Rethink your Gen Ed - Consider a WSU Course!

Mission

As part of the Weber State University General Education program, WSU courses pose big questions that address significant issues about the world and help students apply their thinking and develop personal and social responsibility, which is demonstated through signature assignments. The purpose of the WSU Program is to provide students access to unique, team-taught, high-impact, interdisciplinary courses aligned with General Education program outcomes.

Description

WSU courses are interdisciplinary, variable (3-5) credit, team-taught, and limited enrollment courses that satisfy requirements in two areas (core or breadth) of general education (with passing grade)*. WSU courses are committed to High Impact Education Experiences (HIEEs). To that end, course delivery modalities are limited to face-to-face or 50% or higher face-to-face hybrid and course enrollments are limited to 20-40 students.

Organization and Oversight

The Director of General Education is responsible for the administration of the WSU Program, including course scheduling, reviewing course evaluations and assessment data, and reporting to the WSU Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee consists of voting members of GEIAC and is responsible for WSU course oversight, including the review of course proposals and exception proposals.

Course Proposals

Instructors seeking to teach a WSU course are invited to apply each fall semester to be approved for the following academic year. Review the Course Proposals webpage for more information. Once a WSU course is approved, the Director of General Education works with the instructors to complete a memorandum of understanding for the delivery of the course.

Course Offerings

Check out these offerings for the current year (full course descriptions found below).


Fall 2021 WSU Course Offerings

WSU 1470 Integrating Chemistry and Art (3 credits) Physical Science & Creative Arts Brandon Burnett & Dianna Huxhold

Spring 2022 WSU Course Offerings

WSU  1680 Microbes Rule: Effects of Disease on History (4 credits) Life Science & Social Science Craig Oberg & Gene Sessions
WSU 2340

Pattern Play: Movement & Mathematics (5 credits)
prerequisite: Level 3 placement or higher

Quantitative Literacy & Creative Arts Rachel Bachman & Erik Stern

TENTATIVE Fall 2022 WSU Course Offerings

WSU 1450 Intersections of Communication and Art (3 credits) Creative Arts & Humanities Colleen Packer & Jeremy Stott
WSU 2350 Writing with Numbers (3 credits) Quantitative Literacy & Humanities Shawn Broderick & Jean Norman

WSU Course Descriptions

WSU1450
CA & HU
Intersections of Art & Communication The course will introduce students to and enrich their understanding of the nature of art and communication through studying the basic principles and elements of each and how they intersect in works of art and communication contexts. Emphasis is on message construction and relationships as evidenced in the intersections of art and communication. Through application of foundational elements to real life situations and experiences, it is hoped that the student will become a more informed communicator and critical viewer of art.

WSU1470
PS & CA

Integrating Chemistry & Art This course is a special investigation of the relationship between chemistry and visual art. Students will learn about different art media from a chemical perspective and a visual arts perspective. This discussion will build to a higher level of learning where students will investigate how chemistry and art approach a broader concept including texture, value, line, light, color, structure, function, space, scale, and form. Finally, students will explore how to represent the connections between chemistry and art in project based "artifacts", through visual, oral, and written forms of communication.
WSU1560
HU & SS
The Story and the Brain: Neuroscience & Literature The Story and The Brain is an interdisciplinary, team-taught course which will teach students about neuroscience and the workings of the brain and apply neuroscientific concepts and theories to literary works. This course will also explore the neuroscientific processes that occur when students read, write, and interpret literature.  In other words, in this course students will read literature about the brain to illustrate the workings of the brain on literature.
WSU1560
HU & SS
Identity in the Digital Age Who am I? How do I present myself to others? What, in other words, is my identity? While identity questions are perennial, the answers often are influenced by culture. In today’s world, digital technology plays an increasingly prominent role in defining culture and, by extension, in defining identity. In this course we examine digital technology --and digital culture -- and how this culture shapes identity.
WSU1560
HU & SS
Sustainability in Thought & Practice This introductory course offers an integrative, multi-disciplinary approach to sustainability. The course encourages students to make connections between their own lives and the social, economic, and political spheres. It connects disciplines and ideas ranging from the sciences to the humanities, and provides a broad background in sustainability concepts, theory and practice. The course focuses on the topics of ecology basics, climate change science, environmental thought, environmental economic policy, current/contemporary environmental issues, land use and the built environment (sustainable planning, energy conservation, renewables, green technology) among others.
WSU1560
HU & SS
Research, Creativity, and Exploration Among Disciplines The course is an interdisciplinary, team-taught course which will teach students about scholarship processes in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and the sciences.  Students will have opportunities to make connections between the various disciplines, and understand how research, exploration, and creative processes are intertwined.
WSU1580
LS & HU
The Story and the Cell; Microbes and Metaphors In this course students will explore how microbiology and disease are used in literature to comment on the human condition. Early science, including disease, was often based especially on metaphorical and spiritual explanations rather than evidence because the true causes could not be observed with the current technology. This course will investigate the different epistemologies of science and the humanities. How does literature represent the scientific world? Why does science sometimes rely on metaphors? How does literature help disseminate the impact that disease can have on society?
WSU1680
LS & SS
Microbes Rule: Effects of Disease on History                While biologists have long understood the power of disease to shape events in world history, the depth of that power has rarely emerged in history books. This course seeks to redress that imbalance through historical anecdote and scientific explanation as it investigates the ways in which diseases have affected dramatically the course of history across several topics, including religion, war, and migration. Students will experience video lectures and vignettes with accompanying essays and learning exercises that will introduce them to the startling influence of microbes in the course of human events.
WSU1680
LS & SS
The Sciences of Human Variation: From Sex to Gender and Race to Ethnicity Race and sex are categories which are studied from the perspective of the biological sciences.  In contrast, ethnicity and gender are social categories which are the topic of study in the social sciences.  This class explores issues of race/ethnicity and sex/gender through an interdisciplinary lens to understand the biological and social basis of these categories.  Students will learn key ideas in the Life and Social Sciences as they learn to understand human variation and their own ethnic and gender identities and its social significance.
WSU2340
CA & QL
Pattern Play: Movement and Mathematics Pattern Play, Movement and Mathematics is an interdisciplinary, team taught general education course that satisfies Creative Arts and Quantitative Literacy requirements. In this writing intensive, non-lecture based course, pattern is studied and experienced through the lenses of mathematics and dance. All levels of dance ability are welcome, but improvement is expected. Through course activities, readings, and assignments, students learn about algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, and functions, as well as the history, social relevance, technique and meanings of dance. Students are expected to attend dance concerts outside regularly scheduled class time. Prerequisite: Level 3 math placement or higher
WSU2350
HU & QL
Writing With Numbers Topics from mathematics that convey the beauty and utility of mathematics and illustrate its application to modern society. The course also develops language to speak accurately about mathematical concepts in a way a layperson would understand and practice in writing about these concepts.
WSU2420
PS & SS
Evil Chemicals, Drug Scares, and Big Business The use and abuse of drugs is an important issue that affects people. This course will consider the main understandings, issues, and debates regarding legal and illegal drugs, drug use, and its control and punishment. We will focus on the experience of drug use, how drugs become defined as pleasurable, harmful, and illegal, the differing effects of drug use and control on people, especially concerning opioid use and abuse.