First-year students at UW-Madison have the opportunity to participate in a First-Year Interest Group of their choosing. As the website describes it, “A First-Year Interest Group (FIG) is a ‘learning community’ of about 20 students who are enrolled in a cluster of three classes that are linked by a common theme. The main seminar course of each FIG enrolls only those 20 students and is taught by a faculty member who integrates into that class appropriate content from the other two classes linked to the cluster. The integration of courses in a FIG helps students discover how disciplines relate to one another, creating a richer educational experience.”
This story describes one current FIG led by Jack Kloppenberg, Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology, that focuses on food. The core course “examines the social relations surrounding the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of food,” and the FIG includes Tuesday night dinner labs where the students prepare and share a meal together. Kinda makes me wish I were an undergrad again.