University Seminar

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General Studies 100 University Seminar
Part of the Freshman Success Program

Course (Catalog)Description:fsp_figurebrn

100. University Seminar (1) Cr/NC

Prerequisite: Open only to freshmen.

Discussion of university experiences, develop faculty and student relationships,knowledge, and understanding of university resources, critical survival skills and strategies. (Formerly numbered and entitled General Studies 250, University Seminar.)

    A. University Seminar
    B. Integrated Curriculum
    C. Living Learning

Course Objectives

Welcome to University Seminar, General Studies 100. Now that you are here, you might ask—why? Good question!

This course will probably be unique among the courses you will take while in college because it's about the process you will go through while you are here rather than the standard course which attempts to provide content that you will use after you leave. It's similar to making a movie about making a movie. If this course succeeds it will help you to maximize your learning experience while you are here.

A university is a wonderful place, most of the time. It can be a miserable place some of the time. Students who do well tend to find ways to maximize the percent of the time it's a wonderful place. It frequently turns out that miserable experiences could be avoided with a little bit of knowledge and forethought. Again, this course will help you do that. The course will identify resources on the campus that can help you succeed while you are here.

A large university such as ours (and yes it is "ours," you are now a member of the university com

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Syllabus GS 100 (PDF Format)

munity) has a great many resources. They include the obvious one like the faculty and staff, along with physical resources such as libraries, computers, classrooms and laboratories. But the resources also include less obvious and less tangible resources, but just as important. These include students (Yes, students are a major asset of a university!), social relationships, experiences outside of the formal learning environment, and opportunities to develop relationships outside of the direct university community.

This course also has a major planning component. Anything that is worth doing is worth planning. If you don't have a plan, plan on having a disaster. So you will need to think about your goals. This is always the start of a plan. It's impossible to plan if you don't know where you are going. Why did you come to college? What do you want to achieve? When do you want to complete your degree? Once you have answers to these types of questions you can begin the planning process.

Your plan should be able to answer such questions as: How many units do I have to take each semester if I want to graduate in 4 years? How many hours can I work and complete this many units? How am I going to pay for this? Which classes do I have to take to complete my chosen major? How do I take the exams, write the papers and do the reading? How do I take advantage of the social opportunities that exist? How do I deal with all of the different people I encounter in my University experience?

These and many more questions need to be answered for you to have a successful experience while you are here. Do not get depressed about the number of questions—the vast majority of our students answer these questions very well.

Thus the general goal of this course is to help you succeed. Success in this context is defined as helping you extract from your experience(s) here the things you need to achieve your goals. The definition of success is unique to each one of us. Do not define success in terms of someone else. You need to identify what success means for you. However, do not sell yourself short. Set realistic goals, but make sure that they require that you stretch. Accept the fact that you might have to make a tactical retreat once in a while. Perhaps, if you never fail, you haven't set high enough goals and if you always fail perhaps you have set an unattainable standard.

Finally, remember that the future is a moving target. It is reasonable to expect that you will change your goals as you go through life. Changing your goals while you are here is not unusual. Therefore changing your major or not yet having a major is not a failure. One of the things you are here to learn is what your major should be. You should also realize that much of what you came to the University for will be achieved regardless of the major you choose, even if you in retrospect decide you made a mistake. Your time here will not have been wasted if you did the best you could while you were here

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