course introduces first-year students to the university and
encourages students to become engaged members of this university
learning community. The course asks students to explore the
context of the Mansfield University undergraduate experience
through the perspective of the liberal arts curriculum and their
own learning community participation. It also helps students
explore the means by which they can succeed at the university
and how to use the various support services of the university.
completion of this course, you should be able to:
and articulate the value of a liberal arts education.
personal and academic goals for the university experience.
what it means to think critically.
a sense of belonging to, and actively begin to participate
in, the university learning community.
the value of diversity and living in a diverse learning
how to access university academic and student life support
encourages engagement and responsibility in first year students
in their personal, academic, university (social) and community
lives and emphasizes these themes:
Personallife - We are all
here to grow:
is in charge of his/her life – active in decision-making,
takes responsibility for his/her actions and possible
consequences, is self-aware.
Academiclife - We are all
here to learn:
internalizes the importance of academic integrity, study
skills and preparation, time management and organization.
Universitylife - We are all
here to enrich and be enriched:The individual is actively engaged with on-campus
activities; recognizes and accepts importance of individual
autonomy, in ourselves and others; recognizes the need to be
constantly aware of his/her surroundings and potential
risk-situations; understanding of the importance (and
reality) of diversity.
Communitylife - We are all
here to help others: The
individual recognizes and accepts the importance of
citizenship, participation in community service, and service
to others in need.
Course Topics –
Nine concepts, developed within three primary themes of
engagement and responsibility, as follows:
Transition and understanding: the
university learning community – “Welcome to a community
What it means to be a
differences between high school and college (changes in
goals, commitments, sacrifices and rewards: making and
acting on a commitment to learning.
exist beyond the classroom:they need to achieve a balance between education and
the demands of work, family, and friends.
Identification of the values and goals of
is the purpose of your education?”
the university experience and your choices affect your
values and world-view.
Self-management and personal skill development – “Welcome
to a community of successful learners.”
goals, personal assets (strengths) and challenges (internal
and external barriers).
of self and surroundings.
alcohol and sexual awareness.
and personal integrity.
Information awareness/literacy and
visit day or activities: using the tools to find, understand
and assess the myriad of information available to today’s
is about students learning to think for themselves – not
simply read, memorize and regurgitate information. Often
these abilities are required in order to move on to deeper,
more active, and hands-on learning: Active learning, opening
the mind to new possibilities, breaking down and putting
together concepts and ideas, understanding the implications
of different beliefs, and communicating the understanding
effectively to others.
your education: the
importance of advising; graduation requirements; scheduling.
management / Goal achievement.
work, study and play.
relationships with faculty and staff.
Identifying and overcoming
barriers to success
challenges (see above Success strategies).
challenges, effective strategies, and support services.
and Counseling centers.
III. Engagement and developing in a community of
citizen-leaders – “Welcome
to a community of leaders.”
Citizenship, participation and
leadership on campus and in community
events and activities.
clubs and organizations.
service, service learning and leadership
Day and other methods of community involvement.
skills and service are for life.
in a diverse society
and contribution of a multi-cultural awareness –
recognition and appreciation of our own as well as others’
Douglass, F.(2003).Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An
American Slave.New York, NY: Penguin Putnam (Signet
classic) (originally pub. 1845).
The UNV 1100, First-Year
Seminar Student Workbook will be the primary source of
course assignments and exercises.It is for sale in the University Bookstore.
Other readings may be
assigned by the instructor and posted on-line or placed on
reserve in the library.
strategies I – Planning, setting priorities and managing
time, being assertive
pp. 17-20, 68-71
value of a liberal arts education
pp. 28, 29, 30
Reading, listening, note taking
Workbook pp. 36-39,
of the Frederick Douglass book
monitoring exercise due
- Frederick Douglas Lecture – Julian Bond!
7:30 p.m. – Straughn Auditorium
yourself: meeting student life challenges
Workbook pp. 50-51, 45-49
pp. 52, 53, 54-57, 21, 77
class - Fall Break
pp. 9,11, 12
strategies II – Advisement and pre-registration, stress
and other challenges
Workbook pp. 22-24
leadership and service in the learning community
pp. 6, 7
– Make-A-Difference Day!
pp. 31, 33, 34, 58-59
in a diverse society
in class & 74-76
your path at M.U. and beyond
Workbook pp. 25-27, 60-61
evaluate our course and your University experience, thus
pp. 72, 73
will have at least two out-of-class activities together.
One will be just for fun and with your input we’ll plan a
will also work together on a community service project on
“Make-A-Difference Day” that will get you involved in
our local community.
will also use one class time to, as a group, participate in
a library orientation activity.
are expected to participate in five events or activities
on campus over the course of this semester. You will get
a list of possible and suggested activities in class and we
will have a mechanism for you to demonstrate your attendance
at these events. One
of these events will be the Frederick Douglas lecture on
are encouraged to consider some additional community service
activity in the community.Extra credit can be earned through such activities.
Essays, Homework, and Blackboard Discussion Bulletin
are expected to write three focused reaction essays,
addressing questions given to you in class on topics we
address in the class or on assigned readings, including the
will occasionally be given take-home exercises and brief
assessments of your attitudes or experiences as a new
student at M.U. and be expected to complete them and return
them to the next regular class.
are also expected to dialogue with your classmates on a
class web site using Blackboardand respond to
questions raised by your classmates or me.
Participation and Progress:
main goal of this course is help ensure that you are successful
here at Mansfield University.My job is to make this course a place where you can get
information and support to help that happen. It is imperative
that you feel comfortable to talk with me after class, during
office hours, by e-mail, or by appointment anytime during the
semester concerning your progress in this class.I want this course be an important and valuable learning
experience for you.
will only meet for one or two class periods each week; it is
essential that you are in class and that you participate in
class activities and discussions.Missed classes
will result in a loss of points toward your grade.You
are expected to communicate directly with me (in person or by
e-mail - in advance if possible) about any absences or
difficulty you may have meeting class assignments. If you have
an approved unavoidable absence, you may make up the
missed participation points by completing extra credit
assignments. As instructor, I decide whether an absence is
“approved” and the means by which you can receive make-up
credit. In addition to talking to me, it is University
policy that documented absences (e.g., illness, death in the
family) need to be taken to Mrs. Carol Alexander, Provost’s
Office, 5th floor (510) North Hall. She will make the
determination as to the validity of the absence and provide
notification to all of your professors who are affected.
Respect and Integrity:
co-participants in this learning community we should both
(students and faculty) expect to treat each other with the
utmost respect and to adhere to the highest standards of
academic integrity, honesty and fairness. As a student, this
present and actively participating in class
others, the diversity of their experiences and perspectives,
and their opinions (even if they differ from your own)
direct and truthful in communication and taking credit only
for work that you have done
accountable to your peers for your class participation and
making a good faith effort to ensure that the class goes
for any reason (such as a major snowstorm), the class has to be
cancelled, I will place an announcement on the Campus
Announcement Network (C.A.N) and leave a message on my
voice-mail greeting announcement (662-4775).If you have any reason to wonder whether class has been
canceled, you can check my number to see if such a message is
please assume class is meeting!
will be based on attendance, class participation, completion of
assignments and projects.