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First Pages was established to develop a sense of common knowledge and purpose as students move into their first year at Northeastern University. Started in 2006, the goals of the project are to present a challenging and engaging text which will provide insight into an important issue and bring faculty, administrators, staff, upper-class students and new students together outside of a traditional classroom setting.
The book is the foundation for a series of programming events during Welcome Week including a visit from the author to speak with incoming first year students about the book and its link to Northeastern’s mission.
We are pleased to announce the Fall 2020 First Pages book, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Antonio Vargas.
The First Pages initiative aims to engage entering undergraduate students with Northeastern’s unique culture of scholarly inquiry and experiential learning, and to build a vibrant intellectual community, that begins with the common reading of a significant literary work.
First Pages works are selected on the basis of their innovative and interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary challenges and/or timeless questions surrounding human experience. First Pages experiences are grounded in the literary work’s underlying ideas and themes, and are aimed at cultivating a sense of understanding, empathy, civic-mindedness, and agency for addressing these issues and assisting those populations who are affected by them. Further, the First Pages initiative seeks to connect first-year students with those institutional and local organizations working towards actionable solutions relevant to those issues explored by the First Pages work, and whenever possible, support students’ efforts to create, implement, and/or evaluate solutions.
On the evening prior to the beginning of the academic year, all first-year students come together at Matthews Arena for a keynote address and moderated Q&A with the author of the selected work, which they had read prior to their arrival on campus.
Students continue to build upon this intellectual community through a variety of experiential learning opportunities embedded throughout their first-year coursework and through auxiliary experiences, such as community tours, readings groups, presentations, and co-curricular programming, such as service-learning or social advocacy.
As a result of participating in the First Pages initiative, students will be able to: