Transforming general education
The University Studies Program (USP) is off, running and succeeding. And the nation is watching. UW Oshkosh’s transformation of general education is the focus of one more emergent, national distinction for the state’s third largest institution.
After several years in development, UW Oshkosh launched the USP in fall 2013. This transformation of general education prescribes small learning communities, student-on-student peer mentoring, a corps of alumni mentors and an array of high-impact courses that dovetail with the signature questions a 21st Century student must explore.
Students examine the ways to create a more sustainable world, appreciate cultural difference and begin to take part in the collaborative work necessary to lead a life of civic engagement.
Through community experiences set to begin in 2014, students will connect their classroom learning to service-learning projects and initiatives. They may imbed in after school programs, food banks, shelter providers and other agencies, learning while they apply the wisdom necessary to help organizations and initiatives sustaining our communities thrive.
Incorporating online instructional videos and building on the concepts of competitive, online trivia and gamification of learning, “Active Instructional Videos on Information Literacy System” (ANVIL) — a new, digital jousting match enhancing each competitor’s informational literacy — is Polk Library’s and UW Oshkosh’s new approach to stoking an authentic, student-user appetite for and knowledge in information literacy.
The campus-created, online system launched last fall and, already, hundreds of UW Oshkosh student users have logged in. Some have been required by their first-year UW Oshkosh instructors within the institution’s transformed general-education program, the University Studies Program (USP), to log on and hone their knowledge. Others are jumping into the ANVIL arena with less prompting. Read more.
After years of research, planning and collaboration, faculty and staff at the UW System’s third-largest institution got together to celebrate the launch of the new general education program Aug. 29. Students will begin their journeys through the program during Odyssey in late August, just before the start of the 2013-14 academic year.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am of our campus,” Chancellor Richard Wells said to a team of instrumental UW Oshkosh faculty and staff members at the USP ribbon-cutting celebration. “You should all be exceptionally proud.”
The USP is an innovative redesign of general education that was designed to take student learning to a new plateau. The program represents the first, whole-scale redesign of general education requirements at UW Oshkosh in four decades.
The program is designed to get students, within their first two years at UW Oshkosh, exploring “signature questions” that connect to heart-and-mind values of the institution, preparing them for 21st Century global citizenship. Read more.
Classrooms cannot contain their talent, their expertise, their entrepreneurial solutions and their service. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh faculty members are leading change on and off campus and, in doing so, are impacting Wisconsin’s present and future prosperity well beyond the borders the institution.
On the heels of Sept. 5, 2013 “Common Ground” summit hosted by the UW System Board of Regents, UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells is stressing the need for greater spotlight on the breakthroughs faculty are making not just in the classroom but in campus operational efficiencies and in the state’s communities and economy. It is critical for the state legislature, university stakeholders and partners and the citizens of Wisconsin to see and understand the focus on change and solutions the teaching community is demonstrating off campus, outside their commitments to quality, classroom instruction, Wells said. Read more.