Foundations Program

TitleFoundations Program
Duration3 Years
Project Summary

The objective of the Foundations Program is to offer first-year Arts students an enriched, integrated, and comprehensive introduction to the themes and subjects of the faculty of Arts, including both the humanities and the social sciences. It is to provide a welcoming, supportive, and challenging learning environment.

Intended major learning outcomes are:

  1. improved analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities;
  2. enhanced research and communication skills, especially writing skills; and
  3. a broad understanding of history and of the bases of knowledge.

Arts One has been highly successful as an integrated, humanities-focused program. Foundations, in contrast, is comprehensive (as it includes social sciences) and has a broader range of intended outcomes. The rational is that these outcomes are essential to enable first-year students to make informed decisions about their further academic and career goals, and to equip them adequately to proceed to their full intellectual, career, and citizenship potentials.

The principal methods are:

  1. a unique curriculum of three broad courses, each interdisciplinary and each team-taught by three faculty members from different disciplines;
  2. thorough, integrated, intensive course preparation;
  3. a combination of large lectures and 20-student seminars groups, with each group retaining its membership across three courses; and
  4. the new Foundations Commons (in the Ponderosa Building) containing seminar rooms, study area, and lounge.
Funding Details
Year 1: Project TitleFoundations: A Learning-Centred First Year Program
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year1999/2000
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorShirley Neuman
Year 1: Funded Amount150,000
Year 1: Team Members

Shirley Neuman, Dean / Professor, English, Faculty of Arts

Year 2: Project TitleFoundations Program
Year 2: Project YearYear 2
Year 2: Funding Year2000/2001
Year 2: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 2: Principal InvestigatorPaul Tennant
Year 2: Funded Amount150,000
Year 2: Team Members

Paul Tennant, Director, Foundations Program, Faculty of Arts

Year 3: Project YearYear 3
Year 3: Funding Year2001/2002
Year 3: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 3: Principal InvestigatorPaul Tennant
Year 3: Funded Amount150,000
Year 3: Team Members

Paul Tennant, Director, Foundations Program, Faculty of Arts