Join us for First-Year Launch

The First-Year Launch is a signature component of FLC's first-year experience. These half-semester, one- credit courses will welcome you to our community and support your success. You’ll form a tight-knit group with the other 10-15 students in your Launch course and you’ll get help from your instructor to navigate college life and your first year at FLC.

Launch courses are designed by faculty and staff from a variety of programs and disciplines around topics that they are interested in and passionate about. There are no prerequisites for any Launch courses, so you’re free to choose any that interest you and will fit your schedule. Make a list of your top 3-5 courses that will inspire you to think about the world and yourself in a new way!

First-Year Launch Classes

Arts & Creativity

Arts & Creativity

Day/Time Title Description
T/R 11:15-12:10 Selena and Latinx Music This Course Explores Latinx music and culture through the life and career of Mexican American singer and cultural icon, Selena Quintanilla. Students will also learn about other Latinx music genres popular in the US, such as reggaeton, and will analyze the role of music in their own communities and cultures.
T/R 11:15-12:10 (de)Constructing an Epic Students will have the opportunity to discuss stories that mean something to them, creating an environment to connect with me and peers in the first week of college. Meeting new people is important, but many students find it challenging to connect. This class will jumpstart these connections with peers.
M/W 12:20-1:15 Seeing Through Writing We all have places we love. In this course, you'll learn about powerful place-based writing and use these techniques to write about your important places. You'll also get to know Fort Lewis College and the Durango area through new eyes as you observe and write about new places around you.
M/W 2:30-3:25 Think Like A Craftsperson Students will explore their major, coursework, and other passions, and crafts. They will assess the role of practice, experience, and textbook knowledge in their field, plus the importance of creativity and improvisation. Time-management-essential to any craft-will also be addressed. From musicians to programmers, everyone is a craftsperson.
M/W 8:00-8:55 or T/R 8:00-8:55 Reed Library Book Club! Love stories and the worlds opened up by books?

Join us in reading Elizabeth Acevedo's slam poetry book, The Poet X. We’ll discuss finding your voice and common ground in an atmosphere of a few new friends.

Join us in reading Scott Westerfeld’s dystopian fiction book, Uglies. We’ll discuss alternate viewpoints and find common ground in an atmosphere of a few new friends.
M/W 4:40-5:35 Reading Circle English, JMMS, and Writing Majors know that words matter. This FYL class connects English, JMMS, and Writing Majors around a common text that speaks to the importance of narrative. Students can build relationships with other Writing Majors and learn about opportunities for Majors in the department/campus to realize their goals.
T/R 2:30-3:25 The Art of Community Students will work with the Center of Southwest Studies staff to cultivate student connections to Fort Lewis College’s world-class museum and archival collections! The class will consider the creation of a student organization, student ambassadors, and/or annual events that bring students together over arts and culture.
T/R 2:30-3:25 Nature Journaling Connect with your new home in our community through nature journaling! In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to explore spaces and stir your curiosity. You’ll also sharpen your skills of observation by seeing, reflecting, and recording—to not only wonder in natural spaces but to remember your experiences.
T
6:00-7:00
*Full Semester
Theatre Production  Theatre Production is a chance to get your hands dirty working behind the scenes on an FLC Theatre Department Production.  FYL students can choose to learn new skills and work in the Costume Shop or Scene Shop. No previous experience necessary!  Performances take place in the Theatre MainStage, Black Box or Community Concert Hall.  Students will enjoy building relationships with their peers as they are mentored by theatre faculty and learn theatre skills. 

*Students must attend the first theatre company meeting on the 1st Tuesday of the semester  where they will meet the instructor, as well as the costume and scene shop instructors. The class will meet on Tuesday evenings from 6-7 p.m. over the entire semester. The rest of their 43 hours will be worked out with their supervisor.

