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 pre-requisites 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!

View First-Year Launch Courses

Create and Appreciate the Arts

Day/Time

Title

Description

M
4:40-6:40

Design and Creativity

Are you drawn to the design of the world around you? Join us in building a community of designers and learning where creative ideas come from. You’ll hear from current students and practicing designers while working together to get involved in the design work you’ve always wanted to do.
#CreativeWork, #NoPreReqs, #NoTalentRequired, #LearnToBeInnovative, #CreativityForAll

M
3:35-5:35

Urban Sketching

We will be adventuring throughout the Durango area on Sketch Crawls. We will be visually documenting people, places, and natural things that excite and interest us. These outings will allow us to become more immersed in the world around us and to be more present in the here and now.
#PleinAir #UrbanSketching #Drawing #Painting

M
4:40-6:40

Reading and Writing Romance

Fall in love with love stories. This seminar will introduce you to the structure of romance novels, while providing an opportunity to craft your own romantic scenes. Explore romance subgenres, beloved tropes, and the ways a skillful writer can make consent sexy. Perfect for fans of bestselling romances like To All the Boys I Loved Before and Red, White, and Royal Blue
#AmWritingRomance #BookWorm #AskAuthor

M/W
12:20-1:15

Building Community Through Music and Theatre

Fort Lewis College and Durango present 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 and how they produce performances on campus and in the Durango Community.
#DurangoConcerts #ViewFromBackstage

 

If you Build It, They Will Come

Students will design a new academic space in Reed Library geared toward first year students. Along the way, students will explore design elements related to learning spaces in built environments by exploring and interrogating public spaces on campus and in the city of Durango.
#GetCreative #Design #LoveYourLibrary

 

Performing Arts and Cultural Representation

Theatre, film, dance and music reflect, interpret, challenge, and shape our intellectual discourse, feelings, traditions and belief systems. In this course students will explore the arts on the FLC campus, as well as in the Four Corners area, in order to collectively examine how the arts of our geographic region challenge our thoughts, communicate and reflect our ideas, and shape our identities as culture carriers.

T
4:05-6:05

Photography and Instagram

Instagram is changing the way that we create and consume photos. In this class, we’ll look at the social media platform as a launch pad for burgeoning artists by studying the principles of both photography and social media marketing. Students are welcome to bring and utilize DSLR cameras, but any smartphone will suffice.
#Photography #Fun #Artistic #GetOutside

M/W
11:15-12:10

Science as Art

Science and Art are not strangers - and haven’t been for centuries! Join this class to explore and create art as a communicator of science. You will begin by looking at nature-inspired art installments using Harvard’s Project Zero “Artful Thinking Routines” tools for analysis and will also create personal art/science work.

W/F
12:20-1:15

Power in Poetry

J.k. Rowling did not publish the first Harry Potter book until she was in her 30’s. In taking this course you will have fun, connect with like-minded incoming freshmen, and maybe discover a gift that you didn't know you had.
#GetCreative #DiscoverYourGift #CreativeCommunity

TR
9:35-10:30

College Life in the Movies

Do Old School and Pitch Perfect portray what it’s really like in college? Through lively course discussions, interactive activities, and related guest speakers we will consider how movies connect to your FLC experience. Let’s watch movies and talk about your plans to be successful at FLC.
#College #CollegeLife #CollegeFail

Democracy in Action

Day/Time

Title

Description

T
4:05-6:05

Rock the Skyhawk Vote

This class is all about engaging your fellow Skyhawks in the excitement of the 2020 elections and finding your own voice in the political discussion along the way. We will think about ways to engage college students in politics and apply those lessons to real 2020 election events at FLC.

