University Seminar – Fall 2016 – A/P Staff Instructor Information Sheet

for the

Course Text


Composition of



Administrative/Professional staff with a master’s degree (or higher) and who have been
employed at Northwest for at least one year by August 2016 may apply to teach University
Seminar. Before applying, please consult your supervisor to gain approval.
All first-time, full-time freshmen entering the university are required to enroll in 77-101
University Seminar in their first trimester of enrollment. As such, the course is a key element in
the university’s mission for the first year experience. That mission is to encourage academic
success and co-curricular engagement by:
1. Fostering resiliency and courage
2. Expecting personal responsibility
3. Embracing a rigorous general education curriculum
4. Helping students make connections within the Northwest community
5. Educating students about campus resources
6. Facilitating the development of a plan for academic success
7. Promoting diverse growth opportunities and open-mindedness
The textbook used for University Seminar is Ellis’s “Becoming A Master Student.” Each instructor
selected to teach will receive a copy of the course textbook. Additionally, a number of resources
to aid preparation will be available via Northwest Online. Each University Seminar student will be
provided a copy of the course textbook through Northwest’s textbook rental program.
University Seminar is a one-hour requirement in the Northwest Core. Within this context, the
course is intended to:
1. Foster an appreciation for the privileges, rights, and responsibilities associated with a
university education
2. Equip students with the learning skills necessary for success
3. Cultivate the ability for students to monitor their own learning and progress
4. Familiarize students with the resources available to support their academic success
5. Encourage students to cultivate a healthy lifestyle
Students will be randomly assigned with an average section size of approximately 20 students.
Approximately 10% of freshmen in the Fall 2016 cohort will be enrolled in one of the themed
sections of University Seminar (leadership development, community engagement, or global
All sections will be assigned one faculty member and a student peer advisor who serves as a coinstructor and peer educator. Peer advisors must meet the following criteria:
 Successfully completed University Seminar (formerly Freshman Seminar) at Northwest
Missouri State University
 Achieved sophomore standing by Fall 2016
 Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or greater
 Be available for program activities the week before Fall 2016 classes start
Instructors may select a peer advisor from students with whom they are familiar or from a pool
of applicants compiled by the University Seminar program staff. Peer advisor selection must be
completed by Friday, April 1. The peer advisor will receive a $400 scholarship applied to Fall 2016
University Seminar meets during Advantage weekend (Aug. 26-28). Instructor responsibilities are
outlined below:
 Friday, August 26
o 8:30-9:30 a.m. – instructor and peer advisor conduct initial meeting with
University Seminar students enrolled in their section

Saturday, August 27
o 8:30-10:00 a.m. – peer advisor leads class with focus on Northwest computing,
online platforms, etc. (instructor attendance optional)

Class Meetings

Sunday, August 28
o 1:30-2:30 p.m. – instructor and peer advisor meet with University Seminar class
o 2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m. – instructor and peer advisor attend new student Convocation
with University Seminar class
University Seminar class meets Tuesday and Thursday for the first four weeks followed by
Tuesday-only class meetings weeks 5-15. Regular class meetings are from 1-1:50 p.m. The full
course scheduled is outlined below.


between Univ.
Seminar &
for Instructors

8/30 – University Seminar
9/6 - University Seminar
9/13 - University Seminar
9/20 - University Seminar
9/27 - University Seminar
10/4 - University Seminar
10/11 - University Seminar
10/18 - University Seminar
10/25 - University Seminar
11/1 - University Seminar
11/8 - University Seminar
11/15 - University Seminar
11/22 - University Seminar
11/29 - University Seminar
12/6 - University Seminar
N/A – Finals Week

9/1 - University Seminar
9/8 - University Seminar
9/15 – University Seminar
9/22 - University Seminar

N/A – Finals Week

University Seminar covers a wide variety of topics related to student success. Curriculum is
developed around the following topics:
1. Time Management
2. Career/Education Planning
3. Study Skills/Test Prep (out-of-class behavior)
4. Academic Policies and Regulations
5. University Resources
6. Health Choices
7. Note Taking Strategies
8. Co-Curricular Involvement
9. Advising Preparation and Follow-up
10. Plan for Success
Activities, assignments, and a model syllabus are provided to instructors.
Although the course goals complement and reinforce the importance of curricular advising,
University Seminar instructors are not responsible for curricular advising. Their role is to
reinforce the importance of working with curricular advisors and support students in establishing
a connection with the appropriate curricular advisor.

Instructors will be expected to commit the time and energy necessary to support student
success, including participating in professional development sessions and collaborating
with a peer advisor to plan and implement meaningful learning activities.

Selection and

Fall 2016 University Seminar Instructors should plan to meet for a one-hour session
during the month of April with their selected Fall 2016 peer advisor.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 23 – University Seminar instructors are required to attend a
professional development session from 1-4 p.m. The last hour of the session will include
time to interact with your peer advisor.

Given the evidence regarding the importance of helping students make connections with
University faculty and staff, instructors are expected to minimize the use of outside
presenters and facilitate activities unique to their section rather than combining sections.

Instructors are also expected to contribute to efficient program administration by
responding to communication in a timely manner, submitting an electronic copy of their
course syllabus, and providing other materials as requested.

A/P Staff selected to serve as a University Seminar instructor will be notified by Friday, March 18.
The stipend for teaching University Seminar is $1500.00 (split into five equal payments on
August-December paychecks).