Business & Finance

Business & Finance

Day/Time Title Description
M/W 1:25-2:20 Financial Decision-Making Students will obtain greater comfort making major financial decisions. Teaching methods include case studies, historical/statistical evidence, and simple analytical tools. Students will complete a budget/financial project based on topics and student interests. Students learn to avoid damaging mistakes in decisions that determine financial flexibility for life’s uncertainties.
Session 1: R 9:35-10:30 Session 2: R 11:15-12:10 Session 3: W 1:25-2:20 *Synchronous Live online, Hybrid. Intro to Global Business This is a brief introduction to international business. Students explore cultural differences to better understand the world. The goal is to become global citizens by discovering how Americans stand on the global stage and what cool businesses exist outside the USA.

Campus Involvement

Campus Involvement

Day/Time Title Description
M/W
9:05-10:00
Life is an Event Plan it The best way to plan events starts by attending an event and planning it! Research, design, planning, coordination, and evaluation are key components to facilitating a successful event. We will discuss the process and will lay out techniques, culminating with the facilitation of a mid-semester event for Skyhawks!
M/W
11:15-12:10
Your Success Story Meet new friends and people from across campus who are here to help you and be your champion. You’ll also learn your personal strengths and the systems and technology we have to enable you to create your own idea of success at FLC!
T
4:05-6:05
Let’s Play! This class will introduce students to a variety of recreational activities that can be accessed right out our back door! Activities will include rock climbing disc golf, hiking, yoga, and more. All that is required is an open mind and a good attitude! Activities will be taught at a beginner level.
M/W 11:15-12:10 KDUR Radio KDUR is a volunteer-powered campus-community radio station that will work with first-year students to connect them to campus and community resources, while incorporating real world skills in audio editing, interviewing, podcasting, and media. Students in the course will also learn about new music, news programming, and being a Skyhawk!
*Asynchronous online FLC Bucket List This course is the ultimate guide to your college experience unique to the Fort, compiling everything your fellow Skyhawks recommend you experience during your first year. We will cover everything from success in classroom and campus must-knows, to fun ways to engage with our community, helping you start your successful and exciting journey at FLC!
T/R
9:35-10:30
Be in the KNOW! Learn the insider secrets of personal development and career readiness.  Listen to campus experts, current students and employers to learn survival tips while in college and life.  Get ready to be in the KNOW!
W
2:30-4:30
Decision Making and College Survival In this course, students will develop personalized processes for approaching the sort of complex problems they will face in college and beyond. Students will learn how to find and review topical information from multiple sources. Students will also begin to form a network of mentors to support their continued success.
T/R
8:30-9:25
Puzzling Through Life at FLC Learn about life as a student at FLC by solving puzzles and actively exploring the campus. We will use a variety of puzzle types to lead us to exploration of activities, majors, and other information you want to know about campus life.

Career Exploration

Career Exploration

Day/Time Title Description
M/W
3:35-4:30
Discovering Majors/Careers What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you tired of hearing that question and not knowing? THAT IS PERFECTLY OK! College is the time to explore interests and this class will help you learn about different majors and careers to find one that fits you.
M/W
11:15-12:10
Success Beyond College What do you want to be when you grow up? College is preparation for YOUR future! This class will help you to make an informed decision about your future career. Learn occupational job trends, transferable job skills, resume writing, online job search navigation, interviewing skills, and use your college career to land your dream job.
T/R
9:35-10:30
Be in the KNOW! Learn the insider secrets of personal development and career readiness.  Listen to campus experts, current students and employers to learn survival tips while in college and life.  Get ready to be in the KNOW!

Community Building & Politics

Community Building & Politics

Day/Time Title Description
T/R 4:05-5:00 Community by Conversation While most agree that our society faces enormous problems, we cannot seem to have reasonable discussions about solving those problems without shouting. It does not have to be that way! This class will empower you with psychological strategies for having better conversations about the issues most important to you.
M/W 3:35-4:30 Intro to Campus Police This course will examine the role of campus police and the relationship with other campus departments, neighboring police agencies, courts, and the campus judicial process to ensure student success. Students will learn about equipment, community policing, social media, and mental health issues within law enforcement.
T/R 11:15-12:10 Fill Your Activist Cup Being involved in social justice and activism can be a huge part of our identities. Often what comes along with being passionate about social issues is the energy it can take away from our own self-care. To make social justice work sustainable, this course will help you learn ways to balance change-making and personal care, helping you find ways to fill your cup and be your best activist self.

