First-Year Seminar, a seven-week course offered only fall semester to incoming freshmen, provides orientation to the academic, social, and personal demands of college in general, and to the traditions and practices of Berry College. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and group activities, students reflect on individual goals within the context of higher education while developing written and oral communication and critical-thinking skills. Taught by Berry faculty and staff, the course represents a number of different disciplines. Each First-Year Seminar instructor is assisted by a first-year mentor, an upperclassman who provides a student's perspective of Berry College. In addition to participating in class meetings, first-year mentors also organize out-of-class events for seminar students.
The course text is Your College Journey, a collection of essays written by Berry faculty and staff, as well as a number of readings from outside sources. It emphasizes academic and social expectations, introduces a variety of study skills, and illuminates the mission, vision, and heritage of Berry. First-Year Seminar instructors are provided with an Instructor's Guide to assist them in planning their courses.