Alpha Seminar

Alpha Seminar

What is Alpha Seminar?

This three credit course is taken during the first semester at Carroll College. Its purpose is to introduce first year students to the distinctive practices and values of a Catholic liberal arts education. The course revolves around an interdisciplinary project that incorporates instruction and practice in critical reading, writing and thinking.  As a discussion based course, it also provides a forum for you to discuss co-curricular issues and opportunities at Carroll. Your Alpha course instructor serves as your initial academic advisor.

But Wait!

Don't take our opinion of this special class, here are a few quotes from our 2011 Freshman class who were asked about their first impression of Alpha Seminar.

"When I first heard about Alpha Seminar, I thought it would be really boring.  After all, the course description on My Carroll said that it would be about critical reading & writing quite a bit, I think it will be fun now.  It didn't seem like my typical lecture-type class.  There was energy in the room."

"Alpha Seminar today was not what I expected.  I thought it was going to be very formal and not much fun.  we were given a peek at the creativity that will transpire throughout the semester."

"I expected Alpha Seminar to be a class where i would sit and listen to a lecture for fifty minutes, instead of getting up and getting to know my classmates.  I expected to not need to know the other students in this class; however, it is just the opposite.  I guess I expected a lecture because of the name 'seminar'."

"The Alpha Seminar class was nothing like I expected it to be.  I walked into the classroom thinking I would sitting, scrambling to make clear notes while my professor talked a million miles an hour.  This class seems a lot more casual than the rest of my courses.  For example, I can call the professor by his first name.  I thought we would be talking about the same book for a few months instead of a variety of readings."

Alpha Seminar is more than just a required class, its a place where new friends can be made, and new opinions and insights on major topics can be seen and heard every class.

What is the What

What is the What

Our 2013 Alpha summer reading assignment for incoming freshmen is What Is the What by Dave Eggers.

What Is the What is the epic novel based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng who, along with thousands of other children —the so-called Lost Boys—was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and trek hundreds of miles by foot, pursued by militias, government bombers, and wild animals, crossing the deserts of three countries to find freedom. When he finally is resettled in the United States, he finds a life full of promise, but also heartache and myriad new challenges. Moving, suspenseful, and unexpectedly funny, What Is the What is an astonishing novel that illuminates the lives of millions through one extraordinary man.

More on this book

Get more information about What is the What, including author information, reviews and purchasing information on our New Student Orientation site.