Welcome to Florida Gulf Coast University’s First Year Experience. In order to foster a greater sense of community and to initiate students into university level learning, all incoming freshmen will read James McBride’s The Color of Water. This autobiographical work will provide a foundation for two courses that all students will take in the fall:
IDS 1301- Styles and Ways of Learning
ENC 1101- English Composition I
The purpose of the First Year Experience is to assist in the transition of high school seniors into a university community where they will encounter new social experiences and where the intellectual expectations are more rigorous. Reading McBride’s The Color of Water will help create a community of learners by providing freshmen and the faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University with a common text to discuss. In addition, all freshmen will be expected to attend the Freshman Convocation where James McBride will be the keynote speaker.
How It Works
During Eagle View Orientation, students will be given a copy of The Color of Water, along with an introduction to the text and two assignments. The book must be read before the first day of classes, and the assignments must be completed and brought to Styles and Ways of Learning and Composition I on the first day of class.
The Reading Assignment
The assignment will be introduced at Eagle View Orientation or you may retrieve it by clicking one of the below links
Download the MS Word Version of The Color of Water [.doc - kb]
Download the Adobe Acrobat Version of The Color of Water [.pdf - 122kb]
Students will need to bring The Color of Water text to class during the fall semester when it is used for various activities. Then, during Freshman Convocation, students will have the opportunity to hear the author speak, after which McBride and his jazz band will play during the reception. On the following day, McBride will hold an open forum for students to ask questions and discuss issues in the book.
All freshmen are required to attend the Freshman Convocation, a ceremony that will be held in Alico Arena in which all freshmen will convene with University faculty and staff to be welcomed into the FGCU community. Parents, family, and friends are invited to join us for the convocation and the reception afterwards.
The Schedule - Freshman Convocation
Sunday, September 14, 2003
3:00-4:00 pm Convocation with James McBride as featured speaker
4:00-5:00 pm Jazz Band and Student Reception (Q & A)
5:00-6:00 pm Book signing
Reading, Question and Answer, and Book Signing
Monday, September 15, 2003
Informal Discussion, Question and Answer session - 9:00a.m. to 11.00 a.m.
The Text: The Color of Water
Location: Student Union Ballroom
Florida Gulf Coast University has selected James McBride’s The Color of Water for its inaugural First Year Experience because it discusses themes of education, religion, and cultural diversity. We want our students to engage in a thoughtful and conscious learning process as they progress through their studies at the University, and McBride’s work will help us understand the importance of education and learning. In addition, The Color of Water will provide us with a foundation for considering diverse religions and cultures, allowing us to engage in discussions about our differences and the things that link all of us. In a time when the world is becoming more and more interconnected, we must develop an understanding of multiplicity and difference and the vitality that comes with openness to diversity. For more information on James McBride and The Color of Water, please visit his website at http://www.jamesmcbride.com/
The book will be linked directly to three of the nine student learning goals that form the foundation of the curriculum at Florida Gulf Coast University: Culturally Diverse Perspective, Ethical Responsibility, and Community Awareness and Involvement. As part of the First Year Experience, students will work on a literacy program in their Styles and Ways of Learning class with elementary students. For more information on Florida Gulf Coast University’s student learning goals, go to http://www.fgcu.edu/info/outcomes.asp.
Contact Information for the 2003 First Year the Experience
Associate Dean, Division of Humanities and Arts
Phone: (239) 590-7181
Director, Freshman Advising
Phone: (239) 590-7876
Contact Information for Assignment
The book assignment will be introduced at Eagle View Orientation. For addition information regarding the assignments for the First Year Experience, please contact the individuals below.
For the Styles and Ways of Learning assignment, please contact:
Chairperson and Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: (239) 590-7185
For the Composition I assignment, please contact:
Instructor, College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: (239) 590-7254