TR
4:05-5:00

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. Students will learn about equipment, community policing, and the use of social media. The impact on law enforcement officers, including mental health issues, will be addressed.
#CommunityPolicing #PartnersInPublicSafety

Food and Our Community

Day/Time

Title

Description

M/W
1:25-2:20

Chiles and Chocolate

Immerse yourself in foodways from deserts to mountains – taste green chilies while exploring their cultural significance, eat chocolate while investigating agroforestry, and take a field trip to a local farm. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants will provide a foundation for the final photography project.
#AgriCULTURE #RegenerativeFoodSystems

W
3:35-5:35

Food Builds Community

Let’s learn about sustainability of local food production. You’ll become a local foodie, get connected to organizations, meet local farmers, stop by campus farm stand, and tour campus composting system. Visit Old Fort at Hesperus to see its educational opportunities for wanna-be-farmers and how it provides food to campus dining.
#OldFortAtHeperus #BeginningFarmers #DurangoFoodie

W
3:35-5:35

You are What You Eat

What makes a healthy diet and where does this food come from? Who and what influences how we eat? This course will explore the science behind food, taste, and health, as well as bio-cultural influences on food and their relevance to public health, nutrition, and understanding cultures

Get Moving!

Day/Time

Title

Description

M/W
12:20-1:15

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.
#ItsYourRace #RunningCommunity #RunForFun #PRYourFirstSemester

TR
4:05-5:00

"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.
#LetsPlay #Get Outside #Be Active # GetConnected

M
3:35-5:35

Who's Got Game?

It’s all fun and games until…oh wait, this class is all fun and games. In each class, you will play a different card or board game to test your skills. If you play your cards right, you might just make some new friends too. Game on!

W
3:35-5:35

Testing the FLC Waters

Do you have a love of sailing, kayaking or SUPing? Does being on the water bring you joy? Then let’s dive in and explore how your favorite lake activities relate to being in College! Campus life and the mountain lakes surrounding Durango have a lot to teach us all.
#TestingTheFLCwaters #DurangoLakesAreABlast #Adventure+Education

M/W
9:05-10:00

The Mountains are Calling

The San Juan mountains that surround Durango are among the most rugged, remote, and picturesque peaks in the lower 48 states. Students will organize a non-technical climbing trip to one of these peaks. Any student with an interest in climbing a mountain is welcome, from beginners to seasoned professionals.
#14ers #Climbing #Hiking #OutdoorAdventure

Honors-100

Day/Time

Title

Description

T/TH
9:35-10:30

Introduction to Honors

This course introduces students to the Reed Honors Program, the Fort Lewis College campus, and the Durango Community. Using Student-driven inquiry as the basis for learning, this course addresses the concepts of community and community engagement, introduces students to strategies for exploring their communities, and leads them to identify areas of further inquiry.

T
2:30-4:30

Introduction to Honors

This course introduces students to the Reed Honors Program, the Fort Lewis College campus, and the Durango Community. Using Student-driven inquiry as the basis for learning, this course addresses the concepts of community and community engagement, introduces students to strategies for exploring their communities, and leads them to identify areas of further inquiry.

M/W
9:05-10:00

Introduction to Honors

This course introduces students to the Reed Honors Program, the Fort Lewis College campus, and the Durango Community. Using Student-driven inquiry as the basis for learning, this course addresses the concepts of community and community engagement, introduces students to strategies for exploring their communities, and leads them to identify areas of further inquiry.

M/W
12:20-1:20

GS - 100 Freshman Seminar

The purpose of this course is to engage students intellectually through rigorous academic study in small class settings and to connect them to faculty, other students, and Fort Lewis College.

Living Your Best Life: Thriving in College

Day/Time

Title

Description

M/W
12:20-1:15

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.
#ItsYourRace #RunningCommunity #RunForFun #PRYourFirstSemester

M
1:25-3:25

Well-being via Mindfulness

Learn mindfulness meditation to create more happiness and calm in your life while building friendships. Past students report multiple benefits from this course, including less anxiety, worry, and self-judgment; more joy; better skills for prioritizing what they care most about and responding to stress and overwhelm; and better time management.
#Mindfulness #Meditation #Yoga #SharingInCommunity #Don’tWorryBeHappy

TR
2:30-3:25

Finding Balance

This course will explore a variety of realistic self-care & social connection strategies as well as on & off-campus resources available to support you during your academic journey. In this course you will get real & dig deep to help you find balance in an overwhelming world. Get beyond just surviving college and thrive

T
4:30-6:30

States of Consciousness

Discussions include the quest for altered states via drug and alcohol use in our society, and a broad exploration of non-drug induced states such as and not limited to meditation, shamanic journeys, and dreams. We sit around our weekly “campfire,” learning and growing together, sharing our stories and experiences.
#Open #Co-Creative #Connection

