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What difference does it make that my course is an Explore course?

  1. Your colleagues are different. While you maintain your department colleagues, you gain USP teaching community colleagues.  Events and professional development opportunities will be offered regularly. Support from the USP Council and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Web page will also be available  (see “USP teaching resources”).
  2. Your students are different. Be aware that in the first few years of the USP students in your class will have a mixed student population– with many who are experiencing the University Studies Program and some who are finishing the current general education requirements. Within a few years, all of your EXPLORE students will be in their first or second year.
  3. Your students’ academic experiences in other general education courses are different. They now have common elements that may be helpful to you as you teach your subject matter including learning communities, peer mentors, Signature Question content, instruction in information literacy, writing and speaking instruction in the first year, direct instruction related to the liberal arts, and more! As you learn more about the USP, you may find elements of the program that are useful to your EXPLORE course.
  4. Your students’ awareness of their own learning processes will be different as they document and reflect upon that learning in an ePortfolio that travels with them from course to course.
  5. Your students understanding of the liberal arts and the purpose of general education will be different. In fact, your course description and other parts of your syllabus can now explicitly reference the liberal arts, as you–along with all USP instructors- welcome students to campus, empower them with resources, and help them make connections within their college experience and to the world beyond.

Explore Teaching Resources

Explore Courses in the USP: Goals & Expectations: This document outlines learning outcomes for Explore courses and recommends syllabus inclusions to assist students.

Sample Syllabus Language: An example of how to introduce students to a liberal education and include campus resources in your Explore syllabus from Bill Wresh (College of Business).

Invitational Language and Tone for First-Year Students: An example of how to set a welcoming, engaging tone in the syllabus for your Explore course.

Writing Student Learning Outcomes: This document may assist you as you construct student learning outcomes for your course.

Instructions for finding your approved course forms: This document aids you in locating University Studies Program Approved Course Forms for your Explore course.

UW Oshkosh Essential Learning Outcomes: Read more about the Essential Learning Outcomes adapted from the AAC&U for our campus.

High-Impact Practices: Read the AAC&U's High-Impact Practices that play a major role in the student learning goals of the USP.

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