Common Course Description for USC 101

This is the “Common Course Description,” your instructor/advisor will provide you with a syllabus for your class for this semester.

USC 101 – Introduction to University Education I Fall 2017

University College Exploratory Studies


Prerequisite:  None / Co-requisite: None

This course meets the US Diversity Co-requisite requirement of the GEP

In their first year at NC State University, all Exploratory Studies students must take two one-hour, letter-graded courses: USC 101 – Introduction to University Education I (fall semester) and USC 102 – Introduction to University Education II (spring semester).  Your instructor for this course is your academic advisor, which gives you weekly contact with him or her. You will also meet individually at least twice each semester with your advisor.

Exploratory Studies advisors and instructors are committed to being prepared for class, to grading fairly, and to being available to help students with their questions and concerns about the course and about advising issues. You should be committed to putting your best effort into your work for this class, including your out-of-class assignments, class discussions and activities, and co-curricular activities.


NC State Catalog Description

Developmental and academic topics to assist students as they make well-informed decisions about majors. Topics include: transition issues between high school and college; community and diversity; major and career decision making; assessment of interests, skills, and values; available university resources; overview of university majors and minors as well as policies and procedures.


US Diversity Co-Requisite

The study of diversity in the United States provides students the opportunity to consider questions of difference and culture, identity and community, privilege and oppression, and power and responsibility in our nation, and to gain an understanding of how these issues affect both individuals and communities.

As a member of the Exploratory Studies community, you have a unique opportunity to spend the academic year learning about yourself, exploring majors and careers, and then making an informed decision about a major.  Doing so will require you to examine your life in ways you may not have previously considered.   Where have your ideas and beliefs originated?  How do those ideas and beliefs influence the kinds of choices you make?  How are you different from your roommate, your neighbors, your classmates, your instructors, your family, your friends, and even those you do not know at all?  How are you alike?  As a global citizen, how does the way you live affect people in other parts of the world?  With the guidance of your instructor and advisor, you will explore these questions and others this year as you go through the process of making your decision on a major.


Learning Outcomes for USC 101

Upon completion of this course, students will

  1. Identify the resources available to them within the University community and explore opportunities for connecting with the University community
  2. Understand and articulate how diversity impacts their experience at NC State
  3. Identify factors that affect academic success
  4. Understand and apply University policies and procedures
  5. Be knowledgeable about University majors, minors, and other academic programs
  6. Be able to name the three main components of the Exploratory Studies career decision making model, categorize class activities/topics based on these components, explain why the model is depicted as a cycle, and explain where they currently fit into the process
  7. Be able to apply the information gained from personal assessments to the process of choosing a major


Academic Integrity

Students are required to comply with the university policy on academic integrity in the Code of Student Conduct found at

Your name on any assignment you submit to your USC 101 instructor means that you neither gave nor received unauthorized aid when you completed the assignment.  

All academic integrity violations will be sent to Student Conduct. For violations on assignments and activities, at a minimum, you will earn zero points for the assignment; other sanctions are possible, including failing the course. Your textbook contains more information about Academic Integrity.


Supporting Fellow Students in Distress

As members of the NC State Wolfpack community, we each share a personal responsibility to express concern for one another and to ensure that this classroom and the campus as a whole are a good and safe environment for learning.  If you are worried about a fellow classmate, you can get them help through the NC State Students of Concern website:  Here you can get good info and send in a report about a fellow student you’re concerned about.


Policy on Discrimination

NC State University provides equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees. Accordingly, NC State affirms its commitment to maintain a work environment for all employees and an academic environment for all students that is free from all forms of discrimination. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Harassment of any person (either in the form of quid pro quo or creation of a hostile environment) based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation also is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Retaliation against any person who complains about discrimination is also prohibited. NC State’s policies and regulations covering discrimination, harassment, and retaliation may be accessed at Any person who feels that he or she has been the subject of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should contact the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity at 919-515-3148.


Students with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with the Disability Services Office at the Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 919-515-7653. For more information on NC State’s policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG02.20.01) at



Students will be required to provide their own transportation if they choose a co-curricular activity that is off campus. However, all co-curricular activities planned for this course will have on-campus options.



You will earn a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F with plus/minus grading) in USC 101, a one-hour course.  Grading will be based on a point system (maximum points = 300).  Neither USC 101 nor USC 102 may be taken for credit only (S/U); you must take the course for a letter grade.  The course cannot be audited.



Regular class attendance in any college course is essential for success, and USC 101 is no exception. The basic attendance policy for USC 101 follows the University regulation for attendance. Attendance expectations for this course are as follows:

If at the end of the term you have more than two absences, the final course grade will be lowered one letter grade for each additional absence. For example, if you have an “A” in the course but have three absences, then your semester letter grade will be reduced to a “B;” for four absences, the final grade will become a “C;” for five absences a “D,” etc.  If you miss a class session, it is your responsibility to obtain information on any class assignments. If you miss class work due to an absence you may not be able to earn full credit for the assignment.

