The Life of the Mind Program, which is a Ready for the World initiative, is a component of First-Year Studies 100, a required online course that helps first-year students obtain the right mindset for the college experience. As part of the course, students read the Life of the Mind book, submit a creative response, participate in a small-group discussion session and attend a lecture by the book’s author.
A Life of the Mind book selection committee consisting of faculty, staff, students and Knoxville community members reviews books every year for incoming first-year students. To help them get started, the committee is always seeking nominations of appropriate books.
Criteria for selecting Life of the Mind books are as follows:
Thematic Criteria – Must meet one or more of these criteria
- Global – Themes expressed in the book should expose students to international cultures, people, or issues.
- Transition – Themes expressed in the book should represent some aspect of transition that can be related to the first-year experience at UT.
- Current – Themes expressed in the book should have some element of relevancy to current events in our society.
- The author must be alive, available, and affordable
- The book should be less than 350 pages and cost less than $20.