Every first-year student at Grinnell enrolls in the First-Year Tutorial, a small group of students working with a faculty member to study a subject of interest to both students and tutor. The tutor also is the academic adviser for each student in the group, so that teaching and learning are closely linked with the planning of programs of study. In teaching, the tutor discovers the aptitudes and interests of the students, who in turn receive academic advice, not from an infrequently consulted stranger, but from a teacher who sees them several times each week. In planning a program of study, the student and the tutor balance the cultivation of existing interests with the discovery of new ones. An entering student should regard the first year as a time for gaining breadth in the arts and sciences, confidence in exploring a variety of disciplines, and a more mature understanding of the place of each of these in liberal education as a whole. The following guidelines are helpful in realizing these objectives during the first year.
- The student should develop his or her command of written English, not only in the tutorial, but also in at least one other suitable course as well.
- The student should develop his or her knowledge of mathematics, a foreign language, or both.
- The student should take courses in each of the three main divisions of the curriculum—humanities, science, and social studies—and should take no more than two full courses in any one division in any semester.