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 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 get help from your instructor to navigate your first year at FLC.

Faculty and staff designed launch courses from a variety of programs and disciplines around topics they're interested in and passionate about.

There are no prerequisites for Launch courses. Make a list of your top 3-5 courses that inspire you to think about the world and yourself in a new way!

Explore Launch Courses by Major or Interest Area

Business

I am interested in business.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
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. M/W
2:30-3:25
*Hybrid*

M/W
3:35 - 4:30

College Success

More than anything, I hope my Launch class helps me learn strategies for college success and helps me connect with my new FLC community.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Community Connections Transitioning to college can be difficult but this First-Year Launch aims to make this transition easier. We will learn about campus resources, campus organizations, and our Durango community while connecting with other First-Year Students. T/R
8:00-8:55
Dishing Up the Magic of College Utilizing a little animation, much personality, and a few spices to develop a recipe for college success. We will tackle time management, campus resources, stress, and much more while having a roller coaster of fun.

September 1 4:05-6:35 pm Skyhawk Hall 140

September 10 9-1:00pm
EBH 065

September 15 4:05-6:35 pm Skyhawk Hall 140

September 24 9-1:00pm
EBH 065

September 29 4:05-6:35 pm Skyhawk Hall 140

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
8:00-8:55
Know Thyself This course gives students opportunities to practice personal and academic success strategies. Students will explore and reflect on their values, then practice setting goals in order to align values and actions. Content includes methods to foster self-awareness, authentic relating and communicating, managing time and energy, and creating purpose of meaning. T/R
4:05-5:00
Puzzling Through FLC Life 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. W
1:25-3:25
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/R
1:00-1:55

T/R
8:30-9:25
Setting an Intention for Success College is a period of academic and personal growth. The outcomes of this time in your life largely depend on your decisions and how you navigate these new steps. We will learn about resources to aid your success at Fort Lewis College to thrive. T/R
4:05-5:00
Skyhawk Success Strategies Learn crucial strategies for you to successfully navigate the complexities and barriers between now and graduation. These important college life skills include learning how to play your professor’s game, harm reduction, bystander intervention, multicultural competence, healthy relationships/building your flock, psychology of sleep, school/life balance, and coping with Skyhawk culture shock. M
1:25-3:25
Track to Academic Success We’ll explore what you value, what makes you happy, what you hope to achieve, and success strategies for your personal and professional life.  We will analyze your strengths and areas for growth to determine what you bring to the table and how you can gather strength from the FLC community.  T/R
8:30-9:25

Games & Recreation

I like being active outside-- you can often find me running, hiking, rafting, biking.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
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. T
4:05-6:05
Trails Through College Students take weekly beginner-level hikes and engage in mindfulness activities, individual reflections, and group discussions. Course emphasizes self-awareness, communication skills, and community building through time spent outside (or at least on the move). Some experience walking on trails is highly encouraged. M
2:30-4:30
Stewards of Nature Humans are spending less and 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 healthy benefits of connecting with nature through hands-on activities where you will smell, feel, see, and hear nature. T/R
2:30-3:25
Chemistry on the Trail Within an hour's drive of the FLC campus, lies over 100 miles of pristine trails with a variety of geological features, (in) vertebrates, and plants. Taking a break from campus to connect with nature can improve mental well-being. Students will also get an opportunity to learn about chemical processes happening outside! M
3:35-5:35
Puzzling Through FLC Life 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. W
1:25-3:25
The Fastest Growing Sport Welcome to a class all about Pickleball, the fastest growing sport in the U.S. In this course, students will learn the basics and techniques to play an incredibly fun sport, with dedicated time to get outside and play. When we’re not on the court, we’ll discuss sportsmanship, how pickleball has changed over the past 30 years, and why pickleball should really be a college sport. All are welcome! You do not need to be an “athlete” to participate, this is an awesome opportunity for all students who love outdoor activities, learning new sports, and having fun. W
3:35-5:35
Water is Life This course will explore the importance of water in our daily lives and as a guiding metaphor for life. We will utilize a liberal arts perspective by examining cultural perspectives, literature, climate change, geology, biology, economics, and politics related to water. Students will also have fun by going rafting. M/W
11:15-12:10
Wilderness Survival Learn wilderness survival skills necessary for preventing backcountry mishaps and surviving in SW Colorado. You’ll plan trips, select equipment/pack food, navigate/route-find, construct shelters, treat water, make fires, forage for plants, give basic first aid, signal for help, choose adventure partners, and learn a survival mindset and track/protect yourself from animals.