Diversity & Culture

Diversity & Culture

Day/Time Title Description
T/R
11:15-12:10
Selena and Latinx Music This course explores Latinx music and culture through the life and career of Mexican American singer and cultural icon Selena Quintanilla. Students will also learn about other Latinx music genres popular in the US, such as reggaeton, and will analyze the role of music in their own communities and cultures.
T/R
11:15-12:20
Queer Culture: Out on TV Course examines representations of LBGTQA2IOX+ culture on television and the extent to which positive changes have occurred over the past fifty years since Stonewall and the rise of the gay rights movement. The course primarily examines subversive comedy shows, for example, Golden Girls, Will & Grace, Legends of Tomorrow, Schitt’s Creek.
T/R
1:25-2:20
Earth Odyssey The Earth’s landscapes and oceans have long been a source of awe, inspiration, and deep human meaning. Students will explore the diversity of the earth’s surface and diverse human experiences of it. Starting with our local community, we will map stories of human migration and cultural and environmental change.
T/R
2:30-3:25
The Art of Community Students will work with the Center of Southwest Studies' staff to cultivate student connections to Fort Lewis College's world-class museum and archival collections! The class will consider the creation of a student organization, student ambassadors, and/or annual events that bring students together over arts and culture.
T/R
2:30-3:25
Aim for IndigExcellence Indigenize FLC and navigate the realities of culture shock - new surroundings, people and situations.  Strengthen existing skills and learn new ones: codeswitching; career planning, and unapologetically taking up space within the College and beyond. AIM for excellence and become Indigenous Nation Builders and Sovereignty Protectors.  We are all warriors!
W
4:30-6:30
Life Along the Hyphen: Exploring Identity  Every human is multifaceted. In this course, students will define, describe, and discuss aspects of their identities— individually and as part of a larger context. From an analysis of texts to music, oral discourse to the written word, the importance of self-reflection and growth in a college setting is explored.
M/W
12:20-1:15
Anthropology of College This launch course will introduce students to the field of anthropology and to the expectations of college. We will discuss all four subfields of anthropology (archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and physical anthropology). Students will also use anthropological methods to understand the materials, culture, language, and biology of college life.

Honors

Honors

Day/Time Title Description
Section 1: M/W 12:20-1:15 HON 100 This class is for new Reed Honors Students and is designed to introduce them to the key practices in Honors education as well as what to expect in FLC’s Reed Honors.
Section 2: T/R 11:15-12:10 HON 100 This class is for new Reed Honors students and is designed to introduce them to the key practices in Honors education as well as what to expect in FLC's Reed Honors.
Section 3: W 2:30-4:30 HON 100 This class is for new Reed Honors students and is designed to introduce them to the key practices in Honors education as well as what to expect in FLC's Reed Honors.