W/F
1:25-2:20

The Real Housewives of Durango

Based on the Bravo franchise Real Housewives (RH), we’ll look at Durango and FLC through the lens of how to spend our time creating friendships and connecting with our community. We’ll watch RH episodes then emulate events from the show (volunteer at a food bank, go to a yoga class).
#SleepInTheFishRoom #LongLiveEricaJane #ThingsAreBiggerInTexas

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! 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.
#CareerDriven #Hired

M
4:40-6:40

Cultivation Self- Compassion

Develop a practice of mindful self-compassion. Learn how to talk differently to yourself, allowing yourself to hold pain/struggle/discomfort with kindness and tenderness. Experience how self-compassion motivates us to make healthy choices and heals us when we stumble. Know you are not alone.
#Tone #Content #VibeOf TheClass #OpenHearted Learning

W
3:35-5:35

Testing the FLC Waters

Do you have a love of sailing, kayaking or SUPing? Does being on the water bring you joy? Then let’s dive in and explore how your favorite lake activities relate to being in College! Campus life and the mountain lakes surrounding Durango have a lot to teach us all.
#TestingTheFLCWaters #DurangoLakesAreABlast #Adventure+Education

M/W
10:10-11:05

Your Success Story *Linked to JumpStart*

Getting to know people. Becoming acquainted with systems. Setting personal goals. Orientation was just the beginning, and through this course you will get to know others who will become your cheerleaders, get acquainted with the systems we have that are focused on your success, and learn some important history of FLC, including from our students’ perspectives.

TR
5:15-6:10

Getting' Gritty for Success

Attitude, motivation, and perseverance or grit are important for success of both sort-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.

W/F
1:25-2:20

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!

TR
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!

TR
9:35-10:30

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!

M/W
10:10-11:15

Adulting 101

Welcome to the reality of adulting! In this course, you'll gain skills you need to transition to college successfully and become a leader on our campus: communication, finances, self-care, work life balance, and realistic expectations in and outside of school.
#Adulting101 #Adulting #LifeEducation #TimeManagement

W/F
11:15-12:10

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.
#FirstGeneration, #FirstGen, #Diverse, #Community, #FirstInFamily, #FirstGenGradFLC

TR
9:35-10:30

College Life in the Movies

Do Old School and Pitch Perfect portray what it’s really like in college? Through lively course discussions, interactive activities, and related guest speakers we will consider how movies connect to your FLC experience. Let’s watch movies and talk about your plans to be successful at FLC.
#College #CollegeLife #CollegeFail

W
3:35-5:35

Art of Living in Durango

Durango offers endless opportunities to learn and play. How do you focus on what’s important, and take care of yourself in the process? Together, we will ask the question, “how shall I live my life?” We will explore activism, ethics, recreation, community, and how you define a good life.
#The good life #Do what you love #We’re all in this together

Our Beautiful Backyard: Exploring and Caring for our Planet

Day/Time

Title

Description

T/TH
9:35-10:30

Geography of Guitars

This course explores the geography of guitars. You will learn about tonewoods (the wood used for guitars and other instruments), where they come from, how the trees are harvested, and how this relates to environmental issues such as deforestation, climate change, and environmental racism.
#Guitars #Tonewoods #Environment

M/W
11:15-12:10

Exploring the World of Maps

This course will introduce the wide spectrum of maps. The course will challenge the concept of a map, provide a historical perspective, and will explore the use of maps as social and political tools. Among other topics, the course explores the Southwest, the urban development of Durango, and indigenous concepts of space.
#MapsForEverySubject, #ChallengeExpectations, #ConnectWithYourInterests

T
4:05-6:05

Energy and Our Air

From inside our homes to the entire earth atmosphere, the way we use energy resources influences the quality of the air we breathe, along with both human and environmental health. This FYL class is about air pollution from energy resources and impacts to our local, regional, and global communities.
#AirQuality #Earth Atmosphere #Energy Resources #Pollution #ClimateChange #Human AndEnvironmentalHealth #ProblemSolving

M
1:25-3:25

In the Company of Cats & Canines

Are you a cat lover? Or a dog lover? Which makes a better pet? Who’s smarter? How different are they? We will explore this ancient (and dubious) distinction. You’ll hang out with some animals, learn basic canine and feline anatomy, compare some common medical and behavioral problems, discuss our histories with both species. Course includes one half-day weekend field trip to a wolf refuge.
#Dogs #Cats #LoveAnimals

