and strategies
    3.  Stress management
    4.  Academic policies (including academic integrity, consequences for
academic dishonesty, grading system, expectations for students, expectations
for faculty)
    5.  Advising and registration (this one gets the best attendance since
students are pretty unfamiliar with the process and generally eager for
    6.  Final exams

The second time I taught the course, I added a section on getting involved in
organizations and activities.  We've just started a peer mentoring program
here, so I had three of the mentors come in to discuss organizations they're
involved in and the benefits of being involved in co-curricular activities.
I also had a few of the mentors come in to discuss course registration
procedures.  The sessions with peer mentor involvement were among the most
successful, so I'm looking for ways to expand student leaders' involvement in
the course.

Hope some of this is helpful to you.

Susan Dawkins, Instructor
Learning Resource Center
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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susan kershaw wrote:

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> I would greatly appreciate responses to the following questions:  What
> topics are covered in your Freshmen Seminar?  What is your grading
> system?  Do you find students take less seriously a course that carries a
> high pass, pass, or fail grade?
> Thanks so much for all of your help in this area.
> Best wishes,
> Susan Kershaw, Director of Conwell Learning Center
> Rosemont College
> 1400 Montgomery Avenue
> Rosemont, PA 19010
> [log in to unmask]
> "I am still learning."  Michelangelo
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