First Year Experience

Student Learning Outcomes

Updated November, 2012
Current for the 2012/13 Academic Year

UNIV 1105 “Foundations of College Success”

Course Description
This course assists incoming students in making a successful transition to college. Topics include the purpose of higher education, goal setting, time management, study and test taking skills, critical thinking, stress management, academic advisement, career and major exploration, using campus resources, and understanding student responsibilities.

Topics & Learning Outcomes
These 11 topics are essential to the course; however, please note that some topics may overlap.

1.   Purpose of Education
This unit teaches students the purpose of a college education and emphasizes the responsibilities that come with the college experience, including academic honesty and cultural competence.  Specifically, it addresses what it means to be a college student, including why college is important, how college differs from high school, and what behaviors are essential for success in college. Moreover, this unit begins the creation of a community of learners that will grow and develop throughout the semester.  At the end of this unit, students will be able to

1.   Define the purpose and benefits of a college education
2.   Understand their responsibilities as students (the Student Code)
3.   Appreciate the value of diverse perspectives in and out of the classroom
4.   Identify behaviors, both within and outside the classroom, that affect college success
5.   Self-identify personal characteristics that impact their ability to succeed in college
6.   Begin to identify college resources that assist them in achieving their academic goals
7.   Understand the significance of community building as they participate in a community of learners

2.   Goal Setting/Self-Awareness

This unit teaches students the mechanics of goal setting, the importance of attitude and various strategies for getting and staying motivated. Specifically, it teaches them how to set SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely) goals and work toward accomplishing those goals. Students will learn to set and accomplish goals by self-reflection and self-monitoring using the self-regulation model. At the end of the unit/course students will be able to

1.   Understand the self-regulation cycle
2.   Understand the components of a SMART goal
3.   Implement the steps of the self-regulation cycle using the SMART goals model
4.   Analyze how attitudes influence positive outcome of goals
5.   Implement strategies for getting and staying motivated
6.   Weigh the costs/benefits of goals
7.   Understand the difference between a short and long-term goal
8.   Demonstrate a commitment to goal setting

3.   Textbook Reading & Annotation

This unit teaches students how to read various textbooks, engage in active reading (annotation, note-taking, mapping, and summarizing information), establish conducive reading environments, and implement strategies to stay engaged and focused while reading. At the end of this unit/course, students will be able to

1.   Prepare to read actively
2.   Preview reading material using targeted strategies
3.   Read a variety of textbooks effectively and efficiently
4.   Implement active reading strategies
5.   Develop flexible reading strategies
6.   Adjust their reading style to the material
7.   Develop a more extensive vocabulary

4.   Time Management

This unit teaches students how to manage themselves so that they can use their time effectively. At the end of this unit/course, students will be able to

1.   Understand the importance of time management
2.   Establish priorities based upon values and goals
3.   Demonstrate self-management by setting reasonable boundaries
4.   Analyze and evaluate how they spend their time
5.   Learn causes of procrastination and discover ways to overcome it
6.   Develop and implement a planning system

5.   Stress Management

This unit teaches students how to manage themselves so that they can identify and handle stress. At the end of this unit/course, students will be able to

1.   Recognize the warning signs of stress (physical, emotional, etc.)
2.   Identify personal stressors
3.   Learn to decrease stress, which evidence shows is a significant factor in limiting creativity, memory, behavior and learning
4.   Demonstrate self-management by setting reasonable boundaries
5.   Develop effective techniques for coping with test and other anxieties
6.   Learn behavioral strategies that improve wellness and resilience
7.   Implement pro-active behaviors

6.   Note Taking

This unit teaches students how to preview and prepare for class; how to listen actively and take effective notes in class; and how to review and revise notes after class. At the end of this unit/course, students will be able to

1.   Prepare to listen actively (mentally and physically)
2.   Listen actively and participate appropriately in class
3.   Develop multiple note-taking strategies
4.   Review and organize notes for retention

7.   Test Preparation & Test Taking

This unit teaches students how to effectively prepare for and take a variety of exams. At the end of this unit/course, students will be able to

1.   Understand the mechanics of learning, memory, and retention
2.   Learn various study skills to prepare for exams
3.   Study effectively for multiple exam types
4.   Prepare physically and mentally for an exam, i.e. test anxiety
5.   Apply test-taking strategies
6.   Develop better test preparation skills for the future

8.   Learning Strategies

The focus of this unit is to define learning strategies and become aware of innate responses to the learning environment. An understanding of the variety of learning styles can be used to increase one’s self-awareness about strengths and weaknesses as a learner. At the end of this unit, students will be able to

1.   Identify learning strategies and realize there is not a “one size fits all” approach
2.   Learn and apply the theories of personality type
3.   Discover practical application for personality types in career/major guidance, interpersonal relationships, and educational goals
4.   Identify strengths and areas for improvement associated with each type
5.   Understand that regardless of preferences, we are all capable of learning under almost any style
6.   Understand how our brain works in the context of education

9.   Critical Thinking

This unit teaches students how to evaluate written, oral, and/or visual media using critical thinking skills. Specifically, it develops reflective and analytical thinking approaches that lead to higher-level learning and are essential for academic and lifelong success. At the end of this unit, students will be able to

1.   Distinguish between arguments based on emotion and arguments based on fact
2.   Understand the validity of various perspectives
3.   Learn how to develop an objective point of view
4.   Appreciate the value of active reflection

10.   Academic Advisement

This unit teaches students where to obtain credible WSU advising-related information and services. At the end of this unit, students will be able to

1.   Understand the value of obtaining effective academic advisement
2.   Understand the basics of a WSU program of study (e.g., University, degree, major, minor, general education requirements and elective courses)
3.   Know how to obtain credible advising related to a major
4.   Understand key WSU policies and procedures and know where to go for more information about them
5.   Develop an academic plan

11.   Career and Major Exploration

This unit teaches students how to create a career plan, which includes potential career and major options that are likely to help them achieve their personal, professional and academic goals. At the end of this unit, students will be able to

1.   Understand the connection between effective career/major exploration and the achievement of their personal, professional, and academic goals
2.   Identify potential career areas and WSU majors that reflect their values and interests
3.   Find resources for researching majors, careers, internships, and employment
4.   Develop a preliminary career plan

12.   OPTIONAL – Service Learning

13.   OPTIONAL – Diversity

14.   OPTIONAL – Health & Wellness

15.   OPTIONAL – Library

16.   OPTIONAL - Money Management