Credo, Trek's First-Year Seminar provides new students with a common intellectual foundation and skill-set that will cultivate the habits of mind characteristic of a person educated in the Liberal Arts, including intellectual curiosity, critical inquiry, thoughtful and orderly communication, and respectful engagement with others.

CREDO (TREK 115) – 4 credit hours

Course Description: Credo, which means “I believe,” allows students to explore their values and beliefs, particularly in the context of their academic ambitions. Trek begins with an exploration of self and society and ample opportunities to develop the fundamental skills and insights—the intellectual tools--that will best prepare you for the adventures ahead. Students may not drop Trek 115.



Trek 115 focuses on the following learning outcomes, which have been adapted from AAC&U Value Rubrics.

A. Written Communication, which includes skills in argument and style, rational evaluation of ideas, critical reading and interpretation, understanding and application of the traits of effective prose, and a demonstrable awareness of audience and context.

B. Inquiry and Analysis. “Inquiry is a systematic process of exploring issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.

C. Civic Engagement, defined as "actions wherein individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community.”

Each Learning Outcome is assessed directly by faculty on the following scale. Criteria for each point on the scale is defined in more detail on the AAC&U VALUE Rubric corresponding to each learning outcome.

  • 0 No Competence 
  • 1 (LEAP benchmark 1) ELEMENTARY  
  • 2 (LEAP milestone 2) DEVELOPMENTAL  
  • 3 (LEAP milestone 3) PROFICIENT  
  • 4 (LEAP Capstone 4) EXEMPLARY  

Faculty may use the Trek 115 Assessment Report Form (obtained from the First-Year Trek Director) to submit data.

Learning outcomes are also indirectly assessed through questions added to course evaluations.

Questions included in the course evaluations for Trek 115 courses assess student perception of the program as it impacts their progress toward achieving the above-stated learning objectives, paying particular attention to the Written Communication learning outcome. The student self-assessment will appear as follows:

Describe the amount of progress you have made, as a result of this course, in each of the learning domains listed below using the following scale: (5 exceptional progress; 4 substantial progress; 3 moderate progress; 2 slight progress; 1 no progress)

  • Practical Competency in Written Communication (Sentence structure, grammar, mechanics, tone, diction, etc.)
  • Ability to express your ideas effectively in writing
  • Ability to critically analyze ideas, arguments, or texts
  • Ability to understand your own educational aspirations
  • Participation in the culture of the college/campus community (cultural events, academic programs, exhibits, performances)


Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy The institution does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or on any other basis proscribed by federal, state, or local law.