[Past Project] Practice Seminar Program

At Columbia, our Core Curriculum is composed almost entirely of seminar classes. A large part of success in these classes depends on one’s participation. However, many students come from backgrounds with varying levels of experience in discussion-based classes; for example, international students, as well as students from low income backgrounds, may not have experienced Harkness style learning or seminar style classes before coming to Columbia. As a result, there is a marked imbalance in the comfort levels of students in these spaces. This project aims to bridge that gap and provide a safe space, as well as specific techniques, for students to practice their seminar skills. The Practice Seminar Program consists of three student-led seminars focused on developing seminar specific skills, such as close-reading (often used in LitHum and UWriting), argument analysis (in Contemporary Civilizations), and public speaking/presentation skills.