Web-based curriculum to encourage efficiency

March 31, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE- A UW-Platteville Opportunity Fund grant was allocated to provide salaries for faculty, academic staff and student instructors to create a web-based curriculum. The grant was awarded to the Student Experience Committee in coordination with the UWP Athletic Department's Pioneer Enrichment Program to be used as a basis for the introduction to college life class and Pioneer Enrichment Program.

Over the Pioneer Enrichment Program's history, it has evolved from its beginning in the fall of 1999 from a program geared toward UWP football players developed by the athletic department, to a program offered to all student-athletes in spring 2000 and fall 2001, to being offered for one credit to all freshman student athletes in fall of 2002. In fall 2002, the Student Experience Committee offered six sections of introduction to college life, available to all freshmen. In the past, various groups of faculty or academic staff have volunteered to teach the sessions included in the Pioneer Enrichment Program.

"The curriculum will be tailored to meet the needs and situations of our University," said Becky Peters, director of the Student Success Center.

Research and comparison of similar programs at other institutions are elements planned in the compilation of a web-based curriculum. According to the grant proposal, by using the web platform, Blackboard, the curriculum will be available to instructors of both introduction to college life and the Pioneer Enrichment Program, providing a more efficient and cost-effective method to offer the course.

The introduction to college life course is geared toward new freshmen, encouraging a smooth transition into college. The course addresses issues of test taking skills, what is expected in a college classroom, an introduction to clubs and organizations, how to access information in the library, helpful study skills, how to develop time management skills, an introduction to life in the residence halls and some of the terminology used on campus.

The UW-Platteville Foundation Opportunity Fund awarded nearly $45,000 for 15 grants this year. The UWP Foundation initiated the fund program in 1998-99, and the total number of grants this far is 86, with a total monetary value of $411,000.

As a long-term goal, the Student Experience Committee believes that all freshman students should be required to enroll in the first-year experience course so that they have the appropriate skills necessary to succeed in their chosen academic careers.

The introduction to college life class is held for eight weeks at two hours per week, for a total of one credit.

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