A Watershed Year : Freshmen Learning Community

This exciting year-long course takes first time students through the stages of hands-on exploration of real world issues. It helps prepare you not only for any of the SSU science, math, or engineering majors but also life beyond SSU. All SSU students are required to have a class in biology, critical thinking, math, and a lab. This is about the coolest way ever to do all of these at once. The class combines the basic courses that you have to take anyway and then makes it better. We have awesome field experiences, small class sizes, tight interrelationships with faculty and peers, transitional elements to succeed at SSU, and real world partnership with SSU community partners. The class is perfect if you're interested in being a science major and want to get your feet wet or if you're not sure yet what major you are interested in. The analytical and critical thinking skills developed will be applicable to all majors. This class will give you an insight of what it is to be a major in chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or environmental science.

Our focus is on the regional watershed and understanding all of its elements from the different academic disciplines and letting you do real research.

The completion of the full year course satisfies four general education (GE) requirements: B2 (Life Sciences: biological principles), B4 (Quantitative Reasoning: precalculus), A3 (Critical Thinking), and Science Laboratory. During the first semester, each week will consist of lecture, discussion, skill building sessions, and a laboratory experience. During the second semester, students progress through projects of their own design to solve real problems and answer questions that address community needs. If desired, students enrolled in this class may take calculus (MATH 161) concurrently during the Fall or in the spring semester. Through involvement in this course, students will learn skills to transition socially and academically to university study and receive a broad introduction to SSU's science departments, campus research efforts, and student organizations.

How do I know the Watershed FLC is right for me?

  • If you are qualified to enroll in Math-160.
  • If you are considering a major or career that is in science or intersects with it.
  • If you are considering a major in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, physics, math, statistics, or environmental studies.
  • If you don't want to worry about getting into classes during your freshman year. We work very hard to get you into programs where you best fit.

This unique class is for non-biology science majors (you need a different biology course) who

  • desire small classes and close faculty and peer interactions to satisfy four General Education requirements common to all students
  • wish to gain scientific skills by applying them to solve real life problems (experimentation, investigation, critical thinking, problem solving, mathematical reasoning)
  • wish to learn about sustainability and the protection of the environment and of our watershed.
  • are qualified to enroll in college-level math.
  • who want support getting their math and science courses in their first year.