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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laura Avila
GEN ST 197
Seattle Campus

Freshman Seminar

Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics and approaches vary. Instructor may introduce research techniques or findings, concentrate on readings in his/her area of interest, or illustrate problems and alternatives related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

What does it mean to 'get the most' out of your education? This seminar will provide a structured introduction to educational planning. You will explore and learn about academic majors and the experiential learning opportunities that can strengthen a studentís educational plan and provide a link to your evolving professional and personal goals. You will meet representatives from various academic disciplines to gain insight into the variety of majors and departments available at the UW. As you learn about yourself and the University, and develop your plans you will be asked to be creative and challenge yourself to think how your plan relates to other important areas of life. The plan you develop will not only lead to graduation, but to a fuller sense of who you are as a learner and how you engage in the community around you. Students will become familiar with research related to freshman and sophomore experiences.

Student learning goals

∑ Through reflection and inquiry, you will identify an action to take in 5 areas of your education: General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, Community, Experiential Learning, and Minor/Electives,

∑ Develop your educational planning skills through informed decision-making.

∑ Develop a better understanding of how your individual interests and abilities relate to your educational plan.

∑ Evaluate your own academic progress and performance through reflection and inquiry.

∑ Be able to articulate the differences and similarities amongst any majors you are considering.

∑ Be able to articulate the purpose of your education.

General method of instruction

Seminar format.

Recommended preparation

Must be a freshman, having completed no more than 3 quarters at the University of Washington.

Class assignments and grading

Grading for the class will be credit/no credit. Students will read approximately 5 pages each week, and be prepared to discuss. Class participation is critical to the learning goals and to receiving credit. Students will produce a written educational plan at the end of the quarter.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Laura Avila
Date: 03/16/2009