The Freshman Seminar

What is LA 105?

CUW offers a 3-credit course to help freshmen transition from high school to college.  LA 105, Freshman Seminar, was established with the conviction that success doesn’t just happen; you have to plan for it. Students who take this course benefit from the dozens of strategies for success that are presented and discussed throughout the semester.

LA 105 is not a remedial course!  It targets all students regardless of their academic background or past performance.  A student’s high school GPA says little about his/her ability to live away from home; live with a roommate; manage conflict; manage stress; manage time; make healthy, God-pleasing decisions; or pursue a vocation that maximizes one’s God-given abilities and interests. 

Of course, academic skills are also addressed in this class:  taking notes, reading difficult textbooks, studying for exams, writing research papers, managing test anxiety, etc.  Indeed, the breadth of topics covered in LA 105 is extensive.  While each section is unique, all classes address some common topics; for a list of those topics, click here.

What is so special about LA 105?

We teach LA 105 with exceptional, caring instructors who co-teach the course with a student assistant—whom we call a peer leader. Peer leaders are outstanding  students who advocate and live CUW’s mission and who are passionate about helping freshmen succeed. This makes LA 105 one of the most distinctive courses you will take at CUW.

Furthermore, LA 105 students are engaged with a variety of pedagogical methods that favor interaction and involvement over lecture. Vigorous and open discussion about meaningful issues is practiced regularly in this course that emphasizes dialogue and reflection.

Another special feature of LA 105 is the service project.  Each section is free to plan and implement its own service project, but many choose to participate in the LA 105 Blood Drive, which typically occurs the week before Thanksgiving.  We partner with the Blood Center of Wisconsin to educate, inspire, and empower students to save lives in this wonderful act of service.

Unique sections of our freshman seminar

LA 105: Freshman Men Course

We are pleased to inform you about an opportunity dedicated to freshmen MEN that focuses on leadership development while assisting in your transition to college life.

The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:35 a.m.-12:50 p.m. in the Wittenberg Hall Lounge. This section will be limited to the first 15 men who request to be part of this course.  If interested, you must indicate your desire to enroll in LA 105 Wittenberg under the special requests section of the web registration form.

LA 105: Freshman Seminar – Helping Professions Section

This special section of LA 105 is designed for psychology majors, psychology minors and other students in helping professions. All first-year psychology students enroll in this course and learn about the requirements and expectations of the psychology major.

This course introduces students to a wide variety of career opportunities in psychology and other helping professions. The course explores on campus resources, the psychology club and other extracurricular activities to prepare psychology students and other helping professionals to build a strong college résumé in preparation for work or graduate school. Students will gain experience writing and learning APA Style – a requirement for writing in psychology and many other college courses. Students will read a novel and explore the character’s strengths, faith and culture within a psychological context, creating a client conceptualization and treatment plan at the end of the semester. Students will participate in service learning initiatives related to psychology topics during depression awareness month. Students will learn skills for college success and be connected to the CUW community. In addition, students will meet other students who share an interest in serving others.

Psychology majors have first priority in course enrollment. This course meets 2:10-3:00pm Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays each fall semester and is taught by Dr. Rachel Pickett, psychology professor and licensed psychologist.

How does LA 105 fit in the curriculum?

LA 105 is a free elective. The faculty is currently considering a proposal to require LA 105, Freshman Seminar for targeted populations. Our data does support that students who have successfully completed LA 105 enjoy greater persistence and sense of belonging at CUW.

Need more information?

For further information about LA 105, please contact the Director of CUW’s Freshman Year Experience, Dr. Rachel Pickett, at: