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Quest I is the first course in the Quest series and is taken in a student’s first semester on campus. Quest I courses include elements and activities that allow students to consider and understand themselves as the newest participating members of an established learning community. Students are given regular opportunities to explore the campus, their courses, and their new environment.

The following learning outcomes, which are in addition to the outcomes for each particular course, are goals of the Quest I/First Year Experience:

  • Students will be able to describe the value of a Liberal Education.
  • Students will become familiar with the expectations of a college-level education, the UW Oshkosh Essential Learning Outcomes, and the University Studies Program.
  • Students will begin their acculturation to life at this university, developing familiarity with the academic resources and community engagement opportunities at UW Oshkosh.
  • Students will engage in learning communities to enhance their connections to the class, the university, and one another.
  • Students will participate in campus and community life through co-curricular activities.

Quest I Course Design Resources

Elements of a Quest I Course

Class Size and Co-Enrollment

The Quest I disciplinary course is capped at 25 to enhance the connection between the student and the instructor. This course is paired with a speaking course (Comm 111) or a writing (WRT 188), which is also capped at 25 students. As a result of their concurrent enrollment in both students form a learning community that will further aid in their transition to the university courses in their first semester at UW Oshkosh.

Students that have earned prior credit for Comm 111 and WRT 188 will take an unpaired Quest I course.

Co-Curricular Activities

The Quest I disciplinary course delineates expectations for student attendance at a variety of co-curricular activities (events on and/or off campus) to reinforce students’ engagement in the community. These options may include a campus play, an international film, an art exhibit, a music performance, an athletic event or other public opportunities outside the classroom. This component of Quest I generates student awareness of and engagement in campus and community life (crucial contributors to retention and academic success, particularly for first-generation students who comprise more than 50 percent of our population).

Options can be found on the university’s events calendar, and some event sponsors have tagged events to make them easier to find with “signature question,” “quest“, “sustainability,” “university studies program,” or “USP.” Athletic events can be found on the Athletic Calendar linked near the bottom of the athletics page.

Introduction to Liberal Education and Essential Learning Outcomes

The Quest I disciplinary courses introduce students to the ideas associated with a liberal education. These courses emphasize how the goals of Liberal Education will inform students’ learning experiences at the university with the aim of providing the foundations and skills for lifelong learning. These courses also provide an explicit introduction to the campus Essential Learning Outcomes and the University Studies Program, engaging every student’s intellectual curiosity while providing a supportive transition to university life.

Introduction to Signature Questions

As the first class in a student’s college career, Quest I with embedded First-Year Experience exposes students to the campus’ three Signature Questions and itself addresses one of those questions in greater depth. The Signature Questions include:

  • How do people understand and create a more sustainable world?
  • How do people understand and engage in community life?
  • How do people understand and bridge cultural differences?

Peer Mentors

All embedded FYE courses are assigned a peer mentor. The peer mentor enhances the students’ connections to the class, to the university, and to each other. Peer mentors serve as intellectual role models and academic resources for first-year students, attending some class sessions and accompanying students to co-curricular activities. Student mentors undergo a training program and receive a small stipend for their service.