The New U Student Experience: Initiatives
The Block U Program
The Block U Program is comprised of a set schedule of two semesters—15 hours each semester— that bundles General Education, support for student success, and integrated learning. Organized around a specific theme like Global Citizenship, Sustainability or Creativity and Community, Block U students participate in a core learning community, community based learning, a set of General Education courses organized around a central theme, and have the support of peer mentors and student success advocates. Students receive a designation on the transcript upon the completion of two semesters of Block U. Students engage in research during the second semester of the core learning community in a problem-based learning research project. The aim of the Block U Program is to provide the best support for student success, an integrated course through General Education and the application of new knowledge in real-world learning applications.
The Integrated Minor
The Integrated Minor is a thematic, intentional course through General Education that extends over the course of four year rather than two semesters. The minor bundles General Education courses organized around different themes and offers internships and practical experience that provide a head start for students pursuing careers after graduation. The Integrated Minor culminates in a General Education capstone experience that asks students to engage in critical and integrated thinking to make their education more relevant at the personal and community levels.
Learning portfolios provide a place for students to collate their academic experiences, projects, and best work to discover connections between what they’ve learned at the U and how their newfound knowledge relates to their career aspirations and society in general. These ePortfolios can be used to link together, enhance, and deepen high-impact practices such as a signature experience with MUSE, while providing tangible evidence of achievement and learning outcomes. They are also helpful in producing active student learning and improving and innovating ways of teaching.
MUSE — My U Signature Experience
The MUSE project provides opportunities for students to have a signature learning experience: those moments that define and empower a student’s intellectual growth, development, and path in life. Launched as a Presidential initiative in 2010, MUSE activities are grounded in the university’s educational missions to enhance and add to the U’s already great academic programs and endeavors. With the goal of connecting students with community leaders, mentors, and our outstanding faculty, students have the opportunity to explore areas that inspire them, discover new ideas and fields of thought, and define their own successful path toward graduation and life after college.