Advising and Registration

Spring 2017

The first step in beginning the registration process is to select your themes for English 101 or 102 and CORE 101 courses. Course descriptions 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: the SNC Experience employ variable topics grounded in the social sciences (economics, psychology, political science, anthropology and sociology) to build a common intellectual experience shared by all Sierra Nevada College students. Topics are selected from across the curriculum to engage entering students with the critical skills necessary for a successful and stimulating college career.  The courses focus on the foundations of active, engaged learning; critical thinking, problem solving, creativity/innovation, oral communication, teamwork, peer critique, self-reflection, higher-order questioning and active discussion.

Core 101 is offered both spring and fall semesters, with a variety of course topics in fall. Discuss the course options with your advisor.


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
This course explores the dynamic relationship between individuals and the society in which they live, with attention to the resulting connections, conflicts and compromises that occur. Specifically, we will explore the variability of meaning in language beyond the page, allowing students to discover how storytelling in all its forms can reinforce or deconstruct personal and societal values and equipping students with simple tools to use language as an intentional creative force.

Questions addressed in this course include: What are assumptions made by the authors, characters, or ourselves in our readings? Where do those assumptions come from in the character’s world? In our own? What do these assumptions imply about the function of language in our culture? What is actually said versus what is trying to be said? How can one apply language that is restricted by cultural context in order to communicate authentically as an individual?

Examination of themes and techniques in assigned reading is emphasized to develop evaluation, analysis, synthesis and critical thinking skills. Weekly written work, in class discussions, essays, research writing and a portfolio documenting revisions are required.

The Art of the Essay (Athletes Only)
Comedians call them monologues. Editorial writers call them columns. And college applicants call them bad words that we can’t say in polite company. The essay may be the bane of students, but it’s an endlessly flexible form for writers. The word “essay” means “to try.” To paraphrase E.B. White, each new attempt by the essayist differs from the last and takes him or her into new country. In this class we read and write essays, learning to move beyond a straightforward narration of life experiences and toward a more complex art form that can make connections and engage readers in a universal human experience.


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

Contemporary Issues in Education

We all have a stake in education. Most of us have been shaped by our own school experiences: memories and moments that have defined us or altered our futures. Many of us have been touched by educators who have influenced our paths. Our children, present or future, will be part of our nation’s education system. This class is a chance to discuss the American education system, local, national and global attitudes towards education, ethical and moral dilemmas in education, and alternative models of education.

Specific topics may include bilingual classrooms, gifted and talented programs, environmental education, physical education, art programming, state and national standards, assessment, media coverage, and school funding. Students will write a personal essay about their own educational experiences, a movie/ film analysis, an argument essay on high school challenges such as college pressure, cheating, or peer pressure, and complete a major research project on a topic related to teaching and learning. Students are encouraged to take ENGL 103 (1 unit) simultaneously in order to gain hands on service learning experience in a school setting.

It’s After the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet?

Writing is a way of discovering and shaping the world. One of the most powerful ways that this occurs is through argument. In this class you will learn modes of argument that are distinctive to academic reasoning in that a given problem is not treated as though it has a right or wrong answer. Instead, you are asked to convince your reader that you understand the complexity of a problem and to provide a solution that is necessarily tentative and incomplete.

Students in this course will learn to analyze the basic elements of a problem and then synthesize selected parts. That process results in your thesis, or formal opinion. You will learn to ask questions about the thesis that lead to other questions. This process can be frustrating, tiring and will make you angry. But it is precisely this process that leads to a thorough and confident argument, one in which you understand and accept the risks and advantages of a particular argument.

This course will focus on genres of academic writing, including critiques, analyses, and extended research papers. We will investigate methods of composition, the use of academic genres, and approaches to developing and refining your ideas through the writing process. The skills you’ll learn will be transferable to every class in which you’re required to write. You will explore how to use writing to learn, to create, and to act, particularly in college but also in the world outside the college. I hope this class will be challenging, fun and will in some way change how you look at (and act in) the world.

Imagination and Memory in the Works of JD Salinger
Our course will focus on the series of short stories he wrote about the Glass family, which consists of seven troubled child geniuses from the Upper East Side, Manhattan. Focusing on the effects of the suicide of the eldest, saint like sibling, Seymour, the essays written in our course will explore the role that imagination and memory play in shaping the adult lives of the remaining Glass siblings.

The 2015 publication of J.D. Salinger’s writings, which had been kept in a secret vault since he left the publishing limelight in the 1960s, was one of literature’s great historical events. The reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye died in 2010, and his last will directed his literary estate to publish the many books he wrote in isolation in rural New Hampshire, with the first works to be published five years after his death.

Contemporary Communication: Food, Sports, and Technology
How does food aid in communication both in the home and society? How can sports and sports figures be constructive/destructive to the unification of a culture? How does music heal the mind? What are positive and negative effects of the implementation of social media and gaming in our culture?

Students use questions about food, sports, media, and technology to examine and compare various modes of communication such as in person, in writing, electronic, and other forms, then evaluate the merits of each, while writing in a variety of modes.

Philosophy in Literature (Athletes Only)
Both philosophy and literature represent the world and reflect on it. They are clearly different, yet converge, overlap, and relate to one another in various ways. Both disciplines seek to ask big questions, to locate and describe deeper truths, to shape order from the muddle of the world. In this class, we read philosophical stories and novels in an attempt to address complicated themes such as ethics (what kind of person should I be?), personal identity (who am I?), community (what are our moral obligations to others?) and the human struggle (what is the nature of courage?).

Pre-register Here

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