Student Seminar Program
The Seminar Program provides opportunities to guide each student in the development of insight about community, participation, leadership, wellness, and self. By focusing on a central question each year and utilizing The Search Institute’s Asset-Building as a foundation, students have the opportunity to further the depth of insight about themselves, their place at LFA, and their place in the world. These questions all lead into the cultivation of character, scholarship, citizenship, and responsibility.
The primary focus of Freshman Seminar is the transition and adjustment to the Academy by encouraging students to consider what it means to be part of the Lake Forest Academy community. Strategies for a successful transition and adjustment, both academically and socially, are explored. School rules and expectations are reviewed, centering on the four pillars of Lake Forest Academy’s mission statement. Emphasis is placed on study skills, public speaking, time management, iPad instruction (including online resources and databases), and exam preparation. Students also look at the importance of multiculturalism and pluralism within our diverse student community. They discuss the idea of what makes up identity, and then each student creates a multimedia presentation that expresses what they view as being the most important parts of who they are. With regard to wellness, an emphasis is placed on physical health. Students receive information on nutrition and exercise, first aid, life balance, stress management, conflict resolution, effective communication, substance use prevention, and relationship education. Through this survey of topics, students identify personal strengths and areas of growth needed to successfully engage in all aspects of the LFA community.
In the fall, Sophomore Seminar is an extension of Lake Forest Academy’s Service Learning Program. Through the exploration of current social issues in conjunction with students’ personal service engagement experiences, students are encouraged to determine how their own personal values and beliefs can make a difference in the world around them. Starting in January, students are required to collaborate and launch a service project, then reflect upon the experience of engaging in the community. At the end of the second term students learn how to protect and enhance their digital footprint and become better cyber citizens. They meet with law enforcement officers, college counselors, communication and IT specialists to prepare them for online risks and benefits as they become more and more visible to universities and employers on social networks.
Junior Seminar encourages students to explore individual values, beliefs, perceptions, and interpretations. Class discussions focus on personal experiences and reflections that foster greater connectedness, communication of own perspective, and standing up for beliefs/values/etc. Students explore diversity and multiculturalism and how these concepts relate to who we are as individuals, with an underlying focus on civic responsibility, leadership, and community-building. Students are also introduced to the complexities of human behavior through topics such Addiction, Eating Disorders, Mental Health and Brain Disorders, Suicide prevention, and the Myers-Brigg Personality Assessment. Students examine their fears, values, goals, and priorities through reflections and class discussions. Periodically, students work with the Office of College Counseling to prepare for College Night in September, the LFA College Workshop in the second semester, ongoing testing options, and commencement of the college search and application process.
Senior Seminar focuses on the college application process (first semester) and life after LFA (second semester) as we continue with efforts to cultivate mind, body, and spirit to develop moral and ethical thoughtfulness, nuanced social consciousness and leadership skills. Students receive general information about the college search, application, and decision-making processes. Topics include campus visits, essay writing, recommendation procedures, standardized testing, interviews and LFA College Counseling protocol. Each student also completes individual career exploration exercises and activities. The class also addresses specific issues involving the transition to college, including time management, academic policies, social pressures, and older adolescent health information. Students continue to explore the integration of personal values and beliefs with personal choice, goal-setting, and goal actualization, with emphasis on skills necessary for responsibly managing greater independence. Senior year culminates with a final project presented to members of the community to wrap up the high school sojourn.