First Year of Study

In their first semester, NEC students enroll in two prerequisite courses, College Writing and the Liberal Arts Seminar, to help them build essential college-level skills in critical thinking, reading and writing, and public speaking.

In these paired courses, students explore focused topics of study through intellectually challenging readings and class discussions. Seminar and Writing classes are both small in size (15 students maximum), providing students with a great deal of individual attention as they work on their writing and discussion skills in a supportive environment.

College Writing prepares students for academic writing across the curriculum through intensive training in the practice and process of scholarly writing and through development of supporting skills in critical thinking and reading; rhetoric; and basic information resources, research, and source evaluation. Students also learn how to communicate as colleagues, review their peers’ writing, assess strengths and difficulties in their own writing, and identify appropriate strategies and resources for improving their writing. 

Recent College Writing Topics

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Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts Seminar is a discussion-based course that encourages students to examine their developing identities as individuals and as active members of local and global society through the lens of a specific topic. The Seminar prepares students to engage in academic conversations and to understand how academic inquiry develops through processes specific to particular disciplines, interdisciplinary connections, and cross-disciplinary transference of critical thinking strategies. The course not only provides students with opportunities to apply their College Writing skills to more complex topics and scholarly conversations, but also focuses on developing students’ skills in (1) collaboration, respectful discussion, public speaking, and audience engagement; (2) active learning and self-led inquiry and discovery; (3) situating one’s learning in real-world social and political contexts; and (4) engaging a broad variety of subjects important to being a world citizen and creative professional.

Sample Liberal Arts Seminar Topics

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Liberal Arts Classroom