- Provide the critical thinking skills and academic tools required for success at the university level;
- Supply guidance for personal academic planning and decision making;
- Provide opportunities for students to become engaged citizens of the university and surrounding community.
Designed to promote the academic development of entering freshmen, the University 101
course focuses on critical thinking skills and the academic tools needed for success in core curriculum courses and for success in navigating the transition into the university.
The components of the course are associated with the College Readiness Standards from ACT at the score range of and above that of the University 101 students. The course is also related to the three goals of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Quality Enhancement Plan:
- Quantitative Literacy
- Oral and Written Communication
- Civic Responsibility
University 101 is designed for all freshmen entering the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
University 101 is a three-semester hour course that is offered as elective credit toward degree requirements. It is a component of the Freshman Year Experience Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
University 101 is offered as a self-contained class but can also be offered as one part of a two-course Learning Community, or as one part of a three-course Learning Community. A Learning Community is a group of matched courses for which the same students enroll. The composition of the Learning Communities can vary, but will include Core Curriculum courses. Students may self-elect to enroll in either a self-contained class or in a class that is part of a two or three course Learning Community.
University 101 is taught by full time faculty from departments that are involved with freshman studies. They are invited to teach the course as part of their commitment to their department and the university. The department to which the faculty is connected receives the credit hour production.
Academic advisors work with each student enrolled in University 101 and meet with each student at least twice during the semester as part of the course Advising Assignment. This advising assignment includes the development of an educational plan, establishing short-term and long-term goals, and participation in academic development online seminars. The University 101 advising assignment is the freshman component the university’s Advising Curriculum that helps to establish an advisory relationship between the student and his/her advisor and the establishment of a student’s educational goals.
- Daily and/or weekly quizzes
- 3 major examinations
- Advising assignment
- Course project
- Time management exercise and seminar
- Instruction in the use of charts, graphs, and tables
- Pre/post test assessment
Syllabus and textbook: A common syllabus is used by each section that includes all of the above assignments. Although the assignments are the same, professors from different departments may use examples or concepts that are more associated with their discipline. A common text is used by all sections. The text by John Chaffee entitled Critical Thinking, A Concise Guide
Advising Assignment: Each student is required to participate in this assignment, which fulfills the university Freshman Advising Assignment. The first part of the assignment involves completion of a worksheet that asks the students to develop short-term and long-term goals. In addition they are to propose a plan for accomplishing these goals. The students will take this worksheet with them to the first meeting with their advisor for evaluation and correction. The second part of the advising assignment requires a second meeting with their advisor to evaluate the success of their plan. The student then composes a reflective paper that summarizes the success of his/her advising assignment for the semester.
Course Project: For this assignment, students within each section are divided into small groups. Each group is to choose a problem of significance within the university or surrounding community for which they are to seek a solution. Although a list of suggested problems is provided, groups may choose other problems to be solved, subject to approval by the instructor. Each group works to solve the problem during the semester. At the end of the semester, each group will present their results to the class in the form of an oral presentation.
University 101 Student Learning Outcomes
Students will demonstrate familiarity with and competence in the application of critical thinking skills across academic disciplines through the following actions:
Incorporating time management into the student’s university experience.
- Ability to succeed in a collaborative environment through a group project with other University 101 students.
- Identification of the subject, main concepts, questions, facts, and/or relationships as well as any conclusions that can be drawn from factual material in a reading passage.
- Ability to evaluate available data and construct effective arguments.
- Ability to identify problems and formulate appropriate solutions.
- Evaluation of data from a variety of sources that is necessary for decision making.
- Ability to communicate using oral, written, and graphic presentations.
- Application of strategies and skills needed to be a successful student in the university.