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USI 150: Career and Major Exploration

Fall 2017
Belk 404
T-TH 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Instructors Information:
Courtney Gauthier Hunter Pritchard
Associate Director of Career Integrated Learning Graduate Assistant @ Center for Career and
Professional Development
**Office Hours by appointment – Scheduled in GradesFirst

Course Aims and Objectives

The purpose of this course is to help students learn more about themselves, the courses of study at Western
Carolina University, and the world of work.
This course will strengthen skills and knowledge in:
 Self-Assessment & Awareness: Understand the relationship between values, interests, personality, and
skills and their relevance to career planning
 Utilization of Academic & Career Resources: Knowledge and proper use of academic and career
 Goal Setting & Decision Making: Develop and express academic and career goals
 Written and Oral Communication: Students will grow in their written and oral communication skills
through academic reflections, research, and reflection based presentations, and through the development
of competitive application materials

Students fully participating in this course will:

 Arrive on time and prepared, with an open mind and a willingness to actively participate in discussions.
 Remain fully present in the class refraining from the use of distractive technology and conversation.
 Treat fellow students and instructors with respect, sensitivity, and openness to new and varied ideas.
 Be tolerant of differences in opinion and preferences and use these differences as an opportunity for
learning. During this class, discussions may include personal information, thoughts, and experiences. It is
imperative that we create a learning environment focused on inclusion and support.

While the use of technology is greatly encouraged, during class it is asked not to be used unless given permission by
the instructor. The instructor may ask the students to bring laptops for an in- class assignment or to do research on
the assigned topic/learning activity. If the use of technology becomes a distraction, it will be terminated. If cell phone
use becomes a problem, the instructor will ask the student to leave.

Faculty Expectations of Students/Course Policies

Much of a person’s learning and thinking originates in, and is supported by, interactions with other people.
What happens inside the classroom is important for your success with the course. Therefore, your
performance on in-class activities and contributions to class discussion are important to you and to your fellow
students, and will be the basis for a portion of your course grade. You are encouraged to consult the complete
statement of this policy in the Undergraduate Catalog.
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As per the University’s Undergraduate Catalog, Acceptable excuses include the following:
 Clear evidence that you are too ill or otherwise indisposed to benefit from being in class and will be a
risk or distraction to others in the class;
 Documented evidence of your required presence in a court of law;
 Documented evidence of a personal or family emergency requiring your presence;
 Documented evidence of your participation in an approved university activity (field trip, athletic
event, etc.; documentation will be provided by the university official in charge of the activity, and
must be presented before the time of the absence);
 Other circumstances approved by your instructor, preferably prior to the absence.
Attendance WILL affect your final grade per course policy. Keep in mind that if you miss a class meeting,
you are still responsible for the material addressed during that meeting and for submitting assignments
due at the meeting. Attendance will be taken at EVERY class meeting and will be recorded. You are allotted
two unexcused absences.

Expectations for Submitting Required Work:

All work will be submitted via paper-copy to the instructors. There will be no submissions to Blackboard. All work
must be submitted by the start of class, and no late work will be accepted.

Office of Accessibility Resources:

Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with documented
disabilities and/or medical conditions. Students who require reasonable accommodations must identify themselves
as having a disability and/or medical condition and provide current diagnostic documentation.
Office of Accessibility Resources.
135 Killian Annex

Course Evaluation:
 Course Eval is the WCU course evaluation used for all courses, and you are encouraged to participate
and complete this on-line evaluation for this course. You will receive an electronic notification near the
end of the semester when it becomes available. Your instructor will have no access to your responses.

A Note on Civil Discourse at Western Carolina:

The WCU Community Creed states: “I will respect the rights and well-being of others.” Consistent with WCU’s
core values and our campus creed, the WCU community accepts the freedoms and responsibilities of our
shared community. WCU encourages all to clearly express their own views while at the same time seeking to
understand the varieties of style, identity, and opinion that are held in any diverse community. In order for us
to sustain a learning environment that promotes and values freedom of expression, we have a shared charge to
accept personal responsibility for our actions, reactions, and speech, while seeking to learn from the actions,
reactions, and speech of others.

