USC 101 & USC 102


All students in Exploratory Studies are required to take “Introduction to University Education,” USC 101 (fall semester) and USC 102 (spring semester), in their first year at NC State. Students earn 1 hour of letter-graded credit for each of the two semesters. The course is taught by the student’s Academic Advisor and meets once a week. Classes are discussion-oriented, and students frequently work together in small groups. The course uses a textbook written by First Year College advisors, The Transition to Higher Education Workbook.

Most colleges at NC State require some sort of orientation course for their students. While all of these courses seek to help first year students become more comfortable within the university community, the Exploratory Studies orientation courses also encourage students to make rational, informed decisions about their majors. USC 101 and 102 are designed to include topics that concern undeclared students: the adjustment from high school to college, the academic expectations of a university student, the assessment of one’s own personal goals and values, and the exploration of careers and the undergraduate majors at NC State. At the end of their first year, students should have enough information about themselves and the university to make informed decisions about their future. Also in the classroom are Resident Mentors (RMs) who serve as academic mentors in Tucker and Owen residence halls and assist with classroom activities.

  • COMMON COURSE DESCRIPTION FOR USC 102                                              

Some additional programs/initiatives associated with USC 101 & 102 that are required for all students include:

  • Summer Reading Program– Our program has had a common reading program for over ten years. In previous years our students have read: The Measure of Our Success, Amusing Ourselves to Death,  ’Only Connect’: The Goals of a Liberal Education, The Alchemy of Air, It Happened on the Way to War, Half the Sky, Three Cups of Tea, Sounds of the River, Colors of the Moutain, and Tuesdays with Morrie. In 2005, the University started a common reading program in which FYC (now Exploratory Studies) and many of the other NC State Colleges participate. We’ve even been fortunate to have the summer reading author serve as the Convocation Celebration Speaker.
  • The Forum SeriesStudents are required to attend three Forum events each semester: one from each of these categories: 1. diversity/global knowledge, 2. educational enrichment category, 3. and one event from any of the four categories (this is the “student choice” event). Information about this requirement will be given in class.
  • Majors Exploration Series-Students can speak personally with representatives from all of the Colleges to learn about academic majors.  They will have the opportunity to develop networking skills and become more confident in thinking critically about their intended major.
  • Career Connections-This Spring event, held on a Saturday morning, takes students from the big picture of the Majors Exploration Series/MajorsFair to learning about careers.  Working professionals, many of whom are NCSU alumni, are invited to serve as panelists to give students with information and advice about the “world of work”. Attendance at this event is required of all students in USC 102.

Here is a quote from one of our students:  “I believe that USC 101/102 have led to both personal and academic development. I hope that other students who are in Exploratory Studies gain what I have gained, and that learning about themselves through class discussions, forum events, and other activities (such as assessments) can truly guide them toward a major or career in their near future”.