First-Year Seminars and Experiences

  • Michelle Hayford
  • Susan Kattwinkel
Part of the The Arts in Higher Education book series (AHE)


First-Year Seminars and Experiences that involve practical, creative work in the performing arts expose students to important academic and personal development habits early in their college careers. These case studies examine the use of performative pedagogies to reinforce the crucial skills that make First-Year Experiences a high-impact practice. Susan Kattwinkel writes about her use of performance creation to embody ethical debate in a course on theatre and ethical choice. Jim Davis outlines a devised theatre project that responds to a survey of political opinions among fellow students in the university. In both cases students learn to integrate personal experience and opinion with those of others to create complex and reasoned responses to difficult and important social issues.


  1. Benedetti, Jean. 1990. Stanislavski: His Life and Art—A Biography. London: Methuen Drama.Google Scholar
  2. Brownell, Jayne Elise, and Lynn Ellen Swaner. 2010. Five High-Impact Practices: Research on Learning Outcomes, Completion and Quality. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  3. Faletta, Jean-Philippe, Jo A. Meier, and J. Ulyses Balderas. 2016. High-Impact Practices: Integrating the First-Year Experience with Service Learning and Study Abroad. In Handbook of Research on Effective Communication in Culturally Diverse Classrooms, ed. Katia Gonzalez and Rhoda Frumkin, 337–355. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.Google Scholar
  4. Fey, Tina. 2011. Bossypants. New York: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  5. First-Year Requirement. First-Year Requirement. Accessed 24 July 2017.
  6. Freiler, Tammy J. 2008. Learning Through the Body. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education: 37–47. Accessed 6 July 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Itzkioff, Dave. 2011. Hello! Matt Stone and Trey Parker Crash a Class at N.Y.U. The New York Times, September 8.Google Scholar
  8. KSU 1101: First-Year Seminar. 2016–17 Undergraduate Catalog. Accessed 30 June 2017.
  9. Kuh, George D. 2008. High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  10. LaBare, Martha J., ed. 2008. First-Year Civic Engagement: Solid Foundations for College, Citizenship, and Democracy. Accessed 13 Aug 2017.
  11. Learning Communities. Kennesaw State University Department of First-Year and Transition Studies. . Accessed 30 June 2017.
  12. Learning Outcomes. First-Year Requirement. Accessed 24 July 2017.
  13. Magolda, Marcia B. Baxter, Patricia M. King, Kari B. Taylor, and Kerri M. Wakefield. 2012. Decreasing Authority Dependence During the First Year of College. Journal of College Student Development 53 (3): 418–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mission & History. Arts in Basic Curriculum. Accessed July 2017.
  15. Oddey, Alison. 1996. Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Padgett, Ryan D., Jennifer R. Keup, and Ernest T. Pascarella. 2013. The Impact of First-Year Seminars on College Students’ Life-Long Learning Orientations. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 50 (2): 133–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Reason, Robert Dean, Patrick T. Terenzini, and Robert J. Domingo. 2007. Developing Social and Personal Competence in the First Year of College. The Review of Higher Education 30 (3): 271–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Redding, Adrienne, Jeanne Lahaie, and Jonathon Bush. 2016. One-on-One ‘Intensive’ Instruction: Faculty and Students Partnering for Success in First-Year Writing. Language Arts Journal of Michigan 32 (1): 17–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sabol, F. Robert. Summary of Findings from NCLB: A Study of Its Impact on Art Education Programs. National Art Education Association. Accessed 14 July 2017.
  20. Skipper, Tracy L. 2017. What Makes the First-Year Seminar High Impact? An Exploration of Effective Educational Practices. Research Reports on College Transitions No. 7. Columbia: National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.Google Scholar
  21. Spolin, Viola. 1985. Theatre Games for Rehearsal: A Director’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP.Google Scholar
  22. Wagner, Anne E., and Riyad A. Shahjahan. 2015. Centering Embodied Learning in Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy. Teaching in Higher Education 20: 244–254. Scholar
  23. Whitehorne, Ron. 2006. NCLB: Taking a Toll on Arts and Music Education. Philadelphia Public School Notebook, May 24. Accessed 14 July 2017.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Hayford
    • 1
  • Susan Kattwinkel
    • 2
  1. 1.Theatre, Dance, & Performance TechnologyUniversity of DaytonDaytonUSA
  2. 2.Theatre and DanceCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

Personalised recommendations