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Division of Student Success

First Year Experience


USI 101 – University Studies HON SLC*
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but we rarely admit the changes
it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
-Maya Angelou
Summer 2018
Location: Coulter 204
Class Meeting: M
Time: 5:30-6:20PM
Instructor Information

Instructor: Sophia Calhoun


Campus Office/Office hours: UC 321, M: 5-5:30– or any time by appointment
Email: skcalhoun@email.wcu.edu
**Email is the preferred method of communication for this course! I will respond to all emails within 24
hours**
Phone Contacts: Office of Student Transitions: 828-227-3017

HPAC Information

HPAC: Jade Hollars


Email: jchollard1@catamount.wcu.edu

Course Aims and Objectives


 Rationale
This course provides an introduction and opportunity for you to transition to university life, as you
discover the resources available (academic, co-curricular, community). This subject of this course is
you. It is intentionally designed to promote your self-awareness and personal success—in college
and in life after college—by empowering you with flexible skills and strategies that are applicable
across subjects
(transferable, cross-disciplinary skills) and across time (durable, lifelong learning skills).

 This 1-credit Honors course will introduce you to the community you will live in for the next four
years. More than that, the course provides the opportunity to participate in an active learning community
that spans beyond the classroom and into the campus and community. We will be involved with various
aspects of the community in The Honors College, Western Carolina University, and our larger region. We
will also examine The Honors Path, a plan that will help you become both a successful college student
and—even more important—a successful college graduate. The Honors Path touchstones include
community service, leadership, career development and internships, study abroad and undergraduate
research. By the end of this course you should have a good sense of the university, what your part will be
here and possess a personalized learning plan. Please be open to a new beginning by participating in
carefully planned, enriching opportunities and
events inside and outside of the classroom.
*This course has been approved for Service Learning Designation (SLC). The CURE, CURE reflection, service learning
experience and reflection are central to the SLC designation.

 The Purpose of this course is to:

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 connect you with other students
 connect you with the college
 connect your present college experience with your future goals and plans

 Goals and Learning Objectives:


By the end of this course, students will:
1. DISCOVER COLLEGE
 identify the purpose and function of the campus resources that serve as tools for success.
 engage with the campus community.
2. Be Involved
 practice the Student Community Creed.
3. Connect the Dots
 identify connections between personal experiences and closely related academic
knowledge (i.e., facts, ideas, concepts, experiences).
 articulate their own strengths and challenges as learners in dealing with a specific task,
performance, event, etc.
4. Think First
 select from available information and resources to solve issues in their collegiate lives and
campus communities.
 construct a plan to achieve an intended solution.
5. Exchange Ideas
 communicate as appropriate to the context and audience in order to articulate needs or
share information.
6. Calibrate Your Compass
 choose learning experiences consistent with their own values and goals.
 prioritize values that influence decision making.
Course Aims and Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1.) Describe the components of The Honors Path including: Service learning and community engagement,
student leadership, and undergraduate research, study abroad, internships and high-profile academic
achievement.
2.) Describe the programs and services available on campus that can enrich their college experience,
enhance career readiness, and contribute to overall student success.
3.) Apply knowledge and communication skills to engage in civil exchanges.
4.) Design a personalized learning plan that includes components of The Honors Path that takes into
account knowledge gained from learning and service experiences, guest speakers, personal values and
strengths, civic and social responsibility status, as well as personal and professional goals and
aspirations.

Course Materials
Required Texts:
 First Year Experience at Western Carolina Univeristy: Strategies for Success,
12th ed. – ISBN: 978-1-319-12957-6 (available in book rental)
 The Book of Unknown Americans: the 2018-19 One Book. Custom ed. – ISBN: 978-0-525-56455-
3
This book was provided to all new freshmen during Orientation.

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Technology:
Computers will be needed to complete some out-of-class assignments.

Background/supplemental readings:
Any additional reading materials will be listed on the course Blackboard.

Accessing Media:
This course will use Blackboard as the online learning management system.

