University Seminar Descriptions

Division of Student Success focuses on your successful transition into the Maryville community. Maryville has a comprehensive and integrated approach to assisting you in your academic, financial, and personal transition to Maryville. One of the many exciting opportunities for you as a first-year student is the University Seminar course which all first-year students enroll in during their first semester.

Maryville’s University Seminar is more than a required course. It provides a distinctive opportunity to work closely with peers and a trio of instructors on an important topic of mutual interest. The trio of instructors include a full-time faculty member, staff member, and a Life Coach who will serve as a resource to support you in achieving your success.

University Seminar – Who Am I?

Setting My College Soul on Fire
(START Registration Page Title: Setting My College Soul on Fire)

Based on the quote, “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire,” we will explore what it means to be fearless and plan for intentional risk-taking and create strategies to pursue greater happiness and discover our places for belonging. While doing so, we will search for meaning in pivotal college experiences. Students will work both individually and collaboratively to create a college “bucket list,” construct a relationship genogram, develop a passion proclamation statement and create a digital self-portrait among other experiential activities.


Minecraft Version ’18:  Create Your Own Narrative
(START Registration Page Title: Minecraft Version ’18)

Join us inside the video game world of Minecraft to craft your own adventure in the discovery of “who am I?” Unlock new avatar skins, change your world, or explore new maps from within a community with unlimited imagination. We will explore multiple gameplay modes, including a survival mode where the players must acquire resources to build the community and maintain optimal health, a creative mode where players have unlimited resources and the ability to soar, an adventure mode where players can play custom maps created by other players, and a spectator mode where players can move throughout a world without being affected by obstacles or gravity. Working in collaborative teams, you’ll explore your own and others’ views about the world, yourself, and your social relations. You may encounter challenges in the game that bring your assumptions into question, and will have an opportunity to consciously examine them and consider new frames of reference.


Making Your Home in the World
(START Registration Page Title: Making Your Home in the World)

This course will introduce students to the idea of cultivating their place in the world through literary resources, research and discovery. During thoughtful and engaging discussion, we will explore definitions of home—and how home is created individually and communally, abstractly and concretely. We each have a vision of what makes a desirable home and community. This might mean walkability, nearby amenities, knowing your neighbors, or a sense of belonging? We will work in groups to explore these ideas and each team will define and create their ideal community. Additionally, students will explore that it means to be a Maryville Saint, creating a personal approach to community, culture and civic engagement.


Successfully Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
(START Registration Page Title: Successfully Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone)

We have all been there. Being uncomfortable is a universal theme in many life situations even beyond college. In this unique course, we recognize that investing in your career, developing new skills and finding yourself in new social environments could be daunting. We will encourage you to honor your experiences, learn from them, explore your own unique places of discomfort, and identify the main strategies for coping with discomfort to help you grow and expand your horizons.


Life Hacking Your Way Through College
(START Registration Page Title: Life Hacking)

In this course you will gain a sense of self and learn to own your college experience. Through community connections, self-reflections and life hacks, you’ll develop your own identity and growth mindset. With Maryville life hacks, you’ll discover short term changes lead to long term results.


Developing Your Personal Brand
(START Registration Page Title: Developing Your Personal Brand)

We live in a busy world where we are pulled in many directions amid a blur of activities and distractions. When asked to think deeply about who we are, what we stand for, and where we want to go in life, we often struggle to answer the questions. As we go forward, it is important to take the time to discover who we are, who we want to be, what we will stand for, and how we will project ourselves to the world. Take this intentional journey with us through film, social media, short interviews, and self-reflection as you discover your purpose and market your brand.


Connecting in the Physical + Digital Age
(START Registration Page Title: Connecting in the Physical + Digital Age)

We are living in a “Phigital” age, a time in which our physical and digital worlds constantly intersect. Within these two worlds, how do we customize our personal brands, our identity, and our connections? This course will examine the ways that we connect, engage, and advocate for a more equitable and socially just society both in the digital and physical worlds.


Social ME-dia and the Glow Up
(START Registration Page Title: Social ME-dia and the Glow Up)

Glow up: “To go from the bottom to the top to the point of disbelief. An incredible transformation” (Urban Dictionary). Together, our class will explore the ways in which social media and internet culture influence the perils, pleasures, and paradoxes of personal transformation today. Using social and cultural psychology, our and other people’s stories, through various social media platforms (i.e. FaceBook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram), we will explore our self and identity as well as the multiple perspectives of those around us. What are consequences of media on social and emotional interactions, public and private selves, and personal vs. social roles? And how does all that affect who we will become?


Growing Up Gen Z
(START Registration Page Title: Growing Up Gen Z)

In this class we will explore the impact and influence generational identity and perception has on society, culture, diversity, and technology. Through exciting and interactive activities, which will include reflection videos, storytelling projects, and engaging in-class discussions, we will answer the question “what does it mean to live a Gen Z life?”


Global Citizenship: We are Them and They are Us
(START Registration Page Title:  Global Citizenship)

Cultures and communities continue to shift each and every day. Together, we will explore how to develop your sense of self and the capacity to become more globally conscious citizens of the world. Activities will examine how local and global communities shape each of us, empowering us to be more informed advocates for social change and challenge us to better understand one another.


“Braving the Wilderness” to find “This is Us”
(START Registration Page Title: Braving the Wilderness)

Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? This course will explore self-identity and the factors that influenced your development – making you who are you today. Where did you come from, where are you going, and with whose help? You will learn how to leverage your personal strengths for personal and academic success in college and beyond, how to incorporate reflection into your weekly activities, how to understand the diverse perspectives of others in our community, and how to learn from, and in, the world around us. We will do this while spending time indoors, outdoors, alone, and together, all with the help of lessons from the popular show “This is Us” and the book “Braving the Wilderness.”


“Stranger Things” and Exploring the Unknown
(START Registration Page Title: Stranger Things)

Guided by the theme of the hit TV show “Stranger Things,” this course will focus on helping students develop a stronger sense of self, exploring the perspectives of others, and gaining a more diverse and inclusive worldview. Tapping into students true sight, together, we will start the introspective process, and combat internal Mind Flayer and the Upside Down. Ultimately, with the assistance of their party, this course will help students find their AV Club and fight personal and societal Demogorgons while also supporting their college success.


The Meaning Behind My Story
(START Registration Page Title: Meaning Behind My Story)

If you were to tell the story of your life, what would you title each chapter? Friends, family, romance? Career? Money? Health and physical well-being? Spirituality? Service? In this class we will explore what gives your life meaning, and how your experiences and outside influences impact your story. We will discuss and reflect on the ideas of happiness, wellness and purpose, as well as read stories that challenge the way we think about our place in this world, stories both of utopia and dystopia. Apart from encountering a variety of worldviews, you will also engage in service and community outreach.


Telling #YourTruth #MyMaryvilleStory #MaryvilleYouthquake
(START Registration Page Title: Telling #YourTruth)

You will explore who you have been, who you are, and the Maryville Saint you will become through the creation and examination of storytelling in music, short narratives, and film. By telling #YourTruth through #MyMaryvilleStory you will explore ways you can start a  #MaryvilleYouthquake in your life by influencing the Maryville campus and the world.