Vol. 19, No. 31
May 18, 2000
Two pilot first-year experience programs, called Pathways to Discovery, will be launched this fall in response to the Faculty Senate's adoption of goals for the University-wide General Education Program.
Pathways to Discovery are interdisciplinary courses especially designed to introduce first-year students to college study and to the academic resources of the University of Delaware. The courses will be designed to excite student interest in learning and to teach basic intellectual skills.
Pathways courses may be proposed and taught by faculty members from any discipline or college; some Pathway courses will be developed by inter-disciplinary teams of faculty.
The themes for Pathways courses will be chosen for their ability to engage the interests of first-year students, introduce the intellectual resources and research interests of the UD faculty, demonstrate the connections that integrate the various academic disciplines, assist in the development of skills and provide direction for students' future study and choice of major.
Pathways courses will address several of the goals for General Education adopted by the Faculty Senate, such as developing key skills in written and oral communication and in quantitative reasoning.
Students will work both individually and in groups to solve problems, learning to use library, computer, and/or laboratory resources as research tools. They will engage in critical thinking, will use basic mathematics to solve problems and will report results in one or more of several media.
Pathways offerings proposed for next year include:
* CGSC 270, Introduction to Cognitive Science, William Frawley
* ENGL 267, American Literary Gardens, Barbara Christensen (Dover Parallel)
* ENGL 391, Mapping America's Future, Martin Bruckner, McKay Jenkins, Jeanne Pfaelzer, and Kathrine Varnes (Honors)
* SCEN 103, Silicon, Circuits and the Digital Revolution, George Watson (Honors)
* HESC 155, Personal Health Management: An Approach for a Lifetime, Avron Abraham, Joyce Perry, Evelyn Hayes, Richard Fang, and Elizabeth Lieux
* IFST 267, Disabilities and Differences, Michael Gamel-McCormick
* ARSC 390, Othello and Otello: A Comparison, Lois Potter and Larry Peterson
* IFST 267, Relationships, Bahira Sherif
While Pathways are stand-alone courses that will meet several of the General Education goals, another new first-year program, LIFE (Learning: Integrated Freshman Experience), is designed to combine academic and residential components.
In the LIFE program, groups of 20 freshmen will share a residence hall and take a cluster of courses together. Working with a peer mentor, they will engage in a service learning project that ties together key themes from their academic courses.
LIFE will be offered this fall as a pilot program with 20 seats in each of 11 theme-based course clusters designed for certain majors:
* Animal Science and Society (for animal science majors)
* A Wild World (for entomology majors or wildlife conservation majors)
* Mind and Language (for all arts and science majors)
* Community and the Individual (for all arts and science majors)
* Force, Power, and Political Order (for all arts and science majors)
* Fundamentals of Economics Systems (for accounting, business administration, or B&E economics majors)
* Foundations of Electrical and Computer Engineering (for electrical engineering or computer engineering majors)
* Foundations for Health Studies (exercise and sports science majors, nursing majors or nutrition majors)
* Visual Style (apparel design or fashion merchandising majors)
* Disabilities and Differences (early childhood development and education majors or family and community services majors)
* Development and Learning (elementary teacher education majors)
Recruitment of incoming freshmen to the LIFE program began in April, when selected applicants were invited to submit statements of interest.
This initial survey showed high interest in the program among incoming students and their parents. Available seats will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to the general pool of incoming freshmen who have elected to live on campus.
Assessment of the success of the Pathways courses and the LIFE program will be the responsibility of the newly formed Committee on General Education of the Faculty Senate. Administrative coordination is being provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning, with the support of the Admissions Office, the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, the Honors Program, Housing Assignment Services, the Leadership Education at Delaware (LEAD) program, the Registrar's Office, Residence Life and the offices of the deans of all the colleges.
Find out more
Faculty who are interested in participating in the freshman experience programs are invited to enroll in the Pathways and LIFE Faculty Institute, to be held May 30-June 2 in Gore Hall, through the Center for Teaching Effectiveness. For more information, contact Judy Greene, director of the center, at 831-2027 or e-mail her at [firstname.lastname@example.org].