M/W
1:25-2:20

Chiles and Chocolate

Immerse yourself in foodways from deserts to mountains – taste green chiles while exploring their cultural significance, eat chocolate while investigating agroforestry, and take a field trip to a local farm. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants will provide a foundation for the final photography project.
#AgriCULTURE #RegenerativeFoodSystems

M/W
9:05-10:00

The Mountains are Calling

The San Juan mountains that surround Durango are among the most rugged, remote, and picturesque peaks in the lower 48 states. Students will organize a non-technical climbing trip to one of these peaks. Any student with an interest in climbing a mountain is welcome, from beginners to seasoned professionals.
#14ers #Climbing #Hiking #OutdoorAdventure

TR
4:05-5:00

Wild Western Waters

An exploration of western rivers and the water resources which support a vast array of livelihoods: recreation, agriculture, cities, and ecosystems. The course covers river exploration history from multiple perspectives, the development of recreational river running through the 20th century, and how social and environmental issues shape water management.
#WaterInTheWest #Rivers AreLlife #LoveYourRiver

W
3:35-5:35

Art of Living in Durango

Durango offers endless opportunities to learn and play. How do you focus on what’s important, and take care of yourself in the process? Together, we will ask the question, “how shall I live my life?” We will explore activism, ethics, recreation, community, and how you define a good life.
#TheGoodLife #DoWhat YouLove #We’reAllInThis Together

Who We Are: Culture and Identity

Day/Time

Title

Description

TR
11:15-12:10

Queering College Life

This class introduces students to queer and LGBTQI2S+ studies. 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.
#FLCPride #QueerFLC #QueerCollegeLife

T
4:30-6:30

States of Consciousness

Discussions include the quest for altered states via drug and alcohol use in our society, and a broad exploration of non-drug induced states such as and not limited to meditation, shamanic journeys and dreams. We sit around our weekly “campfire,” learning and growing together, sharing our stories and experiences.
#Open #Co-Creative #Connection

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! 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.
#CareerDriven #Hired

M
4:40-6:40

Cultivation Self- Compassion

Develop a practice of mindful self-compassion. Learn how to talk differently to yourself, allowing yourself to hold pain/struggle/discomfort with kindness and tenderness. Experience how self-compassion motivates us to make healthy choices and heals us when we stumble. Know you are not alone.
#Tone #Content #VibeOf TheClass #OpenHearted Learning

M/W
11:15-12:10

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. Course primarily examines subversive comedy shows, for example: Golden Girls, Will & Grace, Legends of Tomorrow, Schitt’s Creek.

M/W
10:10-11:05

Your Success Story *Linked to JumpStart*

Getting to know people. Becoming acquainted with systems. Setting personal goals. Orientation was just the beginning and through this course you will get to know others who will become your cheerleaders, get acquainted with the systems we have that are focused on your success, and learn some important history of FLC, including from our students’ perspectives.

W/F
1:25-2:20

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!

TR
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!

TR
9:35-10:30

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/F
11:15-12:10

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.
#FirstGeneration #FirstGen, #Diverse #Community #FirstInFamily #FirstGenGradFLC

Your makerspace is waiting! Explore STEM

Day/Time

Title

Description

W
3:35-5:35

Smart Robot Car Design

Students will follow the instructions and tutorials provided by the professor to assemble a robot car to complete specific tasks such as Line Tracking and Obstacle Avoiding. Students will learn how to program a computer board to manage the Remote-Control Sensor, the Ultrasonic Sensor, and the Motors on the car.
#SmartRobotCarDesign #ComputerProgramming #SensorsAndRemote Control

W/F
1:25-2:20

Future STEM Teachers in Action

In this course, we’ll do hands-on activities to explore scientific inquiry: play games to do math in disguise, make liquid nitrogen ice cream, get “funstrated” with science, and visit the Powerhouse Science center. We’ll engage with K-12 students and discuss funding opportunities available to FLC STEM majors to explore teaching.
#VeryHands-On #PlayWith ScienceAndMath #Work WithKids #ExploreIdeaOf Teaching