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Student Testimonials

  • I took “Understanding Modern Iran” with Dr. Gross for my freshman seminar. The class allowed me to learn about a culture through text and films, something I had never considered before. I improved my critical thinking skills and enjoyed writing papers about the books and movies we watched in class, analyzing how themes presented in the movies paralleled feelings in Iran. The Freshman Seminar Program is a wonderful way to learn something new and interesting while transitioning to writing college-level papers and becoming integrated into campus.
  • My FSP, Understanding Modern Iran, was a very formative experience. As an International Studies major I took it in the hope of getting a better understanding of a country that I knew very little about and is currently critical to U.S. National security. I was fortunate enough to have a professor with extensive knowledge on the subject, and besides learning about Iran I got accustomed to analytically reading scholarly sources which greatly enhanced my critical reading abilities and helped me as I moved into higher level classes. Most importantly I came to realize that understanding Iran’s history holds the key to understanding its present and that the same applies for any country or area of study.
  • My FSP course was one of the best classes I’ve taken yet at The College of New Jersey. Learning alongside students on my freshman floor made for a welcoming and comfortable learning environment – perfect for students transitioning from high school to college life. Of course, my interest in the class also came from the material as well as the professor. I took my FSP course with Dr. Rotter, who taught about how difference can affect individual and group identity. Every week, we would discuss different elements of diversity, everything from gender to socioeconomic status. However, I – along with many other students in the class – learned about far more than what was written in the course description. Dr. Rotter helped us better understand each other and ourselves. The material I learned in my FSP course meant more than papers or exams. I will carry an appreciation of human difference for the rest of my life. And I have Dr. Rotter and the FSP program to thank for that.
  • My FSP on “Normal. Issues of Identity and Difference” was a great experience because of all the opportunities I had academically, and socially. As a high school student, I always thought I was an average writer, but because of my FSP course and my professor, I was able to realize that I am a good writer and become more confident about my writing. My FSP created a space where I was comfortable talking in front of my peers and also be able to engage in academic conversations in and outside of the classroom. My FSP was an awesome experience and definitely made my transition into college as a Freshman a lot less stressful because I knew there was a space where I my thoughts would be respected and also challenged. Most importantly my FSP was what made me able to decide to become a Special Education Major. I came into college as an Option Options Education Major, and seeing how much Dr. Rotter loved what she was teaching, I was so inspired and encouraged to pursue Special Education. Dr. Rotter always encouraged and challenged us as a class to be better and to work harder and I think the relationship she created with us was a valuable one. FSPs create an environment where students are able to learn and be challenged by their professors and even other peers in the classroom. And my FSP definitely shaped my attitude about college and challenged me more academically.
  • As a freshman, I took the FSP Reading Homer, taught by Professor Glenn Steinberg. The small class size encouraged lively and focused in-class conversations, allowing us to discuss the literary and critical texts we read extensively. I gained confidence in my abilities to analyze dense material and debate in an intimate classroom setting among friends. Because freshmen are housed by FSP, I was able to find a community of students with similar interests to mine almost immediately. As a result of my participation in the Reading Homer FSP, I pursued a self-designed major in Classical Studies, wrote my undergraduate thesis about translations of Homer’s Iliad, and continued my research in Classics while earning my M.A. in English at TCNJ. I am currently a doctoral student in Comparative Literature and am earning a second M.A., in Classics, at the University of Oregon. I cannot speak highly enough of the FSP program, and the positive impact that the Reading Homer class had on my choice of career.
  • My experience in Social Justice, my FSP, was nothing but a positive experience. The class itself was different than any other class I had experienced up until that point, and it helped me transition between high school and college in terms schoolwork. Dr. Winston clearly defined what was expected at this level, as shown through his assignments. The topics we went over in class truly expanded my horizons, as many issues I had never experienced before were brought to my attention. Overall, this class was helpful, rewarding, and an overall positive experience.
  • After transferring to The College of New Jersey, I took the Environmental Justice Freshman Seminar Program. Going into the FSP I did not think it would be beneficial and I thought it would be boring. However, I found the FSP to be very interested and it allowed a smaller group of students to have a detailed study on a specific topic with the professor, which I knew very little about before taking the course. The FSP exposed me to what environmental justice is, how the movement has evolved, and what it is now. I would certainly recommend this FSP to other students.
  • Before Dr. Nordquist’s FSP class on Environmental Justice, I was ignorant to many of the issues occurring within the environment. His class structure allowed students to debate one another on their opinions in a respectable manner, which, in my opinion, allowed us to truly retain the information. His class influenced me to the point where I am now an intern with Environment New Jersey and the Philadelphia Zoo. It is at these places that I am able to teach other people the information Professor Nordquist was able to teach our class.
  • I liked my FSP class a lot because the teacher was very helpful in showing my class “the way the other half lives” in an effective way that provoked thoughtful conversation. It was great in showing us the inequities in our world and showed us in an interesting way, that there are still so many grave problems with our society, communities, and world that are constantly ignored. I liked the class because it encouraged us to actually look at the evils in our society and be a little more liberal and concerned with people’s needs and less concerned with the trivial struggles of our own lives.
  • Environmental Justice was a truly inspiring class for me.  The most essential piece of information I learned was that my trash can actually end up damaging the welfare of people who are in lower-income communities.  Most people probably don’t give throwing something out a second thought, but after environmental justice, I have consciously attempted to reduce my waste in order to minimize any effects.  Also, I have increased the amount of eco-friendly goods which I consume in an effort to reduce the amount of toxins in the environment. As for the class, I left environmental justice with ethical lessons that I have not experienced in any other college course.  This wasn’t a historical study, or issue that seemed over my head, but rather a problem which I can attempt to fix by changing my lifestyle.  Environmental Justice gave me a feeling of empowerment, in a sense that I can make a difference in the state of the environmental, albeit a small one. Lastly, regarding the CEL day:  Although it had little to do with the subject of the class, it gave me an opportunity to enter a lower-income community/urban area and see exactly what the lifestyle is like.  I was able to understand the complex issues which plague urban schools, and saw in person how racial society still is, as this urban area school struggled in many aspects that I never had to worry about.
  • My FSP reassured me that I had made the right choice in attending TCNJ and fueled an intellectual curiosity that has lasted for my entire college career. The class format and the professor’s use of the Socratic method provided an intellectually stimulating learning environment that was also fun to be a part of. The subject matter on how to make better decisions was also extremely pertinent to my life, and I have often drawn on our FSP conversations in wide range of other classes.
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