Academic Integrity Policy and Reporting Process

This policy addresses academic integrity violations of undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students
should read inside the parenthesis below to identify the appropriate entities in charge of that step of the

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the highest
standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is a serious offense
because it threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community. While academic
in scope, any violation of this policy is by nature, a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and will follow the
same conduct process (see ArticleVII.B.1.a.). If the charge occurs close to the end of an academic semester or

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term or in the event of the reasonable need of either party for additional time to gather information timelines
may be extended at the discretion of the Department of Student Community Ethics (DSCE).

This policy addresses academic integrity violations of undergraduate and graduate students. Students, faculty,
staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the highest standards of
scholarship and integrity. Any violation of this policy is a serious offense because it threatens the quality of
scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community.
Instructors have the right to determine the appropriate academic sanctions for violations of the Academic
Integrity Policy within their courses, up to an including a final grade of “F” in the course in which the violation

1. Cheating – Using, or attempting to use, unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any
academic exercise.
2. Fabrication – Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academic exercise.
3. Plagiarism – Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise.
4. Facilitation – Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic Integrity
Policy in any academic exercise (e.g. allowing another person to copy information during an

Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Integrity Process:

Additional information is available on the Student Success website under Student Community Ethics:

Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC):
The Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC) is a free student service, located in BELK 207, providing course
tutoring, writing tutoring, academic skills consultations, international student consultations, graduate and
professional exam preparation resources, and online writing and learning resources for all students. To
schedule tutoring appointments, visit the WaLC homepage ( or call 828-227-2274.

Mentoring and Persistence to Success:

Mentoring and Persistence to Success (MAPS) provides support to students who are either first-generation,
independent, low-income, or have participated in the Academic Success Program (ASP) or Catamount Gap
with: academic advising, mentoring, and personal and social coaching. Contact MAPS at (828) 227-7127 or
email for more information. MAPS is located in Killian Annex, room 205.

Distance Students:
Distance students including students taking classes at Biltmore Park are encouraged to use the online tutoring
service, more information can be found here:

Math Tutoring Center:

The Mathematics Tutoring Center in Stillwell 455 provides drop-in tutoring for math courses and math-related
content across the curriculum in addition to workshops on study specific skills specific to math
courses. Tutoring is available on a drop-in basis, MTWR 9:00am-9:00pm and Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. For more
information, please visit or contact us at 828–227–3830.

Hunter Library:
Hunter Library provides students with access to group and individual study spaces and to thousands of
information resources: print and electronic books, newspapers, and scholarly journal articles.

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These resources can be searched online and often accessed there ( or
library staff and subject specialists skilled in their specific disciplines can be contacted via the library’s
research guides (

Blackboard Support:
The learning management system for this class is blackboard and can be found at:
Additional help with blackboard can be found at:, (828) 227-7487 or by visiting the Technology
Commons located on the ground floor of the Hunter Library.

Academic Toolbox:
The Academic Toolbox is available in all WCU courses via the course Blackboard site. It can be found in the left-
hand side column. The Academic Toolbox contains information and contact information for nearly all of the
resources needed by WCU students, including but not limited to: technology assistance, academic services,
student support, co-curricular programs and university policies.

