At the heart of Elmira College's liberal arts curriculum are two interdisciplinary freshman courses. Drawing upon literature, the arts, and the natural and behavioral sciences, the program introduces students to the history of ideas in the Western tradition as those ideas were and are in dialogue with the cultural traditions of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. A focus of the program is on the ways in which human beings come to know themselves, others, and the world in which they live. The program provides opportunities for enhancing students' skills in reading and written and oral communication.
All students take FRS 1010: When Worlds Collide and FRS 1020: Order and Chaos during their first year at Elmira College. Each section of FRS 1010 is specially designed to address the program theme (social, cultural and political conflict) and the program learning outcomes (critical reading, writing, and thinking). In each case, the professor draws on her or his special expertise and interests to provide a unique learning experience designed to introduce students to the liberal arts and sciences and to develop essential college skills. Students may choose from a range of topics, including American Science Fiction of the 1950s, From Hispaniola to Hogwarts: Us and Them in History, Memory, and Fiction, and It’s a Man’s World…Or Is It?