Evaluating potential courses, majors, and careers is an essential element of the University Experience course. University Experience courses include readings, class sessions, and assignments designed to assist students in these areas. All freshmen are advised by a faculty member or advisor in their major department or, if Exploratory/Undeclared, by the Academic Advising & Retention Center (AARC). Everyone who teaches the course can serve as a secondary advisor to their students. Instructors help students to understand the purpose of general education and the basic requirements that students have to complete. Helping students to be aware of university policies, advising practices, major options, and registration deadlines is an important part of the course. The Undergraduate Catalog, the Schedule Bulletin, the Office of the Registrar, and the AARC are the best sources of information. In the fall, first year students generally begin registering for classes for the spring semester during the first week of November.
Educated citizens have a responsibility to give back to the university and community. Your class may have the opportunity to mentor a girl scout troop, participate in a food drive, work for Habitat for Humanity, or engage in other kinds of activities designed to broaden your knowledge of the campus and community, develop new skills in a real world setting, contribute to society, interact with others who may be different or learn about the world from a new perspective. A core value of WKU is to produce students who are engaged and able to succeed in a global society.
Ashley Chance Fox compiled a 179 page Instructor Resource Manual for the University Experience course. The manual provides information and some of the best activities used by experienced teachers of the course including, but not limited to: teaching techniques; the history of Western Kentucky University; campus technology; academic skills, time management; careers; and health and wellness. Many other resources are included as well. Your reactions to the contents of this manual are encouraged, and you are welcome to submit items for consideration for the next edition.
The manual is available free of charge to all instructors of the course. Please contact the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies to obtain a copy.
The syllabi of previous instructors who have taught the course are available on-line. You can access these syllabi by using "Schedule Bulletin."
To access Schedule Bulletin:
1) Open internet explorer, go to the Western homepage (www.wku.edu).
2) Go to Quick Links; click on Schedule Bulletin.
3) Select past term, and click on "submit term."
4) Highlight University Experience under "by subject."
5) Select campus.
6) Click on "show me classes."
7) Click on the syllabus next to the instructor you choose to obtain a PDF file.
Student Input to Teaching Effectiveness (S.I.T.E.) evaluations are conducted for all sections of the University Experience course. Near the end of the semester, SITE evaluation packets are made available online. You will receive an email with instructions on how to assist students in accessing course evaluations. Please contact the departmental office at 745-7007 if you have further questions.
University Experience instructors hold at least a master's degree with a concentration of at 18 hours or more hours in a relevant discipline. A few exceptional graduate students with a minimum of 18 hours of graduate work completed are allowed to teach the course. Instructors are committed to first-year students and have taken 12 hours of professional development related to teaching the course. For information about about becoming a University Experience instructor, please contact the University Experience Office at 270-745-7007.
The University Experience textbook is a collection of electronic materials available under the "UE Textbook and Articles" section of the "Library Skills Master Course" on Blackboard. All UE instructors and students are automatically enrolled in this course and have access to the textbook and suggested readings.
Topnet is a valuable information portal. Obtaining the class list, posting a syllabus, e-mailing the class, overriding registration restrictions, and posting final grades are among the many things that faculty can do on Topnet. To access Topnet:
- Go to Western's homepage (www.wku.edu).
- Go to quicklinks and select Topnet.
- Click on Topnet login.
- Enter identification number and password.
- Select the appropriate service.