Engaging new students in a shared intellectual task before the start of their first semester at Stevens can ease the transition into college.

Over the summer, incoming first-year students will receive a copy of a prominent work of either literature or nonfiction to read prior to arriving to campus in August.  During New Student Orientation, new students participate in small, faculty and staff-led discussion groups focused on the reading.  Discussion groups gather informally and are based on Orientation groups already established for New Student Orientation. Faculty and Staff members are paired with Peer Leaders who assist with the facilitation of the conversation about the reading.  This format is designed to give new students an engaging atmosphere in which to interact with faculty and staff members and begin to contribute to a college-level discussion.


The reading program will provide new students the following:

  1. An opportunity to make connections with classmates, faculty and staff members, and their new intellectual community as a whole.
  2. Prime students for themes that they can expect to encounter during their first year at Stevens, such as pluralism, ethics, leadership, technology, and social justice.
  3. Introduce students to college-level tasks such as critical thinking, analytical reading, and high-level discourse with faculty members and peers.

Resource Guide

A guide created by the Samuel C. Williams Library staff for the 2022 First Year Reading program's pick, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, by Alain de Botton will be available soon.