Advising and Registration

Fall 2015

Registration for fall freshmen and transfer students opens May 15.

The first step in beginning the registration process is to select your themes for English 101 or 102 and CORE 101 courses. Fall 2015 course offerings will be uploaded as they are available.

You can rank your preferences for these classes on the Pre-registration Form. We will do our best to enroll you in your first choice, but depending on availability and scheduling conflicts, we may need to register you for a lower choice preference.

Pre-register Here


CORE 101/301: SNC Experience is the common intellectual experience shared by all Sierra Nevada College students, employing variable topics grounded in the social sciences (economics, psychology, political science, anthropology and sociology). Topics are selected from areas within art, business, humanities and science to engage entering students while developing the critical skills necessary for a successful and stimulating college career.  The learning objectives of the course will develop the abilities central to active, engaged learning.  Those abilities include critical thinking, problem solving, creativity/innovation, oral communication, teamwork, peer critique, self-reflection, higher-order questioning and active discussion.

CORE 101 Topics: for Entering Freshman

Time, Identity and Storytelling – Film Breaking, Film Making

Storytelling is a basic human impulse. We have used it to convey important messages about morality, to remember our own history, to transmit knowledge, to warn of danger and to create common culture from the earliest days of human civilization. This class will focus on the break down and analysis of the techniques of cinematic and documentary filmmakers. Students will learn about the visual and literary tools used to engage emotions, enlighten audiences, and call others to action. The students will then form a team with classmates and plan, film, edit, and screen their own documentary film highlighting a community challenge, profiling local change makers, or calling their audience to advocacy.

Visual Literacy

Human beings are very visual creatures, and the visual component of communication can often overwhelm its other dimensions. This class looks at a variety of ways that people and organizations use visual media to communicate and persuade, training students to make their own visual communication more effective. We will address questions such as: How can text and image be used together to tell a story? How can you illustrate an idea? What’s the difference between information and propaganda? Students will critique and create photographs, diagrams, info-graphics, illustrations, presentations, and video. Through this process, they will develop a greater understanding of the ways in which visual media are used to inform us and to manipulate us.

Ebola, Vaccines, and the Affordable Care Act

This class will explore three controversial topics that affect our health and health care:

  • Epidemics: What caused the Ebola epidemic that has recently devastated Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia? Could many lives have been saved if the world reacted more quickly? Could an epidemic like that happen here?
  • Vaccines: Are vaccines safe? Are vaccines effective at improving health? What are potential consequences of not vaccinating?
  • Affordable Care Act: Is Obama Care better than what we had before, or worse? How does the U.S. health care system compare with health care in our sister nations of Canada and Mexico?

CORE 301 Topics: for Entering Transfer Students

Culture, Art, and Technology

This class looks at creative approaches to problem solving through
beginning with a solid understanding of the culturally acquired “tools of the mind” that we naturally employ,
knowing that communication is an art that must be consciously developed, and
appreciating the growing impact modern technologies have on our thinking and relationships.

Through a series of activities, short lectures, films, readings, a class service-learning project, and a community partner project, students will learn to critically analyze new information, integrate it with existing knowledge, and smoothly deploy newly acquired knowledge beyond the classroom.


ENGL 101: Freshman Composition is the Freshman English course. Examination of themes and techniques in assigned reading is emphasized to develop evaluation, analysis, synthesis and critical thinking skill. Weekly written work, in–class discussions, essays, research writing and a portfolio documenting revisions are required.

All students at SNC are required to take two semesters of English coursework. Transfer students may be waived out of one or more sections of English if they have taken this course at a previous institution which meets catalog requirements for transfer courses. Transfer credit acceptance will be determined during your meeting with the faculty adviser.

English 101 Topics

Individual and Society

Writing is more than, simply, a necessary set of skills. It is a way of seeking ourselves, situating each of us within the world we create through language, exploring and defining our humanity through the written word. This realization is the engine that drives this course. Knowing that writing matters, that the words on the page are a momentary representation of a transient truth, a way of looking at and understanding the world unique to the writer, makes the opportunity to become a better writer an extremely valuable one. It also means that the well of subjects about which one can write is deep, that the ways of exploring these topics are many and multifaceted, and that the sophistication of the work produced is only limited by a writer’s skill and commitment. When we write, we are, after all, delving into the lives and psyches of a most complex creature, one’s self.

There are no shortcuts to becoming a skilled, thoughtful, and critical writer. The path to success is to write, and write some more. In this class you will write 5 major essays of 3-6 pages, each with a specific purpose leading logically to the next, and up to 15 shorter annotated bibliography entries. Your skills as a writer and a critical thinker will develop by working through your own writing process, struggling to create genuine, critical work through your examination of society and your place in it. We all write differently; we all think differently. Your task will be to use the information and opportunities from the class, workshops, readings and discussions, to figure out what works for you – what helps you write with clarity, power, and nuance – so you can take this knowledge with you into the rest of your academic career.

Your Story – Walking the Tightrope: Individuality, Conformity, and Identity

Our society tends to value and promote individuality and uniqueness. Our peers, families, and the media reinforce the concept that we should stand out from the crowd and avoid being a “follower.” Yet so much of our identity comes from our affiliation and conformity with collective ideals, values, and groups. This course examines students’ sense of identity as they move between the concepts of individuality and conformity, examining the pitfalls and benefits of both.

Contemporary Literature

Literature is an art that is concerned with the individual’s struggle  in the world. Contemporary literature touches on issues which cut to the heart of our contemporary world, taking on the topics like morality, politics, terrorism, economic injustice, racism, and of course, the happy feeling of pure being.

This course will introduce students to writing at the college level by studying works of contemporary literature, focusing on fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. The course will be focused on interpretation of these texts and the formulation of written arguments about particular elements of those texts. Students in this course will learn to analyze and interpret contemporary literature by producing argumentative essays. Students will explore how to use writing to learn, to create, and to act, particularly in the college writing but also in the world outside the college. This class should be challenging, but fun and will hopefully change the way students look at (and act in) the world.

German Romanticism

German Romanticism was a cultural movement and intellectual revolution that resisted authority, tradition, and Classical order (the Enlightenment), taking place from the late 18th to the mid-19th century. In general, German Romanticism depicts an attitude or state of mind that focuses on the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the creative, and the emotional. In this course we will learn to improve our academic writing while exploring the characteristics of German Romanticism in literature (e.g. Goethe, Heine), music (e.g. Beethoven, Wagner, Schubert), philosophy (e.g. Schelling), art, and history, where the individual is connected to the sublime beauty of nature.


ENGL 102: Freshman Composition II builds on and further develops the writing skills introduced in ENGL 101. Students are required to conduct both primary and secondary research, synthesize and integrate researched material into original works, and present individual research in papers and projects.

Transfer students who do not have transferable credits for English 101 must take an English Placement Exam before enrolling in any English courses. Contact Henry Conover at hconover@sierranevada.edu immediately to schedule your exam.

ENGLISH 102 Topics

Image and Text

This class uses image and text to explore larger questions about art and society: What’s the next big innovation in your major? What do images teach us about communication of the human experience? How can the classroom extend into the rest of our lives, and how do we bring our whole selves into the classroom? We will begin by studying ourselves: our learning styles and our reactions to the world around us. We will move from reading the world to reading graphic novels and explore how and why the comic form has been re-imagined. How do images influence our everyday lives and how do we make stories from them?

This class is a change to use writing as a tool for discovery, to practice looking for patterns, themes, and arguments (in writing and everywhere!), and to try seeing from different points of view. In specific, this course builds on and further develops the skills developed in ENGL 101. In 102, we will focus on constructing arguments and conducting scholarly research.

Educational Issues

This class builds on and further develops the writing skills introduced in ENGL 101 with a focus on issues in education. Students examine contemporary educational issues, including equality and access and ethical considerations, while writing in a variety of modes. Students are required to conduct both primary and secondary research, synthesize and integrate researched material into original works, and present individual research in papers and projects.

Education is something that we all have a stake in; most of us have unique memories from elementary, middle, high, or undergraduate school. Our lives have been influenced or shaped by the pivotal moments in our education and by our teachers, administration, coaches, and staff. We also may have children, now or in the future, who will  participate in our nation’s education system. This class is a chance to discuss the American public education system, local, national, or global attitudes towards education, ethical and moral dilemmas in education, and alternative models of education. This class will also cover specific topics that range from bilingual classrooms, gifted and talented programs, environmental education, physical education, art programming, state and national standards, assessment, media coverage, school funding, and more. Along with a major research paper, students will also have the chance to complete a personal essay about their own educational experiences, an essay analysis of a movie, and a compare and contrast essay focused on high school challenges of college pressure, cheating, peer pressure, and other topics. This class offers students the opportunity to explore a breadth of educational issues and to choose to focus, through a personal research project, on one main aspect of teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to take ENGL 103 (1 credit) simultaneously in order to gain hands on service learning experience in a school setting.

The Creative Process

This course builds on and further develops the writing skills introduced in ENGL 101, and will focus upon exploring the creative process through reading and writing in a variety of genres, including creative non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, performance art and mixed media. We will put an emphasis on imaginative approaches that combine creative expression with critical thought.

Pre-register Here

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