Syllabus - Fall 2006
UNI 101 First-year Seminar
INSTRUCTOR: Donald E. Stout, Jr.
Office hours: "Old Main" 370 , TR 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Phone: Campus: 360.438.4587
S. Feldman, POWER Learning : Strategies for Success in College and
Life, 3/e, McGraw-Hill, 2007.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: As stated in the Saint Martin's University catalog, this seminar was created to offer "a program for incoming freshmen that provides orientation to university life and study, as well as experiences contributing to student growth, development and academic achievement."
Purpose of First Year Seminar: Coming to college signals a radical change in the lives of most students. For many of you, it will be the first time to experience the freedom of living on your own and being fully responsible for your actions. For all of you, it signals an assumption of greater personal responsibility to yourself and to the members of a larger community.
First-year Seminar is designed to help you make a successful transition to this new culture of academic life by establishing a foundation of academic expectations, skills, and practices, as well as assisting you in forging links to the greater Saint Martinís community. Faculty teaching First-year Seminar come from a wide range of academic disciplines: business, chemistry, economics, education, engineering, English, mathematics, music, psychology and theatre. While there will be differences in each sectionís approach, all sections share the following common goals.
GOALS OF THE COURSE
a. to introduce all first-year students to the values and academic standards of Saint Martin's University.
b. to introduce students to the principles and practices of Benedictine tradition.
c. to promote the integration of knowledge.
d. to enhance reading, writing, and critical reasoning.
e. to promote better academic advising and mentoring, and
f. working with Student Services, to help students adjust and integrate into the greater Saint Martin's community.
The fourteen Saint Martin's faculty who teach University 101 are all from different academic and staff disciplines. Though all fourteen instructors share these goals, given our diverse backgrounds, each section will be markedly different from the others in some respects. All of us will provide you with some direct instruction and guidance about how to thrive in college. But each of us may adjust our approach specific to our home discipline.
My training is in engineering; and so the central academic focus in this class will likely be related to data collection, analysis, and reporting.
The other significant activity you will be engaged in is a service project. Again, part of the reason we do this is to have some basis for giving you concrete feedback on how you handle complex tasks and how you work with others. But more importantly, we believe that asking you to engage in service work reflects the mission and values of Saint Martin's as a Benedictine institution and gives you a chance to reflect on your mission, your values and your role as a citizen of this community and of the larger world.
In First-year Seminar, we hope you will establish new relationships, build upon your academic and life skills, find opportunities for personal growth and the broadening of perspectives, and better understand what it means to be an educated person.
My focus will be to help you answer the questions: Who am I? Where am I? Where am I going? and How do I get there?
I will seek to do the following:
TEACHING STRATEGY: The class sessions will be a combination of lectures, guest lectures, campus walking tours, on-line exercises, internet exercises, discussion, and group exploration and problem solving sessions. Our course content will come primarily from the Feldman textbook. Internet content and additional outside readings may be incorporated where appropriate. Special emphasis will be placed on group discussion of our primary reading selection, Jim Lynchís, The Highest Tide.
You are responsible for reviewing the class schedule and completing the assigned readings, homework problems, and projects. Check the schedule page for details.
Quizzes (20%) - Quizzes will be given at my discretion - I plan to give 5 to 7 quizzes during the semester. I gauge the number of quizzes to give on how I feel you're keeping up with reading and homework assignments.
Writing assignments: (10%) I will ask you to do a number of writing assignments including reflection papers, reports, and letters. I will explain the grading criteria for each assignment before you begin.
Homework assignments: (20%) I will ask you to do a number of homework assignments. Most will come directly from the Feldman textbook. See the course schedule for due dates.
Abbey Church Events - as homework, you will be required to attend one Abbey Church Event concert during the semester. You will be expected to write a short report of the experience. Keep your report one page or less, typewritten, and double spaced. Describe the event - musicians, compositions, audience response, etc. - and your personal reactions to it.
Service learning project: (20%) You will be expected to complete a service learning project. Your service learning grade will be based on the quality of your service learning project portfolio. The portfolio will include a written and oral presentation component.
Participation/attendance (30%): Your participation score will be a subjective judgment I make based on how I perceive your level of classroom contribution combined with my assessment of your attendance record. This is the largest component of your grade because it is the most important part of the class. I believe most learning will come from our seminar discussion and group activities. Therefore, I feel it is important you attend each and every class session.
Late assignments will not be graded and makeup exams will not be given without my prior approval. Therefore, if you must be absent for any reason, I expect you to make arrangements with me in advance or do your work early in order to get credit for quizzes or assignments collected during a class period.
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE: The Learning Center offers individual learning consultations, study group assistance, handouts and books on study skills, and free peer tutoring in the following subject areas: math, chemistry, physics, economics, accounting, Spanish, French, and Japanese. The tutoring schedules are posted outside the door in Old Main, room 212. To learn more about resources available through the Learning Center you are encouraged to drop by room 208 or visit their website: www.stmartin.edu/academic/learning_center/index.htm.
SPECIAL NEEDS: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have medical and/or safety concerns to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.