Avila University has incorporated a common reading for all first year students as part of the First Year Experience program called The Common Reading Program. Student success research is very clear about how this type of program can assist in emphasizing academic importance prior to the start of classes and assist in building community within the first year class.
All first year students will receive information about The Common Reading Program during S.O.A.R. This information will include a cover letter describing the program which details an assignment. The assignment includes reading a series of articles or a book and responding with an essay that is due prior to the start of classes. The topic of the Common Reading Program is global in nature and may vary from year to year. In addition to the readings and essay assignment, during New Student Orientation in August, students will be divided up by First Year Seminar class (both FS 101 and 102) and instructors will be provided with a detailed lesson plan to discuss the reading, essays and become more familiar with the topic.
The International Bank of Bob
By Bob Harris
"Hired by ForbesTraveler.com to review some of the most luxurious accommodations on Earth, and then inspired by a chance encounter in Dubai with the impoverished workers whose backbreaking jobs create such opulence, Bob Harris had an epiphany: He would turn his own good fortune into an effort to make lives like theirs better. Bob found his way to Kiva.org, the leading portal through which individuals make microloans all over the world: for as little as $25-50, businesses are financed and people are uplifted. Astonishingly, the repayment rate was nearly 99%, so he re-loaned the money to others over and over again.
"After making hundreds of microloans online, Bob wanted to see the results first-hand, and in The International Bank of Bob he travels from Peru and Bosnia to Rwanda and Cambodia, introducing us to some of the most inspiring and enterprising people we've ever met, while illuminating day-to-day life-political and emotional-in much of the world that Americans never see. Told with humor and compassion, The International Bank of Bob brings the world to our doorstep, and makes clear that each of us can, actually, make it better."
"Unbroken" by Laura Hilenbrand
A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer