School navigation

Exploration and Discovery

Program Overview

Exploration and Discovery is a first-year course designed to introduce students to important ideas and works in the tradition of the liberal arts. Over the two semesters, students develop and hone their college-level skills in critical reading by engaging a diverse array of challenging textual materials. “E&D” students also advance their strength and confidence as writers of prose through regular practice, constructive feedback from faculty and peers, and opportunities to revise and polish their work. In addition, students practice their skills as capable speakers in both informal and formal settings, and develop their research capabilities and basic information literacy.

The fall semester features a slate of common works important to the liberal arts. These works, read in all fall sections, provide a shared ‘micro-culture’ of significant, engaging texts for students and their instructors to discuss and to use as touchstones for learning—in the classroom and beyond.

The spring semester guides students from such common pathways of exploration to particular disciplinary avenues of discovery. Although each section is unique in terms of its focus and assigned texts, all sections share the vital goal of honing students’ college skills, including formal speaking and research.

Because one of the goals of E&D is to help first-year students improve their skills as speakers, all sections are capped at 19 students and structured to foster thoughtful and articulate discussion of key texts and ideas. Small class sizes also enable instructors to work more intensively with all students on developing their writing skills.

In the following video, Paul Powers introduces Exploration and Discovery—better known as E&D— the course where you can immerse yourself in an array of the great texts (Freud, Plato, and the Bible); improve your writing, reading, and speaking skills; and discover what the liberal arts are really all about.

Frequently Asked Questions about E&D

 E&D Student Resources, Writing Tips and Guidelines

Discover tips for writing a college-level paper.

Exploration and Discovery

Contact Us