After months of planning and preparing for a semester at St. Lawrence unlike any other in recent memory, Associate Dean of the First Year Sarah Barber feels inspired. She knows that this year’s First-Year Program (FYP) instructors are uniquely qualified to navigate the challenges of remote and hybrid teaching during a global pandemic.
“Our core values as a program center on slowly building students up to do the tough work of developing college-level argumentative, analytical, and critical thinking skills,” Barber says. “The work [our instructors] always do to scaffold writing and speaking assignments so that students can gradually expand essays and presentations step by step is especially important in hybrid and remote classroom settings, and faculty have really re-emphasized those elements as they redesign their courses.”
COVID-19 won’t stop St. Lawrence’s FYP, one of the oldest and most robust living-learning programs in the country, from moving forward this year, but it will look a little different. As instructors prepared to teach in new modalities, they also planned their curriculum with the moment in mind, and will seek to address the converging issues and conversations taking place around the world as the Class of 2024 begins their college journey.