The Cornerstone Seminars at Stonehill College provide students with an opportunity to explore an engaging topic or question in a small-class format emphasizing writing, discussion, critical thinking, and academic inquiry. For this reason, seminar titles are often in the form of an overarching question. Students take four Cornerstone Seminars: One each in History, Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.* Seminars are writing-intensive courses designed by faculty based on their own research or teaching interests. Because effective writing is integral to critical thinking, the seminars all emphasize frequent writing, close examination of texts, rigorous analysis and reasoning, and information literacy. All Seminars are three credits, have no prerequisites, and are open to all first-year students on a space-available basis, regardless of major.
The following guidelines apply to all Cornerstone Seminars:
Students who want additional support as they develop and enhance their writing skills may choose to take WRI 041: Writing Practicum, alongside any of their Cornerstone Seminars. WRI 041 is a one-credit course that provides students with an introduction to the college writing process, including understanding and envisioning writing assignments, brainstorming, outlining, drafting, organizing, constructing and supporting a thesis, critiquing, revising, editing, and proofreading. This workshop will help sharpen composition skills and build confidence for the many writing tasks that lie ahead.
Students in all Cornerstone Seminars will demonstrate the ability to:
Instructors may use a wide variety of formative and summative strategies to assess student writing and thinking, including traditional paper grading, high-stakes and low-stakes assignments, intellectual journals, peer review, reading response papers, sequenced writing assignments, performance tasks (emphasizing problem solving), rubrics, and/or portfolio assessment (emphasizing the writing process and the importance of revision).
All Seminars are approved by the General Education Advisory Committee. A new proposal form will be available shortly via MyHill; currently, to propose a new First-Year Seminar course, please contact Liz Chase, firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.