Intro to Collegiate Life

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Fall 2016

As an introduction to the Roselle House community, all freshmen residents are required to take the course "An Introduction to Collegiate Life" (UKC110) in the fall, which helps them learn about the University, the traditions of the Hall, and to develop key intellectual capacity in the arts and sciences. The course can be applied as three hours of UK Core, fulfilling the requirement for Inquiry in the Humanities, as it applies humanistic inquiry to the role of the residential college system in the cultivation of personhood.

 

Course Statement and Description

The college must be the place par excellence in our society for the highest intellectual motivation and achievement. … The college, however, is more than a mind factory. College students do not live and work in isolation but in a social milieu in which their emotions, their morals, and their social outlooks are influenced at least as much by their fellows and their environment as by the courses of instruction which they take. The college, therefore, does not face a choice between intellectual excellence and the education of the whole student. It is not a question of either-or but of both together. (Cowley 1938: 477)

In 1938, William H. Cowley, then a new president of Hamilton College, traced the history of residential programs at Harvard. He wrote, “Colleges have been floundering because they have been beaten back and forth between intellectualism and the superficial demands of the public for the trappings rather than the substance of college education.” (477) While much of higher education has changed in the last century, it is useful to consider the explicit and deliberate ways in which the institution is convened, while renewing our collective responsibility to address its shortcomings. This course is a rare opportunity to explore the role of residential learning while participating in the unique community forged within a residential college program.

Roselle, A Residential College, is such a community composed of around 80 freshmen and around 30 upperclassmen residents along with faculty and graduate students from a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and academic concentrations. As an introduction to the community, all freshmen residents are required to take this course in the Fall together, which helps them learn about the University, the traditions of the Hall, and develop key intellectual capacity in the arts and sciences. The course can be applied as three hours of UK Core fulfilling the requirement for Inquiry in the Humanities, as it applies humanistic inquiry to the role of the residential college system in the cultivation of personhood.

The lead instructor of the Fall freshmen course is also the Head of Hall, augmented by weekly modules offered by Faculty Fellows and supported by Graduate Fellows. Through these procession of modules, the course takes up the key question: how does the private benefit of individual learning become a public benefit for society?

Course Goal and Learning Objectives
The goal of the course is two-part. First, students emerge with a better sense of the range of inquiry in the arts and sciences, allowing them to focus on their interests and further develop their concentration of study. However, these experiences are applied to a second goal of the course: students will be able to articulate the public benefit of integrated, residential learning for society, by working with the faculty fellows to better understand the role of a well-rounded individual. To meet this goal, the course proceeds through five learning objectives associated with five faculty panels. Students will:

  1. Apply introductory techniques in reading, writing, and mathematics to understand the societal benefit of these most basic capacities,
  2. Sharpen their scientific curiosities to be able to understand the public role of basic science research,
  3. Practice a range of creative techniques to learn about the importance of artistic expression,
  4. Leverage popular culture to understand how vernacular knowledge and experiences represent a public imagination, and
  5. Identify everyday formations of self and the social structures that influence these formations.

Course Structure and Delivery
This is a required course for all incoming freshmen students in the Roselle House Residential College. Offered in the Fall, students will meet as an entire class ten times during the semester. For the remainder of the class meetings, students will meet as a section of 24-30 students to work through core modules developed and facilitated by the faculty fellows of Roselle House. Course materials will be distributed via our learning management system: Canvas. All assignments, both in-class and homework, will be documented in an individual portfolio in Canvas.

Blog Entries for Lectures and Panels

Each of the five modules are bookended by a lecture, delivered by the lead instructor of the course, and a panel activity, composed of the faculty fellows. Following each lecture and module, students will prepare and submit a blog entry in response to the prompt of the lecture and panel, for a total of 10 blog entries. Each entry must be submitted online by midnight following the lecture or panel.

Researched and Revised Paper
Students will be expected to research, outline, revise and submit a paper on a topic of their choosing that addresses the question: how does the private benefit of individual learning become a public benefit for society? This paper should make use of library sources and proper citation to provide evidence and develop an argument. Students are encouraged to use the blog entries, lectures, panels, and sections to help advance these papers. The final paper should be no longer than four, double-spaced, 12-point Garamond font, pages with 1-inch margins, not including the works cited. Papers which develop an appreciation for the historical development and/or social implications of collegiate life are encouraged. This assignment will be used for program-level assessment.

Personal Statement
In completion of the course, students will develop and submit a video presentation of a prepared personal statement, which responds to the experience of the course and sets out a future of intended purpose at the University. Video presentations must have an oral narration, and be edited to be no longer than 1 minute. Students are encouraged to use the resources in the Media Depot.

Sample Course Readings

  • Cowley, William H. "Intelligence Is Not Enough." The Journal of Higher Education 9, no. 9 (December 1938): 469-77.
  • Flexner, Abraham. "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge." Harper's Magazine 179 (June/November 1939): 544-52.
  • Jackson, Maggie. Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2008.
  • Jones, Steve, Camille Johnson-Yale, Sarah Millermaier, and Francisco Seoane Pérez. "Academic Work, the Internet and U.S. College Students." Internet and Higher Education 11 (2008): 165-77.
  • Sherman, Glen L. Refocusing the Self in Higher Education: A Phenomenological Perspective. Routledge Research in Higher Education. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • Wenkert, Robert, and Hanan C. Selvin. "School Spirit in the Context of a Liberal Education." Social Problems 10, no. 2 (Autumn 1962): 156-68.
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