Date Discussion Topic Assignment Due

Tues, Aug 22 Introduction to the Course
Thurs, Aug 24 Career Map
Tues, Aug 29 Focus2 or Jobzology Assignment Due
Thurs, Aug 31 Exploring Skills
Tues, Sept 5 Exploring Values
Thurs, Sept 7 Who am I? Wrap Up and Career Sentence
Tues, Sept 12 Time & Stress Management
Thurs, Sept 14 Exploring Majors
Tues, Sept 19 Four Year Plans and What Can I Do with a
Thurs, Sept 21 Major Presentations Major Presentations
Tues, Sept 26 Majors to Careers and Focus2 Revisit
Thurs, Sept 28 Industry Research: Online Tools
Tues, Oct 3 Professional Communication and Preparing
for the Catamount Career and Networking
***Wed, Oct 4 Catamount Career and Networking Day
Thurs, Oct 5 Industry Research: Career Explorations
Tues, Oct 10 One on One Appointments- No Class Industry Research Packet;
Reflection on 3 Employers
Thurs, Oct 12 Checking in and Next Half of Semester
Tues, Oct 17 FALL BREAK
Thurs, Oct 19 FALL BREAK
Thurs, Oct 26 Mock Informational Interviews Informational Interview
Tues, Oct 31 Next Step Planning: Probabilities and
Thurs, Nov 2 Finding and Securing Opportunities
Tues, Nov 7 Search Committee and Cover Letters &
Thurs, Nov 9 Interviewing
Tues, Nov 14 Practice Interviews w CCPD Staff – No

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Thurs, Nov 16 Cover Letter and Resume Peer Critiques First Draft of Cover Letter
and Resume
Tues, Nov 21 Becoming Financially Stable
Tues, Nov 28 Networking and Board of Directors Final Cover Letter and
Thurs, Nov 30 Goal Setting Board of Directors
Tues, Dec 5 Presentations
Thurs, Dec 7 Presentations


Attendance & Class Participation

Our class will meet 29 times over the course of the semester – students earn one (1) point per class for attendance
and participation, which includes completion of assignments due that day, as well as participation in class activities
and discussions. Each student is expected to arrive on-time and to fully participate verbally and nonverbally for the
entirety of each class session. We will engage in experiential activities when feasible, and you are expected and
encouraged to participate.
29 Points

Reflections/Learning Activities
Throughout the semester there will be several reflections and learning activities during our class sessions. These
will not be announced and will only be able to be completed in class. These may be presentations, group
engagements, reflection journals, or other activities at the discretion of the instructor. Each activity cannot be
made up.
9 Points

Complete Focus2 or Jobzology: (Due August 28th)

Complete the online Focus2 or Jobzology assessment. Assessment completion is necessary for the participation in
1 Point

Major Presentations: (Due September 19th)

Students will provide a 5-7 minute presentation on one major – either their selected major or one they are
considering. Students are required to find information online AND talk to at least on faculty or student in the
department to gather information for this presentation. Students must address the following points during their
- Why are you interested in this major? Are there other majors you did consider or are still considering?
- Who did you talk to in the department and what did you learn from that conversation?
- What is one class you are looking forward to in this major and why?
- What advice or tips would you provide to someone considering this major?
5 Points

Catamount Career & Networking Day: (Due October 4th)

You will have an opportunity to meet with prospective employers to talk about full-time and part-time
employment and internship opportunities. Students should come dressed in professional business attire and bring
multiple copies of their resumes. Students are REQUIRED to attend the Catamount Career and Networking Day on
October 4th at 11:00am-3:00pm in the Ramsay Center.
4 Points

Industry Packets (Due October 10th)

Select 7-8 companies/organizations that interest you and review their web site to learn more about them.
Complete the “Researching a Company” worksheet for 5 of your selected companies. Each question on the
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worksheet must be answered to the best of your ability to receive full credit.
10 Points

Informational Interviews (Due October 26th)

Students will conduct two informational interviews with individuals in their area of professional interest. Students
will make initial contact with an interviewee to schedule a time to talk. Students will then ask a series of questions
around the career field and workday, career paths, experience, and education, hiring processes, future
opportunities, corporate culture, etc. Students must turn in a one-page summary/reflection of each conversation,
analyzing the conversation, what was learned about the field, and what questions were asked of the professional.
During these conversations, students must not mention that this interview is for a class assignment.
8 Points

Mock Informational Interview Presentation

For the mock presentation, think of yourself as a day-in-the life of your potential field. The instructors will be
sitting with you, to ask you questions related to the field. It is an 8-10 minute interview, and is expected that the
student maintain general knowledge in the area of their choosing.
8 Points

