PE44A First Year Experience: Spirit, Mind, and Body

PE44A First Year Experience: Spirit, Mind, and Body

First Year Experience: Spirit, Mind, and Body

Gosman Athletic Center 251

Thursdays, 2-3:30pm

Spring 2014


Scott Berozi, M.S., Community Development Coordinator – sberozi@brandeis,edu

Vincent Scarfo, M.Ed., Community Development Coordinator –

Department of Community Living, Usdan first floor


“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.” - Louis D. Brandeis

“I abhor averages. I like the individual case. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live.”

- Louis D. Brandeis

Course Description:

This course creates a unique learning environment in which first-year students are provided with the tools to help ensure success in their first year at Brandeis University and beyond. FYE: Spirit, Mind, and Body introduces students to the role of higher education in society and their role, as students, within our community of scholars.

Four core topic areas – communication, health and wellness, community, and academic skill development – will be explored in depth through a variety of interactive activities in- and out-of-class. Class participants will be expected to be active and engaged learners.

FYE: Spirit, Mind, and Body class is a not-for-credit, pass/fail course that, through successful completion, will satisfy a Brandeis Physical Education requirement.

Course Learning Outcomes:

As of result of this course, students will…

1) Understand the mission and purpose of Brandeis.

2) Locate and utilize resources on campus that will aid in their success.

3) Develop both short-term and long-term academic goals.

4) Be aware of their preferred learning methods, and how to capitalize on these during their college experience.

5) Develop time and stress management skills.

6) Understand their personal relationship with alcohol & drugs, and how to manage that relationship effectively.

7) Engage in higher-level thinking (i.e.: think creatively & critically).

8) Learn how to communicate with clarity and confidence (orally and in writing).

9) Understand their own value system and how that impacts their decision making.

10) Appreciate how experiencing human diversity promotes learning, critical thinking, and personal development.

11) Understand their own leadership style.

12) Develop an extracurricular plan for their Brandeis experience.

13) Interact with other first-year students about their experiences.

Course Requirements:

 Class Attendance

Our class runs once a week for the duration of the spring 2014 semester. In order for our class to reach its full potential, we need all students present and engaged in active, participatory learning. Please make every attempt to arrive to class early or on time. It is expected that students will turn off cell phones during class time, in order to respect their peers and learning environment.

If you are sick or have a conflict with the class time, please do your best to notify the instructors through e-mail at least 12 hours before the class begins. If you are more than ten minutes late to class, it will count as an absence. Because attendance is a critical component, students will fail the course with more than 2 unexcused absences.

 Class readings

For this course we will be using public media sources, and excerpts from books on topics relevant to first year issues. The readings will be short, thought-provoking, contemporary, and relevant to the discussions held in class. Given the credit restrictions of the course, it is the instructor’s goal not to assign more than 30 minutes of reading each week.

 Weekly LATTE journal postings

At the end of each class session, the instructor will share a journal prompt for each student to respond. Some weeks, it may serve as a personal reflection; at other times, the journal response may be in reaction to a campus event (or another related activity). These journal posts will be due on LATTE before the start of the next class session. Students are encouraged to apply and connect course readings to their own experiences whenever possible. The instructor will reply to each journal post within a week’s time by offering support, guidance, and further resources for success.

 Department presentations

Each student will randomly select a Brandeis office or department during our third class. At the beginning of each session, one student will creatively present their findings on the office and how that department can be a resource for first-year students. A one page, double spaced, outline will need to be submitted at the time of the presentation.

Offices will include:

Community Living, Academic Services, Student Financial Services, Athletics, Community Service, Student Rights and Community Standards, Student Support Services Program, Chaplaincy, Office of the Arts, Disability Services, Hiatt Career Center, Intercultural Center, Health Center, Dean of Students, LTS

 Final Presentations

Working individually, you will reflect on your first semester at Brandeis and well as your future goals. In any forum you choose, you will reflect on 3 things you learned during your first semester at Brandeis, 1 thing you would have done differently, 1 thing you will do in your next semester, and 1 thing you hope to do during your time at Brandeis. You will have 10 minutes to present to the class.

 LATTE/E-mail maintenance

Students must be current on all course communication through our LATTE page, in addition to any e-mail correspondences that may occur. Students are encouraged to check the LATTE page at a minimum, bi-weekly, for updates to our course.

Disability Services:

If you are a student with a documented disability on record at Brandeis University, and wish to have a reasonable accommodation made for you, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. For more information about Disability Services at Brandeis, please refer to the office’s website:

Academic Integrity:

Brandeis University Rights and Responsibilities, 2013-14

4.0 Maintenance of Academic Integrity

Every member of the University community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. A student shall not submit work that is falsified or is not the result of the student’s own effort. Infringement of academic honesty by a student subjects that student to serious penalties. A student who is in doubt regarding standards of academic honesty in a course or assignment should consult with the faculty member responsible for that course or assignment before submitting the work. A student’s lack of understanding is not a valid defense to a charge of academic dishonesty. The link to this policy is available on LATTE.

Class Session Overview *Subject to change.

Session 1: Thursday, January 16th : Welcome, Introductions, & Expectations

Things to do for next class session:

  • Schedule and share a meal and conversation with one classmate this week
  • Journal Entry #1

Session 2: Thursday, January 23nd: Wellness, Stress Management and Self Care

Session 3: Thursday, January 30th: Communication and Conflict

Berozi & Scarfo – Spring 2014

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Session 4: Thursday, February 6th: Community Integration/Engagement & Leadership

Session 5: Thursday, February 13th: Campus Scavenger Hunt

No Class: Thursday, February 20th – SPRING BREAK I

Session 6: Thursday, February 27th: Keys to Academic Success, Resources and Tips

Session 7: Thursday, March 6th: TBD

Session 8: Thursday, March 13th: Diversity and Privilege

Session 9: Thursday, March 20th: Creativity and the Arts

Session 10: Thursday, March 27th: Career Exploration

Session 11: Thursday, April 3rd: What’s Next?

Session 12: Thursday, April 10th: Student Group Presentations

No Class: Thursday, April 17th – SPRING BREAK II/PASSOVER

PE44A, Leventhal & Michaud – Spring 2014

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