The popularity of first-year seminars as a programmatic and curricular approach is grounded in the fact that a credit-bearing course offers a traditional and appropriate structure through which orientation efforts extend beyond the first week of classes. They also offer a way for student development and retention theories to be put into practice, and they provide a logical structure for encouraging (and intrusively demanding) active student involvement in learning and in the life and activities of the institution; for examining and discussing student/institutional fit; and for facilitating social and academic integration. First-year seminars are thus designed to meet both institutional and student needs.