Resume: (Draft is due November 16th and Final is due November 28th)
Students will complete one draft resume for peer review in class on Nov 16th and submit a final resume, with
previous draft on Nov 28th. Both the in-class drafts and rubrics as well as the final resume should be submitted.
6 Points (3 per draft)

Cover Letter: (Draft is due November 16th and Final is due November 28th)
Students will complete a draft cover letter or personal statement, to be reviewed in class on Nov 16th, and final
cover letter on Nov 28th. Both draft and final cover letter or personal statement must be submitted.
6 Points (3 per draft)

Board of Directors: (Due November 30th)

Students will create a Board of Directors consisting of 6 individuals they admire and do not know. Students will
turn in a reflection with the names of selected board members, 1-2 sentences on why each member was selected,
and at least 1 resource to learn more about each member. Resources may include books, documentaries, websites,
articles, TED talks, etc. Students only need to identify, not utilize, the resources.
2 Points

Final Presentations (Due December 5th or December 7th)

Creative Project: This vision board needs to be constructed on a large presentation board such as a tri-fold, 22 X 28
poster board, or canvas. The vision board needs to be focused around your greater understanding of this course;
what you learned about yourself, your potential major(s), career(s), what you want your future to look like/goals,
and how you want to get there (your path).
Presentation: For your presentation, be ready to discuss your vision board. It is a 15-minute
presentation/reflection on your board and final thoughts/lessons/advice you’ve learned throughout the course.
12 Points (6 for the presentation & 6 for the vision board)
**There will be a workshop hosted by your instructors in the Center for Career and Professional
Development. This workshop will be voluntarily attended, and is the chance to make your vision board
with the instructors help and advice!

Grading Scale (100 points possible)
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F 0-59
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Assignment Points Percentage
Attendance/Participation 29 29%
Reflections/Learning Activities 9 9%
Focus2 or Jobzology Assessment 1 1%
Major Presentations 5 5%
Catamount Career & Networking Day 4 4%
Industry Research Packets 10 10%
Informal Interviews 8 8%
Mock Informational Interview 8 8%
Resume 6 (3 per draft) 6%
Cover Letter 6 (3 per draft) 6%
Board of Directors 2 2%
Final Presentations 12 12%

The grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F indicate gradations in quality from Excellent to
Failure. Please note that a C- grade is less than satisfactory and may not meet particular program and/or
course requirements.

Students must be familiar with the class attendance, withdrawal, and drop-add policies and procedures.

Basis for student evaluation:

Points Earned Letter Equivalent Quality Points per semester hour
97-100 A+ 4.0
93-96 A 4.0
90-92 A- 3.67
87-89 B+ 3.33
83-86 B 3.0
80-82 B- 2.67
77-79 C+ 2.33
73-76 C 2.0
70-72 C- 1.67
67-69 D+ 1.33
63-66 D 1.0
60-62 D- 0.67
< 60 F 0.0

Other Grades:____________________________________________________________________________________
I = Incomplete S = Satisfactory AU = Audit
IP = In Progress U = Unsatisfactory NC = No Credit
W = Withdrawal

Academic Calendar
This includes dates for all breaks, university closures, final exams, etc. The academic calendar can be found at

Final Exam
The university final exam schedule can be found here:

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Important Dates: Fall 2017
First Day of Classes Monday, August 21
Labor Day (No Classes) Monday, September 4
Fall Break (No Classes) Monday, October 16 to Friday October 20
Last Day to drop with a “W” Friday, October 27
Advising Day (No Classes) Tuesday, October 31
Thanksgiving Break Wednesday, November 22 to Friday, November 24
Last Day of Classes Friday, December 8
Final Exams Monday, December 11 to Friday, December 15
All Grades Due by 10:00 am Monday, December 18

Syllabus Updates
This syllabus, along with its course schedule, is based on the most recent information about the course content and
schedule planned for this course. Its content is subject to revision as needed to adapt to new knowledge or
unanticipated events. Updates will remain focused on achieving the course objectives and students will receive
notification of such changes. Students will be notified of changes and are responsible for attending to such changes
or modifications as distributed by the instructor or posted to Blackboard.

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