Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

About Joel Relihan

Joel C. Relihan is associate provost, professor of classics and coordinator of First-Year Seminar.

FYS–A personal view

I came to Wheaton in the fall of 1993 to be chair of the Classics Department. I’d read the college catalog and knew my slice of the curriculum, which is to say I knew which classics courses I wanted to remove, change or create. But I didn’t know the college and I didn’t know the students, so I decided that the best thing to do was to teach a First-Year Seminar. This was not the normal thing: you were expected to settle in before you accepted the responsibilities of an FYS. This was a sensible rule, because you had to know enough of the whole curriculum and of student life to be a competent advisor, and advising was clearly a crucial component. But I could tell that FYS called for boldness, and so I decided to learn on the job.

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