The open curriculum affords every student the freedom to chart their own educational journey through Wesleyan. Because the curriculum is open, there are no required courses at Wesleyan other than the courses required to complete one’s major. Students are expected to pursue intellectual breadth and depth during their four-year course of study, but the open curriculum does not proscribe any set path to achieve this goal. Students are expected to find their own path.
So how do you navigate the open curriculum if there are no guideposts? How do you chart a path through the open curriculum if you don’t yet know where you’re going? This fall Wesleyan will be offering over a thousand courses in dozens of fields of study. How will you decide which ones you want to take?
Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion, and Tanesha Leathers, Dean for the Class of 2025, will be hosting an open conversation on how to chart a course through the open curriculum via Zoom on Thursday, July 29, from 11:00am—12:00pm EDT. If you would like to join this conversation, please sign up though this link (Wesleyan login required).
The course pre-registration platform opens July 12. Until the system closes on August 5, you will be able to browse WesMaps and rank your course preferences for the fall semester. You will be informed of your course placements in mid-August.
You should begin to think in terms of building a manageable course of study that offers challenge as well as flexibility for you to explore the curriculum and discover new interests. As you pursue your educational goals, keep in mind the idea of constructing a schedule that is balanced, challenging, and interesting. An academic schedule is balanced when there is a combination of small and large classes, lecture and discussion, and variations in course content and focus (e.g., reading, writing, quantitative work, artistic activity). This can provide breadth and stimulate academic curiosity while keeping a schedule manageable yet challenging.
There is variation in class days and times and instruction mode. For some students, this is as important a consideration as what courses to choose. Without sacrificing intellectual rigor or interest, students should try to distribute their courses across the week and throughout the day in the way that works best for them.
Registration for summer FYS courses begins tomorrow! The Summer Course Request Form will will be available starting at 8:30am, EST. Courses will take place from Tuesday, July 6 through Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Fourteen First-Year Seminars (FYS) are being offered in addition to one lecture course. Check out more information about summer course offerings for the Class of 2025.
Use the form to indicate your ranked preferences for the courses in which you would like to enroll. We will do our best to place every student in a course, but due to space limitations we cannot guarantee placement. Every student who submits course preferences during this time period will have an equal chance of getting scheduled into a class. To access the form, navigate to:
The form must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 21. You may return to the form anytime to adjust your rankings until the deadline. Students will be notified of their final course schedule by Monday, June 28.
No additional tuition will be charged for enrolling in a summer course; the cost is included in the regular academic year tuition fee. [Note that this program for the incoming class is entirely separate from Wesleyan’s Summer Session, which offers courses every summer with a tuition cost.] The course will be added to your academic history and applied towards the 32.00 credits required for graduation when you matriculate as a full-time student in the Fall.
Incoming first-year students are not required to take a summer FYS course. It’s an opportunity to get acclimated to academic life at Wesleyan, but we also realize some students may need a break and/or have competing obligations. We encourage you to take an FYS course in the fall or spring semester of this upcoming year if you decide not to pursue one this summer. You may check out FYS course offerings for the academic year through WesMaps.
By now you should have received an email with information about your WesID, username, and login credentials, which will give you access to your Wesleyan email and WesPortal accounts. WesPortal is your gateway to online tools, information, and resources related to all aspects of your Wesleyan experience. WesPortal provides access to your academic history, general education report, and course schedule; WesPortal is used to pre-register for courses and apply for study abroad; WesPortal provides student account balance information, and is a place where you can update your personal profile and emergency contact information. If you haven’t activated your WesPortal login credentials yet, you should do so as soon as possible.
This summer, when you login to WesPortal, you should make a point of frequently checking the New Student Checklist. The checklist will keep you informed of required upcoming tasks and deadlines that are a necessary part of the process of becoming a Wesleyan student, including submission of the Academic Interest Questionnaire, taking placement tests for math and foreign languages, submitting health forms required by the State of Connecticut, and uploading a photo of yourself for your WesID card. In July you will be using WesPortal to pre-register for Fall courses and indicate your First-Year Seminar preferences.
Here is a list of action-items that I recommend you complete before you arrive on campus. Please be aware that some of these forms may have hard deadlines listed as well. Review your New Student Checklist in WesPortal early and often so you don’t miss any important dates!
If you had accommodations in the past or anticipate needing accommodations in college, please submit the Disability Notification Form through WesPortal.
We are your Orientation Interns and we will be working with you to ensure that you are feeling excited and prepared for your first year at Wes! If you have any questions specific to Orientation or student life, feel free to contact us at Orientation@wesleyan.edu. We are currently working remotely from our homes, but will be back on campus in July! We will be sharing more information on the Orientation Program at that time. We can’t wait to meet you and learn more about you! If you are interested in learning a bit about us, watch our Meet the Interns video introducing ourselves and parts of campus to you! You can also read more about us and the Orientation Leaders on the Orientation Program Website.
Some important information for international students:
Tune in and watch Episode 1 and Episode 2 of our new video series titled “My Wesleyan Journey” that showcases personal, academic, and social experiences of returning international students at Wes! New episodes will be released on a weekly basis on our Facebook page.
Follow the OISA Facebook page for general information, advice, pre-departure orientation sessions, and future videos of the My Wesleyan Journey.
Let me start with an introduction: my name is Dr. Tanesha Leathers, and I’m excited to serve as your class dean! During my academic and professional career, I’ve been a Pioneer, Eph, Terp, Blue Jay, and now a Cardinal. There are a few other key things you need to know about me, apart from the fact I come to you with over 20 years of experience in higher education. The following are in no particular order:
There’s nothing like a New York slice, and I’ve met few cupcakes (or other carbs for that matter) I didn’t like.
Sadly, I still root for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks, but don’t judge me if I go to a Nets game sometime in the future.
I love to bake and create all manner of things, and I believe laughter is the best medicine for much of what ails us.
I’m happy to wax (not so poetically) about a host of random things.
And, I would love to get to know more about you!
My life’s journey began in Queens, New York, where I was born and raised. I attended public schools for my primary and secondary education, and found myself in the Purple Valley to earn a degree in anthropology at Williams College. I worked in campus life for The Sage Colleges in upstate New York and at my alma mater before I began graduate work at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I earned my doctorate in American Studies. My doctoral work focused on parenting as activism in Baltimore, Maryland and the revolutionary potential of Black love. I’ve had the pleasure of working in residence life and advising at the University of Maryland and as an assistant program manager within the Summer Programs unit of the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. (Here’s a shout out to any incoming student who went through CTY’s programs at Santa Cruz, CA or Chestertown, MD.)
As a class dean, I spend much of my time advising students – discussing academic, social, and personal challenges and how to achieve personal goals. I work with individual students, professors, parents, and other Wesleyan staff to support students in their pursuit of a positive learning experience.
I provide guidance and support to all students in the Class of 2025. I’m a source of information on academic standing, choosing a major, graduation requirements, university policies and procedures, and opportunities and resources available at the university and in the surrounding Middletown community. I may not be aware of every resource that can help my students, but I’m committed to learning about new things that can genuinely support students in my class.
The class dean model enables me to get to know the whole student during their four years here. You don’t attend a university like Wesleyan just to take classes and earn a degree, though that pursuit is paramount. Part of the draw of a place like Wesleyan is to engage with amazing members of our community inside and outside of the classroom, and to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.
Wesleyan has so much in store for you and your classmates, and let me be the first in a long line of people to encourage you on this amazing journey. I look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall, but don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help to you before your arrival.