Alpha Seminar

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 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.

Image of Born a CrimeThe Fall 2017 book selected by our Alpha Seminar faculty for all incoming first-year students to read over the summer is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.

The book is a compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. His eighteen personal essays weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love. Order the book through the Carroll College Saints' Shoppe Bookstore or see a list of retailers.

What first-year students are saying

Don't take our opinion of this special class, here are a few quotes from our 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 and 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.