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The University Studies Program was created by the UW Oshkosh Faculty Senate in March, 2012, and replaced the previous general education program beginning in the Fall of 2013. 

The Faculty Senate is the body that governs the University Studies Program. All changes to the program must be voted on by the Faculty Senate. All courses offered in the USP must be approved by a Faculty Senate Committee on the USP.

After its implementation in 2013, faculty, students, and staff all had further input into the program. Built to evolve, the first major evolution of the USP came in April 2016, in direct response to the suggestions of students in the Oshkosh Student Association, advisers in the Undergraduate Advising Resource Center, and other faculty, students, and staff. Nicknamed “USP 2.1,” this package of changes were aimed at making it easier for students to choose classes. It unpaired Quest II courses from Comm 111 or WRT 188, and took the onus off of students to choose courses with Signature Questions they had not yet completed. Now, the onus is on the USP to provide enough touches of Signature Questions in Quest, WRT, Comm, and Explore classes, that every student will touch every Signature Question without having to worry about the SQs in course selection.

In March 2017, the Faculty Senate approved a second evolution, this one aimed at extending First Year Experience into the Quest II courses, which are taken in the second semester of the first year. Quest II First Year Experience now included a future-oriented FYE, encouraging an introduction to undergraduate research, contacts with UW Oshkosh alumni, and contact with the Career Center, to allow second-semester students an earlier opportunity to plan the trajectories of their college careers.

A Brief Timeline of the USP

2007 Liberal Education Reform Team proposes UW Oshkosh Essential Learning Outcomes
2008 Faculty Senate approves UW Oshkosh Essential Learning Outcomes
2011 Faculty Senate approves general education reform “framework”
2011-2012 General Education reform teams discuss proposals and get feedback from many constituencies
2012 Faculty Senate approves University Studies Program
2013 University Studies Program implemented
2016 Faculty Senate approves USP 2.1
2017 Faculty Senate approves revision to Quest II
2019 Fox Cities, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh catalogs combined
2021 USP implemented on Fox Cities/Fond du Lac campuses
Ethnic Studies revised

Faculty Senate Committee on the USP

The main oversight body for the USP, this committee includes faculty who represent each of the colleges (Business, Education and Human Services, Honors, Letters and Sciences, Nursing) with representatives from each division within the College of Letters and Sciences, an academic staff member from Advising, the USP Director and an Associate Director (both faculty or academic staff members), and ex officio members: the Registrar, the Director of Advising, and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Curricular Affairs and Student Academic Achievement.

USP Core Team

Administering the University Studies Program on a day-to-day basis, the Core Team includes a Director, a faculty or instructional academic staff member, who helps lead the USP for a term of two years. Recently, the Director has been appointed by the Provost with the aid of a Search Committee and the USP Council. Currently, there is an Interim Associate Director who works on assessment and planning for the USP. 

The Academic Program Manager for Student Success and the Outreach Program Manager for Civic Engagement are full-time academic staff members who oversee course scheduling, manage peer mentors, coordinate community engagement and have many other roles.

The USP Financial Specialist is a part-time University Staff member who supports USP outreach, events, budgeting, and course scheduling. 


Advisory Groups

USP leadership benefits from frequent meetings with a number of advisory groups. While only the Faculty Senate Committee on the USP has governance powers over the USP, all of these groups are crucial in maintaining the program, from its day to day implementation to its larger programmatic and pedagogical aspects.

OSA Committee on the USP

Includes students who have experienced the USP and can reflect on its strengths and weaknesses from the student point of view.

USP Implementation Team

Includes representatives from the College of Letters and Science Dean’s office, the Dean of the Honors College, the Registrar, the Director of Advising, and the Director of Admissions.  Also includes the Director, Associate Director, and Assistant Director of the USP.

USP Council

Includes lecturers and faculty who represent each of the three signature questions, each of the three Explore categories, each of the types of Quest courses, Honors, WRT 188, Comm 111, and Connect.  Also includes the USP Core Team and a representative from the OSA Committee on the USP.

USP Council on Culture

Includes lecturers and faculty who teach Explore courses (including Quest courses) in the Culture category: arts and humanities.

USP Council on Nature

Includes lecturers and faculty who teach Explore courses (including Quest courses) in the Nature category: math and laboratory sciences.

USP Council on Society

Includes lecturers and faculty who teach Explore courses (including Quest courses) in the Society category: the social sciences.