Faculty Expectations of Students/Course Policies


Attendance:
Much of a person’s learning and thinking originates in, and is supported by, interactions with other
people. What happens inside the classroom is important for your success with the course. Therefore,
your performance on in-class activities and contributions to class discussion are important to you and to
your fellow students, and will be the basis for a portion of your course grade. You are encouraged to
consult the complete statement of this policy in the Undergraduate Catalog.
As per the University’s Undergraduate Catalog, Acceptable excuses include the following:
 Clear evidence that you are too ill or otherwise indisposed to benefit from being in class and
will be a risk or distraction to others in the class;
 Documented evidence of your required presence in a court of law;
 Documented evidence of a personal or family emergency requiring your presence;
 Documented evidence of your participation in an approved university activity (field trip,
athletic event, etc.; documentation will be provided by the university official in charge of the
activity, and must be presented before the time of the absence);
 Other circumstances approved by your instructor, preferably prior to the absence.
Attendance WILL affect your final grade per course policy. Keep in mind that if you miss a class
meeting, you are still responsible for the material addressed during that meeting and for submitting
assignments due at the meeting.

1 absence: freebie, use to your discretion, but please notify instructor ahead of time (see
instructions above)
2 ansences: your final grade is lowered by one letter grade (ex: A becomes a B)
3 absences: F in the course

Honors Path Touchstone Programs:

Honors Path Touchstones/Location Dates/ All programs run 5-6 PM

Career Development W Oct 17 M Oct 29 R Nov 08 T Nov 13

Killian 102 (tentative)

(Take focus 2 results with you)


Student Leadership Panel M Sept 10 T Sept 25 W Oct 24 R Oct 18

Killian 102
Undergraduate Research R Sept 13 M Oct 15 T Nov 06 W Nov 14

Harrill Hall Multipurpose Room

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For extended illnesses, accidents, or other extenuating circumstances, please contact the instructor as soon as
possible. In case of any absence, students are responsible for all material presented and assigned. Please check
the course schedule to see what you missed. Also, check with a classmate for class notes, handouts, etc. If you
are absent on the day that the instructor distributes a handout or resource, check Bb for availability. If it is not
posted there, it is your responsibility to get the handout (and class notes, etc.) from a classmate. If you are
absent from class the day an assignment is made, you are still responsible for having the assignment completed
the next time you attend class. If you are going to be absent when homework is due, have a peer bring your
homework assignment to class for you.

Tardiness is disruptive to the instructor and to fellow classmates and guest speakers. Please be on
time. Two tardies will be counted as an absence. Tardies include coming to class late and/or leaving class
early. Also, if you come to class late and I have already taken attendance, it is your responsibility to come to
me after class to make sure that I mark you present.

Classes and events are noted on the course schedule; in order to accommodate special activities, some class
meetings will vary in location. The course schedule is subject to change per the instructor's notification.

Timely Submissions and Submitting Work:


You will upload most of your assignments in Bb. You may be asked to bring in hard copies of your work to
class occasionally. You will also be asked to bring a device to pull up your submitted assignments from
time to time. Follow directions for turning in assignments carefully. Do not email your assignments to
the instructor. Emailed assignments will not be accepted.

I expect all assignments to include your name, course title & section number, title of the assignment, and
the date included as a header in the assignment. Do not provide a link to assignments (such as to Google
docs). Upload the actual assignment) for electronic submissions.

Timely Submissions & Late Assignment Policy:


Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the dates and times as indicated on the course
schedule. Assignments that are not turned in during the class period they are due will receive a 10%
point deduction from points possible for each day they are late. For example, if a 20-point assignment is
due in class on Tuesday and you turn it in on Thursday, four additional points will be deducted from your
earned score. You may not email your assignment that is supposed to be uploaded into Bb. Students with
extenuating circumstances such as hospitalizations, etc. should communicate issues directly to the
professor as soon as possible. Failure to follow the proper channels (contact me directly as soon as
possible) will result in the aforementioned point deductions.

