UTD’s freshman orientation course, previously titled RHET 1101, is now free of charge, will not affect students’ GPAs and has no projects, papers or a final exam.
The course was renamed UNIV 1010 after the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of the Provost changed its structure during the summer.
UNIV 1010 is divided into three main components: once-a-week classroom discussions, online lessons to introduce students to campus and evening lectures by leading UTD faculty members, said Michael Seeligson, assistant provost and UNIV 1010 professor.
During the once-a-week classroom meetings, students will discuss topics that interest them and relate to the class section they signed up for, said Sheila Pineres, dean of Undergraduate Education.
Class sections are topical and include “Global Awareness” and “Choosing your Own Adventure,” according to UTD’s Course Book.
In addition to the meetings, evening lectures and the e-learning lessons, students will have to attend two campus events, one of which is a sports event.
Reformatting of UNIV 1010 began when the Office of Undergraduate Education designed evening lectures to expose students to faculty members responsible for quality education and research taking place at UTD, Pineres said.
“Before, in RHET 1101 students had contact with one instructor,” she said. “Now we are giving the freshmen a much broader exposure to faculty . . . and to the different types of research across campus.”
After the addition of lectures, the office decided to move some lessons to e-learning in order to make use of the online service and insure that the material is accessible to students at any time.
Finally, the course work was reduced and the meeting times were changed from twice a week to once a week to reflect feedback from previous RHET 1101 students and faculty.
“From the feedback we got, students did not want it for a grade (as) they did not want it to affect their GPA,” Pineres said. “We agreed to make it a credit or no credit class and we decided we would not charge the students.”