University Seminar is an academic first-year experience for students entering SOU. This three-term sequence introduces students to key foundational skills that help them develop as researchers, critical thinkers, and communicators-the foundation strands of University Studies. Students have an opportunity to select a sequence designed around a theme relevant to contemporary issues and events. Usually, students remain with the same instructor and classmates for all three terms.
Enrollment in University Seminar is required of all freshmen who have not completed the equivalent of both WR 121 and WR 122 . Successful completion of all three terms of University Seminar is equivalent to a full year of writing and a course in oral communication.
Through a structured sequence of writing experiences, students progress beyond unsupported assertion to reasoned argumentation and dialogue. Discussion, presentation, and small-group activities are also emphasized. In comparing the University Seminar with traditional communication and writing courses, the following guidelines may be useful: (1) successful completion of USEM 101 with a grade of C- or better is equivalent to 3 credits of introductory writing and 1 credit of communication; (2) successful completion of USEM 102 with a grade of C- or better is equivalent to 3 credits of academic writing and 1 credit of communication; (3) successful completion of USEM 103 with a grade of C- or better is equivalent to 3 credits of academic writing and 1 credit of communication. Only upon completion of the whole sequence do students receive the equivalent of 12 credits in writing and communication.
*The University Seminar administers the lower division WR 122 course. In rare cases, students may need to complete their University Studies written and oral communication requirement through one or more of those courses. Students should contact the University Seminar Office in the Division of Undergraduate Studies (Computing Services second floor) or call 541-552-6260.
Along with pursuing a traditional major, House members participate each term in a problem-based seminar that cover our university’s general education requirements and foster supportive relationships with faculty, staff, and other students. The House Experience goes beyond the structured core general education . The House Experience offers students a three year approach to completing the majority of the required general education . Houses are learning communities with shared common interests that matter in the real world. Houses provide an educational experience that consciously ignites passion, creativity and curiosity through practical application, collaboration, adventure, and a strong sense of community. Education in the House Experience is a change from the typical classroom; house members consider real world issues in a hands-on way-not only to learn about them through experience, but to actually start problem-solving.
The House first year is an academic experience for students entering SOU. This three-term sequence introduces students to key foundational skills that help them develop as researchers, critical thinkers, and communicators-the foundation strands of University Studies. Students in the House Experience remain with the same instructors and classmates for all three terms. The sequence incorporates University Studies Foundational goals and completes strands A, B, and C. Enrollment in University Seminar or a House Experience is required of all freshmen who have not completed the equivalent of both WR 121 and WR 122 prior to attending SOU. Successful completion of all three terms of House 101, 102 and 103 is equivalent to a full year of writing and a course in oral communication (must earn a C- or better in each section earned).
CoursesHouse ExperienceUniversity SeminarWritingWriting Center
The following courses are offered to students who are interested in working as peer tutors in the SOU Writing Center. USEM 199 – Special Studies: Writing Center Theory and Practice (1 credit) – is required of all Writing Center tutors. USEM 209 – Practicum: Advanced Writing Center Theory and Practice (2 credits) – is recommended for all Writing Center tutors.