Technology:
Unless otherwise indicated beforehand, the use of cellphones, tablets, laptops, etc. will not be permitted
for this course. A crucial component of this course is to make connections and build community with one
another, which is something that is difficult to accomplish when screens lend to distractions. Out of
respect to the learning community and to ompimize class times, technology will only be utilized if
necessary for the lesson.

Expectations for Submitting Required Work:


Unless otherwise indicated, all assignments are to be submitted via Blackboard by 11:59PM on the
specified due date.

Office of Accessibility Resources:


Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with
documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. Students who require reasonable accommodations
must identify themselves as having a disability and/or medical condition and provide current diagnostic

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documentation.
Office of Accessibility Resources.
135 Killian Annex
828-227-3886
https://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-services/disability-services/

Course Evaluation:
 Course Eval is the WCU course evaluation used for all courses, and you are encouraged to
participate and complete this on-line evaluation for this course. You will receive an electronic
notification near the end of the semester when it becomes available. Your instructor will have no
access to your responses.
 FYE Course Survey: Your cooperation to complete the end of term FYE course survey will help us
in our goals to constantly improve course design and delivery and learning outcomes for all
students.
 SLC Survey: The Center for Service Learning and the Honors College appreciates your
participation as we evaluate SLC designated courses.

A Note on Civil Discourse at Western Carolina:


The WCU Community Creed states: “I will respect the rights and well-being of others.” Consistent
with WCU’s core values and our campus creed, the WCU community accepts the freedoms and
responsibilities of our shared community. WCU encourages all to clearly express their own views while
at the same time seeking to understand the varieties of style, identity, and opinion that are held in any
diverse community. In order for us to sustain a learning environment that promotes and values freedom
of expression, we have a shared charge to accept personal responsibility for our actions, reactions, and
speech, while seeking to learn from the actions, reactions, and speech of others.

SafeAssign Tool:
All written work submitted for this class will be submitted to the SafeAssign tool.

Academic Integrity Policy and Reporting Process


This policy addresses academic integrity violations of undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate
students should read inside the parenthesis below to identify the appropriate entities in charge of that
step of the process.

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the
highest standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is a serious
offense because it threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community.
While academic in scope, any violation of this policy is by nature, a violation of the Code of Student
Conduct and will follow the same conduct process (see ArticleVII.B.1.a.). If the charge occurs close to the
end of an academic semester or term or in the event of the reasonable need of either party for additional
time to gather information timelines may be extended at the discretion of the Department of Student
Community Ethics (DSCE).

General:
This policy addresses academic integrity violations of undergraduate and graduate students. Students,
faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the highest
standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of this policy is a serious offense because it
threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community.
Instructors have the right to determine the appropriate academic sanctions for violations of the
Academic Integrity Policy within their courses, up to an including a final grade of “F” in the course in
which the violation occurs.

Definitions:

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1. Cheating – Using, or attempting to use, unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any
academic exercise.
2. Fabrication – Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academic exercise.
3. Plagiarism – Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic
exercise.
4. Facilitation – Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic
Integrity Policy in any academic exercise (e.g. allowing another person to copy information
during an examination).

Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Integrity Process:


Additional information is available on the Student Success website under Student Community Ethics:
https://www.wcu.edu/experience/dean-of-students/academic-integrity.aspx

Resources
Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC):
The Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC) is a free student service, located in BELK 207, providing
course tutoring, writing tutoring, academic skills consultations, international student consultations,
graduate and professional exam preparation resources, and online writing and learning resources for all
students. To schedule tutoring appointments, visit the WaLC homepage (http://tutoring.wcu.edu) or call
828-227-2274.

Mentoring and Persistence to Success:


Mentoring and Persistence to Success (MAPS) provides support to students who are either first-
generation, independent, low-income, or have participated in the Academic Success Program (ASP) or
Catamount Gap with: academic advising, mentoring, and personal and social coaching. Contact MAPS at
(828) 227-7127 or email maps@wcu.edu for more information. MAPS is located in Killian Annex, room
205.

Distance Students:
Distance students including students taking classes at Biltmore Park are encouraged to use the online
tutoring service, more information can be found here: https://www.wcu.edu/apply/distance-online-
programs/current-students/tutoring-support.aspx.