Section 1
M
3:35-5:35

Section 2
W
3:35-5:35

 

I enjoy playing board games and card games too.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Role Playing Games and Real Life Role-playing games generally feature “leveling-up” which means gaining skills and abilities. This makes mastery linear, whereas the same process in real-life can feel more erratic. This course focuses on Dweck’s growth-mindset-theory, motivation, and other psychological concepts that will help you learn HOW to grow and learn something new! T/R
4:05-5:30
The League of Extraordinary Gamers In this class, students will be playing tabletop board games and card games! Through these games, students will learn to apply logic, critical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Additionally, the values of sportsmanship, fairness, and social interaction will be encouraged and developed. W
1:25-3:25

Identity, Gender, & Diversity

I'd like to explore identity, gender, and diversity in my Launch class.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Expand Your Perspective As a first-year college student, you are joining a new culture with unique traditions and ways of thinking, acting, and creating relationships.  Japanese students studying abroad at FLC can help you gain perspective on the thrills and the hardships of living in a new country (and navigating college culture!). T/R
1:00 to 2:00
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. The importance of self-reflection and growth in a college setting is explored from analyzing texts to music and oral discourse to the written word. T/R
8:30-9:25
Healthy Romantic Relationships An interactive and informative course about healthy romantic relationships. Learn basic skills and information about establishing, maintaining, and exiting a romantic relationship. T
4:05-6:05
History Has its Eyes on You This course introduces the study of history and historical storytelling through the groundbreaking musical phenomenon Hamilton. We'll go beneath the songs to discuss historical themes like race, gender, democracy, and how we talk about them in today's America. Students will connect to the past through music, art, and pop culture. M
1:25-3:25
Queering Our College Life This class introduces students to queer and LGBTQI2S+ culture. Students will learn how sexuality and gender are social constructs that have evolved over time, and which can vary according to our social location. The class will explore the queer spaces and resources offered at FLC and in the city of Durango. M/W
2:30-3:25
Self-Care for Activists Calling all self-proclaimed ACTIVISTS! This course is designed to support your journey as a change-maker, give you skills to make sure you fill your own cups first, and introduce you to the FLC activism community. T
4:05-6:05

Make a Difference

I want to learn how to make a difference and create change around a topic I care about.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Self-Care for Activists Calling all self-proclaimed ACTIVISTS! This course is designed to support your journey as a change-maker, give you skills to make sure you fill your own cups first, and introduce you to the FLC activism community. T
4:05-6:05
Leadership in Action This course will examine how leaders in education and other socially related fields have constructed their leadership and change philosophy. The course will encourage students to think about their own role as a leader and consider ways that leadership development can serve them in their work as a student in their future endeavors. T/R
8:30-9:25

Media, Performing Arts, & Popular Culture

Music

I have experience playing an instrument-- sign me up for a class where I can join other musicians and perform!

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Non-Major Music Ensembles 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. T/R
2:30-3:55
Full Semester
Jones 208
Orchestra Exploration This curse is designed for any FLC first-year student who has previously played a string, woodwind, or bass instrument in a high school setting to build community at FLC by participating in orchestra. We will play and perform together as a musical family and explore the inter-workings of the ensemble. T
6:30-8:30
Full Semester
Jones 209

 

I like to listen to and learn about music.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
History Has its Eyes on You This course introduces the study of history and historical storytelling through the groundbreaking musical phenomenon Hamilton. We'll go beneath the songs to discuss historical themes like race, gender, democracy, and how we talk about them in today's America. Students will connect to the past through music, art, and pop culture. M
1:25-3:25
Building Community Through Music and Performing Arts Fort Lewis College presents a wide variety of opportunities to experience live performances. Cultural awareness, marketing finance, production and planning all work together to create amazing shows. This seminar will introduce students to those who produce live events and touring artists, the challenges they face and overcome, and how they produce performances on campus and on tour. M/W
3:35-4:30

Reading, Writing, & English

I love reading and writing!