Media & Marketing

Media

Day/Time Title Description
T/R
11:15-12:20
Queer Culture: Out on TV Course examines representations of LBGTQA2IOX+ culture on television and the extent to which positive changes have occurred over the past fifty years since Stonewall and the rise of the gay rights movement. The course primarily examines subversive comedy shows, for example, Golden Girls, Will & Grace, Legends of Tomorrow, Schitt’s Creek.
T/R
4:05-5:00
Photography and Instagram Whether you are part of a Fortune 500 company or small-scale blogger, Instagram is changing the way we create and consume photos. We will look at social media platforms as a launch pad for burgeoning artists by studying the principles of photography/social media marketing. Students required to have Instagram account.
M/W 10:10-11:05 Science vs Misinformation For this course, students will discuss how we perceive our planet and realize our many misunderstandings of the current state of the world. Students will also learn how scientists can improve science communication to dispel many scientific myths and provide a clearer and sharper platform for discourse in science.
M/W
11:15-12:10
The Science of Star Wars We will explore the science of the Star Wars universe, considering questions like, How high can a Jedi master jump? What exactly is the Force? How could we live on a gas planet like Bespin? How much would it cost to build the Death Star: Could Lightsabers possibly be built?
T/R
9:35-10:30
Influencers and Illusions This course will explore the illusions that social media influencers employ to become "Face Famous"/ This course will encourage students to think critically about the power of social media and how it affects their conceptions of self, the larger-scale implications of "influencers", and what this means for future society.
M
3:35-5:35
#FLC #Branding #FYL
This course provides students with an opportunity to learn about branding, integrated marketing communications, and social media marketing. Students will work with our FLC community to create engaging content for platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
M/W 11:15-12:10 KDUR Radio KDUR is a volunteer-powered campus-community radio station that will work with first-year students to connect them to campus and community resources, while incorporating real world skills in audio editing, interviewing, podcasting, and media. Students in the course will also learn about new music, news programming, and being a Skyhawk!

Music

Music

Band

Day/Time Title Description
T/R 2:30-3:25 *Full Semester Non-Major Music Ensembles There will be no homework assigned for this course. Everything you need to do will be during class time – Did you participate in music in high school and want to keep performing? Any student who plays or sings can keep performing in these ensembles, regardless of major! First-year students will be matched with an experienced student as a mentor and will be encouraged to explore music beyond just performing.

Choir

Day/Time Title Description
M/W 3:35-5:00 *Full Semester Concert Choir There will be no homework assigned for this course. Everything you need to do will be during class time – singing in rehearsal with your new friends and colleagues – and culminating in a concert performance in the concert hall! Because this Launch course is a music ensemble rather than a lecture course, we will meet MW 3:35-5:00 for the entire fall semester so we can prepare for our performance.

Orchestra

Day/Time Title Description
T 6:30-8:30 *Full Semester Orchestra Exploration There will be no homework assigned for this course. Everything you need to do will be during class time – This course is designed for any FLC first-year student who has previously played a string instrument to build community by participating in orchestra. We will play and perform together as a musical family, listen to a professional orchestra, and also explore the inner workings of the ensemble.

Nature & Environment

Nature & Environment

Day/Time Title Description
M/W 10:10-11:05 Local Wildlife Behavior Animal behavior ignites the naturalist in many people. Students will explore the diversity of social systems, mating systems, and reproduction that we can find exhibited by many local species. The class will encompass an overview of species identification and behavior. We will discuss the evolutionary history of diverse animal behavior.
W 3:35-5:35 The Air Out There In this FYL class, we will get some fresh air on hikes around Durango and learn about our Earth's atmosphere as well as issues that impact our air quality in the Four Corners Region.
W 3:35-5:35 Save the Bees! Bees are taken for granted yet our food supply is impacted if bees become extinct. Students learn the fascinating lives of honeybees and the importance of pollination for food, medicine, and economy. Much like our students, bees are intelligent and work in a hive to support everyone as a community.
T/R 1:25-2:20 Earth Odyssey The Earth’s landscapes and oceans have long been a source of awe, inspiration, and deep human meaning. Students will explore the diversity of the earth’s surface and diverse human experiences of it. Starting with our local community, we will map stories of human migration and cultural and environmental change.
T/R 2:30-3:25 Stewards of Nature! Humans are spending less time out in Nature. Let's be part of the solution in this Launch class where we will discuss the disconnect humans are facing with Nature and explore the health benefits of connecting with nature through hands-on activities where you will smell, feel, see, and hear nature.
T/R 2:30-3:25 Nature Journaling Connect with your new home in our community through nature journaling! In this course, you’ll have the opportunity to explore spaces and stir your curiosity. You’ll also sharpen your skills of observation by seeing, reflecting, and recording—to not only wonder in natural spaces but to remember your experiences.
M 1:25-3:35 Soul of the Animas River Durango gets its water from the Animas River, but where does the river come from, and where does it go? We'll learn about the river's journey downstream: how rocks shape it, what causes its floods, its history of mining, and how our amazing backyard river provides water across the West.
M 1:25-3:25 Science & Art of Stones This course will employ a place-based field trip acquainting students with the region and its geology. Students will engage with the earth to explore geology and earth's treasures, document their experiences, and then learn how people transform raw materials into jewelry by engaging with local artisans.

