First-Year Seminar


All first-year students as well as transfer students with fewer than 24 hours of college work are enrolled in BCC 100, First-Year Seminar. Students entering Berry in the fall of 2014 have two options to choose from:

  • BCC 100, First-Year Seminar This ten-week, one credit course is designed to help you make a successful transition to Berry. In this course you’ll examine some of the challenges that new students typically face, explore opportunities for engagement through work, study and extracurricular activities at Berry and reflect on your own strengths and goals as you plan to make the most of your time here. Best of all, BCC 100 will provide you with a network of peers who will accompany and support you on this journey. Each BCC 100 class is led by a faculty or staff instructor will also serve as your academic advisor and a First-Year Mentor, an experienced Berry student who will help you to navigate your first weeks on campus. Learn more

  • SPT 100 First-Year Colloquium  This 4 credit, full-semester course meets the requirement for both BCC 100 and 1 General Education course. Centered on a specific theme, the course introduces students to modes of inquiry and exploration within the instructor’s area of expertise. These courses include a variety of engaging and challenging reading, discussion and writing assignments to strengthen students’ reasoning and communication skills. The course instructor will serve as your academic advisor. Each instructor will be assisted by a First-Year Mentor, an experienced Berry student who will help you to navigate your first weeks on campus. 4 sections of SPT 100 are offered; enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

SPT 100 Course Descriptions

Phantom Limbs and Plastic Brains
Instructor: 
Dr. Alan Hughes, Associate Professor, Psychology

An examination of how neural plasticity underlies brain-behavior relationships, with a special emphasis on using knowledge from modern neuroscience to critically evaluate the merits of biological and environmental (social) determinism. An honest discussion about the merits of biological or social determinism can only happen if students are made aware of recent advances in neuroscience. What are circumstances in which biological determinism is supported by what we know to be correct about the brain and its innate capacities? What are circumstances in which social determinism is supported by our knowledge of how the brain is altered by particular environmental situations?

Meets General Education requirement in PSY 101

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
Instructor: 
Dr. Lauren Heller, Assistant Professor, Economics

This course will introduce students to the “big questions” surrounding wealth and poverty both internationally and domestically.  In doing so, the course will critically examine market and government mechanisms for the production and distribution of resources.  This examination will also include a variety of topics that are key components of the discussion of wealth and poverty, including economic growth, unemployment, inequality and income mobility, immigration, international trade, and sustainable development.  As part of this examination, a discussion of local poverty and its relationship to the college’s history and mission will be integrated into the course.  As a first year Colloquium, the course will also provide an understanding of the learning strategies necessary for academic success in a liberal-arts environment, including time management, academic policies at Berry, and the resources available to students within the Berry community.

Meets General Education requirement in Economics.

Berry College as Living History
Instructor: 
Dr. Virginia Gardner Troy, Associate Professor, Fine Arts

This course will introduce students to the living history of Berry College.  By examining specific buildings, art collections, and historical materials unique to Berry College, students will understand the significance of documenting, analyzing, and preserving artistic and historical culture. Students will engage in experiential and hands-on learning by working with actual structures and objects, and by consulting with staff members and professionals to solve problems while learning about cultural history and the value of preserving it.

Meets General Education requirement in Fine Arts.

The Chemistry of Food
Instructor:
Dr. Alice Suroviec, Associate Professor, Chemistry

We all need to eat, but we are constantly inundated with mixed messages about what to eat and what not to eat. It is impossible to make an informed decision about what is “good” to eat if we don’t really know what we are eating.  As a food consumer we need to be able to answer questions such as: what makes some food better than others, what chemical changes take place when we heat food, why do some flavors combine well and others do not, and are GMOs a concern? This course will examine the chemistry of preparing food, the science of flavor and some ethical questions surrounding food and food production.

Meets General Education requirement in CHM 102