Office of Academic Transition

This page is to answer questions for students about the First-Year Seminar program. Faculty will be interested in the faculty FAQ's.


Q: What is a Rowan Seminar?

A: The Rowan Seminar course is an essential part of the Rowan Experience. Rowan Seminars are special sections of regular courses which have a small class size (20 students) and are designed to help facilitate your transition to Rowan and success in college-level work. ALL STUDENTS must complete a Rowan Seminar course; it is a graduation requirement. RS courses can be found all over the University. Some RS courses are related to a major and some are of more general interest.

Q: Why is a Rowan Seminar required for all new students?

A: Rowan Seminar is required because academic expectations in college are much higher than those in high school. First-year students need extra guidance and support as they transition to the new expectations. Your Rowan Seminar is an opportunity to build a strong academic foundation for the skills you will need in all of your college courses. You will also learn a lot about Rowan policies and resources that you will use for all four years.

Q: How do I get enrolled in a Rowan Seminar?

A: You will probably be pre-enrolled before you even come to campus to choose your other courses. Incoming first-year students are placed into an appropriate RS course based on their major or general education requirements. You can tell a course is a Rowan Seminar by the “-RS” after the course title on your schedule (for example, “Essentials of Psychology-RS”). If you are not pre-enrolled in a RS course, you can email Dr. Sean Hendricks and he will help you. Because the seats in RS courses are reserved for first-year students, you cannot register for a RS course yourself. If you accidentally drop your RS, please email Dr. Hendricks to get re-enrolled.
If for some reason you do not complete a RS in your first semester at Rowan, you will be contacted before your second semester to get enrolled. An easy way to see which courses are offered as Rowan Seminars is on Section Tally. You choose the appropriate term (e. g., Fall 2012) and then under “Attribute,” choose “Rowan Seminar.” Most likely all of the sections will appear closed; however, in reality we are holding the seats for student placement. Email Dr. Hendircks to get enrolled.

Q: How does the Rowan Seminar work?

A: Because Rowan Seminars are special sections of regular courses, the main course material you learn is the same as in the regular sections. That is, if your RS is Chemistry I-RS, you will learn the same Chemistry material that other Chemistry I students learn.
However, RS sections are specially designed with first-year students in mind. The professors are specially trained to know what first-year students are like and what they need to learn to be ready for college-level work. The professor will introduce every student to the following skills, values, and expectations at the college level:
• Strengthen writing and critical thinking skills through their application to a specific course content
• Nurture library research skills within a course context
• Reinforce the value of cooperative learning
• Strengthen the academic skills needed for college

Q: Will the seminar be a lot more work than other classes?

A: NO! Very little more will be asked of each student beyond the usual course requirements. What is different and innovative about the Rowan Seminar is how the course material is used to help each student make the academic transition from high school to college.

Q: Who teaches Rowan Seminars?

A: Seminar professors are typically full-time experienced faculty. They are chosen for their teaching skills, thorough knowledge of their subject, familiarity with the college policies, and their interest in helping new students succeed in college. Given the reduced class size, each student will have a greater opportunity to interact with the professor who will be available to the student as a mentor and as a guide.

Q: Is a Rowan Seminar more credits than a regular version of the same course?

A: No. A Rowan Seminar is three credits for a three-credit course and four credits for a four-credit course.

Q: I took a course that has the same name as a Rowan Seminar. Why does this course not fill the requirement?

A: Only some sections of any given course will be designed as a Rowan Seminar with “-RS” after the title. For example, “US History to 1865-RS” fills the RS requirement, but “US History to 1865” does not. RS sections are smaller, have specially trained faculty, and address additional information to support the students’ transition to college. Courses must have the “-RS” designation to meet the requirement.

Q: How can I get more information?

A: The Office of Academic Transition Programs, which oversees the Rowan Seminar Program, is staffed by Dr. Sean Hendricks, Assistant Director (hendrickss@rowan.edu@rowan.edu; 856-256-5655). Please contact him with any questions about the program or for assistance getting enrolled into a Rowan Seminar.