Personality & Psychology

Personality & Psychology

Day/Time Title Description
R 6:00-8:00 Astrology and Archetypes This course introduces students to the study and practice of astrology using Hellenistic and modern methods. Students will understand traditional and contemporary symbolic meanings of planets, signs, houses, and aspects. Participants will create and study natal charts to explore universal archetypal concepts and their relationship to psyche, soul, and personality.

Science

Science

Day/Time Title Description
M/W 10:10-11:05 Science vs Misinformation For this course, students will discuss how we perceive our planet and realize our many misunderstandings of the current state of the world. Students will also learn how scientists can improve science communication to dispel many scientific myths and provide a clearer and sharper platform for discourse in science.
M/W 10:10-11:05 Local Wildlife Behavior Animal behavior ignites the naturalist in many people. Students will explore the diversity of social systems, mating systems, and reproduction that we can find exhibited by many local species. The class will encompass an overview of species identification and behavior. We will discuss the evolutionary history of diverse animal behavior.
M
3:35-5:35
Kitchen Chemistry Practical chemical reactions involving reagents found in your kitchen. Making and demonstrating water softeners, soaps, paint pigments, fungicides, and extracting citric acid from lemons. Chemistry isn’t just an abstract subject in labs—it describes the world we live in.
M
3:35-5:35
Learning by Doing Robotics This course will provide our first-year students with a unique experience of learning how a simple robot car works and how to assemble it through several hands-on labs. Being exposed to these labs early in college will encourage them to stay in the program and learn more about the technology.
F
1:25-3:25
My Genetic Origins Who are your ancestors? Where did they live? Explore scientific discovery by extracting your own DNA and sequencing it to identify the world regions your ancestors traveled from to bring you to FLC today.
M/W
3:35-4:30
Wild Western Waters An exploration of western rivers and the water resources which support a vast array of livelihoods: recreation, agriculture, cities, and ecosystems. Starting with river rafting and then expanding our view, we’ll learn about a wide variety of river issues and reflect on our personal connections to water in the west.
M/W
11:15-12:10
The Science of Star Wars We will explore the science of the Star Wars universe, considering questions like, How high can a Jedi master jump? What exactly is the Force? How could we live on a gas planet like Bespin? How much would it cost to build the Death Star: Could Lightsabers possibly be built?
M/W
2:30-3:25
Rocketry - A Real Launch Opportunity You will gain hands-on experience by building and flying model rockets and help assemble and fly a high-powered rocket.  Computer modeling will aid the design process.  Simulations using Newton’s laws of motion will predict rocket performance.  Flight electronics will verify the predictions.  Participation in some Saturday rocket launches is required.

