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 First- Year Orientation, new students participate in small, faculty-led discussion groups focused on the reading.  Discussion groups gather informally and are based on Orientation groups already established for First- Year Orientation. Faculty 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 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 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 2021 First Year Reading program's pick, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, by Cathy O'Neil can be found later this summer by visiting researchguides.stevens.edu/wmd