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Book Club at Reed Library Love stories and the worlds opened up by books? Join us in reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, discussing alternate viewpoints and finding common ground in an atmosphere of a few new friends. Explore the community connections that reading fosters. The book will be provided to you. W
1:25-3:25
Can a Children's Book Change the World Everyday problems and triumphs will be explored through the lens of Children's Books. Books can offer us mirrors into our own lives, windows into another we are unfamiliar with or sliding glass doors where we can develop empathy for others. Happiness, change, idea generation, stress, emotions, and many more daily ups and downs will be presented through children's books. Each class will start with a topic and a children's book read. T/R
11:15-12:10
Reading Circle In this course intended for English, JMMS, and Writing Majors, students will read Angeline Boulley’s young adult novel, The Firekeeper’s Daughter. The class will explore themes of identity and community as well as examine contemporary Indigenous issues and the craft of writing. W
1:25-3:25
Reed Library Book Club In this course students will get to know themselves and each other by reading a book together. Each week we will read part of a book, exploring the thoughts, feelings, and situations of the characters, and relating them back to our own lives. We will also take time to talk about important aspects of being a college student, with a focus on planning for the future to make sure students get the most out of their time at FLC. M/W
2:30-3:25
Zombies, Vampires, and Other Monsters We will study a corpus of Monsters from different cultures and times. We are especially interested in how collective and generational trauma, political violence, war, and immigration are represented in reality and fiction. T/R
1:00-2:00

 

For English, JMMS, and Writing Majors

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Reading Circle In this course intended for English, JMMS, and Writing Majors, students will read Angeline Boulley’s young adult novel, The Firekeeper’s Daughter. The class will explore themes of identity and community as well as examine contemporary Indigenous issues and the craft of writing. W
1:25-3:25

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math

I am interested in science and scientific ways of thinking.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Chemistry on the Trail Within an hour's drive of the FLC campus, lies over 100 miles of pristine trails with a variety of geological features, (in) vertebrates, and plants. Taking a break from campus to connect with nature can improve mental well-being. Students will also get an opportunity to learn about chemical processes happening outside! M
3:35-5:35
Engineering and Physics FYL Are you interested in studying engineering, computer engineering, or physics? If so, this course is for you! You will learn what opportunities are available for different types of engineers and physicists, as well as meet faculty and other students in the department. Classes will include interactive presentations, campus events, mini-projects, and exploring department resources. W
3:35-4:30
Full Semester
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 read how scientists can improve science communication to dispel many scientific myths and provide a clearer and sharper platform for discourse in science W/F
11:15-12:10
STEM Core STEM Core is a learning community designed to increase success in math and science while providing career development and internship opportunities. Open to Computer Engineering, Computer Information Systems, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science majors enrolled in "MATH 112: Algebra for Calculus with SAI." W/F
11:15-12:10
Where Geoscience Meets the Soul; 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. R
4:05-6:05

 

I am interested in sustainability/protecting our natural world - plants, animals, air, water, and insects are my jam.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Bear Necessities Black Bears are highly intelligent large carnivores. Do you know what to do if you come face-to-face with one of them while you're walking across campus? In this course, you'll learn how to navigate life in bear country in a way that will keep you and the bears safe. M/W
1:25-2:20
Chemistry on the Trail Within an hour's drive of the FLC campus, lies over 100 miles of pristine trails with a variety of geological features, (in) vertebrates, and plants. Taking a break from campus to connect with nature can improve mental well-being. Students will also get an opportunity to learn about chemical processes happening outside! M
3:35-5:35
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
12:50-2:50
Stewards of Nature Humans are spending less and 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 healthy benefits of connecting with nature through hands-on activities where you will smell, feel, see, and hear nature. T/R
2:30-3:25
Water is Life This course will explore the importance of water in our daily lives and as a guiding metaphor for life. We will utilize a liberal arts perspective by examining cultural perspectives, literature, climate change, geology, biology, economics, and politics related to water. Students will also have fun by going rafting. M/W
11:15-12:10

Wellness, Relationships, & Human Behavior

I'd love to learn about wellness, practice strategies for my well-being, and learn about healthy relationships.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Healthy Romantic Relationships An interactive and informative course about healthy romantic relationships. Learn basic skills and information about establishing, maintaining, and exiting a romantic relationship.  T
4:05-6:05
Finding Balance Get beyond just surviving college and thrive! In this course, we will get honest and dig deep to help you find balance in an overwhelming world. We will explore various realistic self-care and social connection strategies and community resources that can support you during your time at FLC. M/W
11:15-12:10 
Mindfulness & Meditation Discover the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion. Learn how the mind works and how to relate differently to thoughts. With self-compassion, we can befriend ourselves when we stumble or fail. Watch wisdom grow. M/W
11:15-12:10
Optimize Your Success College is a challenge that prepares us for the tasks and obstacles that life will bring. Therefore, college presents a great opportunity to construct routines that lead to success. In this course, we'll apply research-based practices to cultivate our mental health, positive relationships, and good performance. T/R 1:00-2:00pm
Run Your Own Race Marathoner Haruki Murakami 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/R
1:00-1:55

T/R
8:30-9:25
Self-Care for Activists Calling all self-proclaimed ACTIVISTS! This course supports your journey as a change-maker, gives you skills to make sure you fill your cups first, and introduces you to the FLC activism community. T
4:05-6:05

 

I enjoy learning about how people think and why they act the way they do.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Healthy Romantic Relationships An interactive and informative course about healthy romantic relationships. Learn basic skills and information about establishing, maintaining, and exiting a romantic relationship.  T
4:05-6:05
Role-Playing Games and Real Life This course focuses on Dweck's growth mindset theory, motivation, and other psychological concepts that will help you learn HOW to grow and learn something new! Role-playing games generally feature "leveling-up," which means gaining skills and abilities. These skills make mastery linear, whereas the same process in real life can feel more erratic. T/R
4:05-5:30
The Myth of Normal The recent cultural paradigm shifts have forced society to question what it means to be "normal." This course will explore the concept of identity and culture by looking at the Neurodiversity movement and exploring the challenges and barriers our neurodivergent population faces. T/R
2:30-3:25

Explore Launch Courses by Student Populations

Student Athletes

I am planning to play sports at FLC, and I’d love to connect with other athletes n my Launch class

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Succeeding Out of Bounds This is a cohort-style "orientation" course for incoming freshmen student-athletes to successfully transition into academics, athletics, and life at Fort Lewis College. This course will support you 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 in the classroom, too. We'll learn about study skills, connect with campus resources, and support each other during this exciting transition to college. M/W
8:00-8:55

M/W
11:15-12:10

Transfer Students

I have taken some college classes before, and I’d love to connect with other transfer students in my Launch class

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
A New Home for Transfer Students Come explore Fort Lewis College with other transfer students. Build a network of new friends that are in a similar situation as yourself and learn how to optimize campus resources. You have been to college before but not to FLC, this course will assist you in becoming a successful Skyhawk. T/R
2:30-3:25
Transfer Student Launch Come explore Fort Lewis College with other transfers students. Build a network of new friends that are in a similar situation as yourself and learn how to optimize campus resources. You have been to college before but not to FLC, this course will assist you in becoming a successful Skyhawk. W
3:35-5:35

M/W
8:00-8:55

TRIO Students

I plan to join a TRIO program at FLC.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
What TRIO Can Do For You First Generation college students, students from low income backgrounds, and students dealing with documented disabilities qualify for support services through TRIO SSS; this course will unpack issues like Imposter Syndrome, and explore the complexities of higher education that impact your success.  M/W
11:15-12:10

T/R 8:30 - 9:25

Veteran Community

I am a military veteran or family member of a veteran and would like to connect with others in that community.

Course Title Course Description Day and Time
Transitioning from Military to Student Transitioning from a rigid schedule and structure to a college student can be difficult. Learn about resources specific to you as a veteran, best practices for adapting to civilian culture, build a community on campus with fellow servicemembers, and prepare yourself to finish your degree. M/W
2:30-3:25