Strategies for College Success

Strategies for College Success

Day/Time Title Description
T/R
4:05-5:00
We are What We Often Do We will examine good and bad habits and learn how to create, change, and break habits for a more successful YOU. If you change the way you see the world and yourself by the habits you create, you will see that excellence is not an act, but a habit.
M/W
10:10-11:05
Run Your Own Race Marathoner Haruki Marakumi said, in running, “the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” Welcome to college, where every day is an opportunity to transform into the best version of yourself. In this course, we’ll run together and train to crush academic challenges
*Asynchronous Online Getting’ Gritty for Success Attitude, motivation, and perseverance or grit are important for the success of both short-term and long-term goals. This course will explore the role of attitude, motivation, and the development of a gritty, growth mindset by examining success stories, as well as personal motivators and goals.
M/W
11:15-12:10
Your Success Story Meet new friends and people from across campus who are here to help you and be your champion. You’ll also learn your personal strengths and the systems and technology we have to enable you to create your own idea of success at FLC!
M/W
2:30-3:25
First-Generation Experience First-generation college students have a unique identity and bring unique experiences to our campus! In this course, you’ll find a sense of belonging, connect with other first-generation students, and gain strategies for college success. Through discussions, reading assignments, and reflections, you’ll be empowered to succeed academically.
T/R
2:30-3:25
Aim for IndigExcellence Indigenize FLC and navigate the realities of culture shock - new surroundings, people and situations. Strengthen existing skills and learn new ones: codeswitching; career planning, and unapologetically taking up space within the College and beyond. AIM for excellence and become Indigenous Nation Builders and Sovereignty Protectors. We are all warriors!
T/R
8:25-9:25

T/R
9:35-10:30
Succeeding Out of Bounds This course will support first-year student-athletes on your journey to succeed on and off the field. We'll celebrate the determination and enthusiasm you bring to your sport and learn how to apply that mindset to the classroom, too. We'll learn about study skills, connect with campus resources, and support each other during this exciting transition to college.
*Asynchronous online FLC Bucket List This course is the ultimate guide to your college experience unique to the Fort, compiling everything your fellow Skyhawks recommend you experience during your first year. We will cover everything from success in classroom and campus must-knows, to fun ways to engage with our community, helping you start your successful and exciting journey at FLC!
W
4:30-6:30
Life Along the Hyphen: Exploring Identity  Every human is multifaceted. In this course, students will define, describe, and discuss aspects of their identities— individually and as part of a larger context. From an analysis of texts to music, oral discourse to the written word, the importance of self-reflection and growth in a college setting is explored.
M/W
12:20-1:15
Anthropology of College This launch course will introduce students to the field of anthropology and to the expectations of college. We will discuss all four subfields of anthropology (archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and physical anthropology). Students will also use anthropological methods to understand the materials, culture, language, and biology of college life.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Day/Time Title Description
M/W 10:10-11:05 Run Your Own Race Marathoner Haruki Marakumi said, in running, “the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” Welcome to college, where every day is an opportunity to transform into the best version of yourself. In this course, we’ll run together and train to crush academic challenges
T 4:05-6:05 Let’s Play This class will introduce students to a variety of recreational activities that can be accessed right out our back door! Activities will include rock climbing disc golf, hiking, yoga, and more. All that is required is an open mind and a good attitude! Activities will be taught at a beginner level.
W/F 11:15-12:10 Finding Balance In this course, we will get real and dig deep to help you find balance in an overwhelming world. We will explore a variety of realistic self-care and social connection strategies and community resources that can support you during your time at FLC. Get beyond just surviving college and thrive!
T/R 2:30-3:25 Stewards of Nature! Humans are spending less time out in Nature. Let's be part of the solution in this Launch class where we will discuss the disconnect humans are facing with Nature and explore the health benefits of connecting with nature through hands-on activities where you will smell, feel, see, and hear nature.
T/R 11:15-12:10 Fill Your Activist Cup Being involved in social justice and activism can be a huge part of our identities. Often what comes along with being passionate about social issues is the energy it can take away from our own self-care. To make social justice work sustainable, this course will help you learn ways to balance change-making and personal care, helping you find ways to fill your cup and be your best activist self.
T/R 4:05-5:00 Yes! Sex and Social Change Students will start by investigating a broad spectrum of sexual topics, such as orgasms, consent, desire, pleasure, power, and relationships. In the final part of the course, students will conduct a micro "Thought into Action" peer education project on the topic of their choice.
MW 2:30-3:25 Meditation & Compassion
Discover the benefits of meditation and self-compassion. Learn how the mind works and how to relate differently to thoughts. With self-compassion, we befriend ourselves when we stumble or fail. Watch wisdom grow.