Math Tutoring Center:


The Mathematics Tutoring Center in Stillwell 455 provides drop-in tutoring for math courses and math-
related content across the curriculum in addition to workshops on study specific skills specific to math
courses. Tutoring is available on a drop-in basis, MTWR 9:00am-9:00pm and Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. For
more information, please visit http://tutoring.wcu.edu or contact us at 828–227–3830.

Hunter Library:
Hunter Library provides students with access to group and individual study spaces and to thousands of
information resources: print and electronic books, newspapers, and scholarly journal articles.
These resources can be searched online and often accessed there (http://www.wcu.edu/hunter-library)
or library staff and subject specialists skilled in their specific disciplines can be contacted via the library’s
research guides (http://researchguides.wcu.edu/).

Blackboard Support:
The learning management system for this class is blackboard and can be found at:
http://wcu.blackboard.com. Additional help with blackboard can be found at: tc.wcu.edu, (828) 227-
7487 or by visiting the Technology Commons located on the ground floor of the Hunter Library.

Academic Toolbox:
The Academic Toolbox is available in all WCU courses via the course Blackboard site. It can be found in
the left-hand side column. The Academic Toolbox contains information and contact information for

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nearly all of the resources needed by WCU students, including but not limited to: technology assistance,
academic services, student support, co-curricular programs and university policies.

Academic Calendar
This includes dates for all breaks, university closures, final exams, etc.  The academic calendar can be found
at http://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-calendar.asp

Final Exam
The university final exam schedule can be found here:
http://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-services/registrars-office/final-exam-schedule.asp

Important Dates: Fall 2018


 First Day of Classes Monday, August 20  
Labor Day (No Classes) Monday, September 3  
Fall Break (No Classes) Monday, October 8 to Friday October 12 
Last Day to drop with a “W” Friday, October 27 
Advising Day (No Classes) October 31 
Thanksgiving Break Wednesday, November 21 to Friday, November 23 
Last Day of Classes Friday, December 7 
Final Exams Monday, December 10 to Friday, December 14 
All Grades Due by 10:00 am Monday, December 17 

The grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F indicate gradations in quality from Excellent to Failure.
Please note that a C- grade is less than satisfactory and may not meet particular program and/or course
requirements. Students must be familiar with the class attendance, withdrawal, and drop-add policies and
procedures. Students who enroll in USI 101 but who do not pass the course will be dropped from The Honors
College roll at the end of the fall term and will not get the standard probation semester unless extenuating
circumstances are involved.

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Grading:

The following table describes assignments, approximate points, % of grade, and how the assignment relates to
transition goals and objectives and course objectives. A description of each assignment follows. To calculate your
grade, add all your earned points, divide by the total possible points and multiply by 100. Click on “Grades” in Bb to
see entered grades.

Evaluation Type/Assessment Approximate Transition Course


Points Objective Objective

Modules with related assignments 100 T1, T2, T3, T4, 2


T5, T6
--Blackboard

 Syllabus quiz (25 pts)


 Email etiquette assignment (25 pts)

--Information Literacy

 Fake news quiz (25 pts)

--Career & Professional Development

 Focus 2 self-test (25 pts)

Honors College Handbook Quiz 50 1


Homework & In-class assignments (may vary, but includes identity 250 T1, T3, T6 2, 3
mapping exercise, contract exercise, learning strategies
assignment, diversity lesson assignments, make it stick
assignments, etc.)
CURE Reflection 100 T3 1

Service Learning Experience Reflection 100 T6 1


Learning Plan 200 T3, T4, T5, T6 1, 4

Guest Speaker Responses (5 @ 20 points) 100 T1, T3, 1, 2


Class, event and program attendance Deductions for T1, T2, T3, T4,
absences T5, T6
Penalty for absences = deduction to final grade. See p. 4 for more
information
TOTAL 900 pts

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Letter grades will be assigned according to the following:

Percentage Grade Letter grade


97-100 A+
93 – 96.9 A
90 – 92.9 A-
87 – 89.9 B+
83 – 86.9 B
80 – 82.9 B-
77 – 79.9 C+
73 – 76.9 C
70 – 72.9 C-
67 – 69.9 D+
63 – 66.9 D
60 – 62.9 D-
59 and below F

GPA Calculation:
Steps to calculate your GPA can be found here: http://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-services/advising-
center/current-students-and-advising/calculate-your-gpa.asp

Other Grades:
I = IncompleteS = SatisfactoryAU= Audit
IP= In Progress U= Unsatisfactory NC= No Credit
W= Withdrawal

Students must be familiar with the class attendance, withdrawal, and drop-add policies and procedures.

Assignment Descriptions (see Course Schedule and Bb for more specific details):

Module Assignments – Bb Modules have been designed specifically to help you learn important content to set
yourself up for success at WCU. See weekly folders to access module content. Please complete the module
assignments on the due dates as noted on the course schedule. All of these are contained within Bb and should
be submitted in Bb.

Honors College Handbook Quiz (Open book) –Honors College students are expected to be familiar with the
policies and guidelines in the Honors College Student Handbook. Students will take a quiz in Bb to demonstrate
their knowledge of Handbook content.

Homework & In-Class Assignments – Occasional homework assignments and/or in-class assignments may be
assigned. The goal of these assignments is to help you get more out of the course and to engage you in course
content. Homework assignments will be announced in class as far in advance as possible. You must be present
to complete in-class assignments – there will be no make-ups. The following are known homework
assignments, but again, more may be added as student needs are uncovered.

CURE Reflection – Students will be given the opportunity to attend a Conference on Undergraduate Regional
Engagement (CURE) designed especially for them on 09/15/18. Students will be given guidelines and shall
complete an assignment related to engaging in this conference. The assignment will be available in Bb. Please
upload your completed assignment there.

Service Learning Experience Reflection – Students are expected to seek out and engage in a service learning for
a minimum of 3 hours and write a reflection about their experience. Many options for involvement will be
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presented at CURE. This course has been approved for Service Learning Designation (SLC). Be mindful that in
addition to the CURE and CURE reflection, this service learning experience and reflection are central to the SLC
designation. As a touchstone on The Honors Path, it is important that you make the most of your service
experiences, connecting them to your personal learning plan through thoughtful and intentional reflection.
Guidelines will be available in Bb. Please upload your completed assignment there.

Learning Plan - Students will design a personalized learning plan that includes components of The Honors Path
that takes into account knowledge gained from learning and service experiences, guest speakers, personal
values and strengths, as well as personal and professional goals and aspirations. The learning plan will include
an 8 semester plan that you design based on the 8 semester plan from your major, taking into account your
personal course history and goals. Specific guidelines about how to prepare your learning plan will be available
on Bb. Please be mindful of your learning plan as you hear from guest speakers and complete assignments in
class. It is all connected! You will upload your completed learning plan in Bb.

Basis for student evaluation:


Points Earned Letter Equivalent Quality Points per semester hour
970-1000 A+ 4.0
930-960 A 4.0
900-920 A- 3.67
870-890 B+ 3.33
830-860 B 3.0
800-820 B- 2.67
770-790 C+ 2.33
730-760 C 2.0
700-720 C- 1.67
670-690 D+ 1.33
630-660 D 1.0
600-620 D- 0.67
< 600 F 0.0

Other Grades:____________________________________________________________________________________
I = Incomplete S = Satisfactory AU = Audit
IP = In Progress U = Unsatisfactory NC = No Credit
W = Withdrawal

Academic Calendar
This includes dates for all breaks, university closures, final exams, etc. The academic calendar can be found at
http://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-calendar.asp

Syllabus Updates
This syllabus, along with its course schedule, is based on the most recent information about the course content and
schedule planned for this course. Its content is subject to revision as needed to adapt to new knowledge or
unanticipated events. Updates will remain focused on achieving the course objectives and students will receive
notification of such changes. Students will be notified of changes and are responsible for attending to such changes
or modifications as distributed by the instructor or posted to Blackboard.

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