First-Semester Experience “Big Chicago” courses are designed to help students connect with the city of Chicago in fundamental ways, work and learn with each other, engage in student activities, and access courses led by some of the top scholars and practitioners in their fields.
Although individual courses have course-specific learning outcomes associated with understanding Columbia College Chicago’s urban setting, all of the courses share the same expectations for the student learning experience. In the first-semester experience course, students will:
- Gain an understanding of the city of Chicago as a site of questioning and exploration.
- Identify frameworks for new and/or deeper ways of thinking for understanding the urban context and communities that surround Columbia College Chicago.
- Participate actively in different learning environments, such as large-scale presentations, team learning activities (face-to-face and online), and instructor and peer-mentor interactions.
- Experience aspects of the city of Chicago firsthand and reflect on those experiences with a cohort of student peers.
Students are encouraged to explore new ideas in the First-Semester Experience course and, if possible, should not select a course that appears to be connected to their designated major areas of study.