There may be exceptions if all absences are excused according to the University policy. Your instructor may allow for make-up work in the case of excused absences.  If you have an excused absence it is your responsibility to notify your instructor as soon as possible. The NCSU policy on excused absences, including those for religious observances, is described at the following URL:


Course Text

The textbook for both USC 101 and USC 102 is THE (Transition to Higher Education) Workbook (The 2017-2018 edition is only available at the University Bookstore).  The price of the book – $65.75 – includes $24.55 to cover the cost of testing and personalized reports for  the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument. If you have financial difficulties and cannot afford a textbook, speak with your advisor right away.



Your instructor will provide you a detailed list of assignments with their due dates and point values. Some of your assignments are in THE Workbook, but your instructor will give others to you.  Due to the high cost of photocopying, your instructor may not always hand out paper copies of your assignments. Your instructor will explain how you can locate your assignments and will provide them in enough time to complete them. As with any class, you have the responsibility to know how to find your assignments and to talk with your instructor about any concerns or questions regarding an assignment.  Always keep a copy of the work you turn in for this or for any class, and always save returned work.

Late assignments: your instructor will inform you of his or her policy regarding late work.  Late work policies vary by instructor.


Electronically-Hosted Course Components

Students may be required to disclose personally identifiable information to other students in the course, via electronic tools like email or web-postings, where relevant to the course. Examples include online discussions of class topics, and posting of student coursework. All students are expected to respect the privacy of each other by not sharing or using such information outside the course.

Electronically-hosted Components: Moodle.


Exploratory Studies Co-Curricular Events

Learning within the University is not limited to attending class and completing assignments. Endless opportunities for learning and discovery occur outside of class. This extended learning is called “co-curricular” learning. You are required to attend the following co-curricular events:

  1. Wolfpack Welcome Week and Convocation

In order to best transition to campus life, and appropriately prepare for your Starting Point Assignment, all Exploratory Studies Students are required to attend Wolfpack Welcome Week events and Convocation. Convocation will be held in Reynolds Coliseum on Monday, August 14th at 2:00pm.

   2. Exploratory Studies Majors Exploration Series

All Exploratory Studies students are required to attend the Exploratory Studies Majors Exploration Series in September and October. Dates and Times TBA. Check with your instructor. The Majors Exploration Series gives you the opportunity to speak personally with representatives from NC State colleges and to obtain materials, curricula sheets, transfer information, and career-related information (30 points). Note:  You will attend two different sessions in order to meet with representatives from two different NC State colleges.

   3. Exploratory Studies Forum Series

The purpose of Forum events is for students to engage in the NC State and Raleigh community, as well as investigate and explore their interests. Students in USC 101 are required to attend three Forum events each semester, one of those events must be an Educational event and one must be a Diversity event. Educational events are designed to provide greater information about an educational or career field. Diversity events will introduce you to areas of diversity and global knowledge, helping you understand the world and your place in it. You will also consider differences in culture, identity, and community at NC State. Educational and Diversity events are identified on the Forum calendar posted at: Other events on the calendar may be identified as “student choice” events. These can be wellness oriented, arts events or even events that don’t clearly fit into one of our designated categories.


Important: If you wish to attend an event that is not on the Forum calendar, you MUST get approval from your instructor in advance.

To receive credit for attending a Forum event, you must submit a Forum report via your class Moodle page.

  • A Forum report must be a thoughtful reflection on the event that answers all of the questions asked about the event.
  • Each forum is 20 points, for a total of 60 points for the Forum series each semester.
  • If you are a member of the University Scholars program, you are eligible to submit a Forum report for the events you attend as requirements for that program.
  • Be sure you know your instructor’s due date for Forum report deadlines.
  • If you have to buy a ticket for an event, you are responsible for that cost.

There is also a Forum Contract option. For information about what you need to do to complete this option, talk with your USC 101 instructor.


Superforum Events

During the semester Exploratory Studies may designate a “Superforum Event” that focuses on an issue that is significant to the NC State community or to the larger community outside the University. In the past, Superforum Events included a panel and discussion on the causes and consequences of the 9/11 attacks and an interactive workshop on diversity. A Superforum Event can fulfill one of your three required Forum events. Because the topics are so significant, you can earn additional credit (25 points instead of 20 points) for attending the event and submitting a thoughtful report. However, even if you attend a Superforum, you are still required to attend 3 events during the semester.


Time Blocks for Exploratory Studies Forum Events

If you are not fulfilling the Contract option for your Forum requirement, you must attend and report on three forum events within three forum time blocks. Your instructor will give due dates for attending each of the three events and due dates for turning in the reports. Check the syllabus and schedule for your section of USC 101.


Incomplete Grades

If an extended deadline is not authorized by the instructor or department, an unfinished incomplete grade will automatically change to an F after either (a) the end of the next regular semester in which the student is enrolled (not including summer sessions), or (b) the end of 12 months if the student is not enrolled, whichever is shorter. Incompletes that change to F will count as an attempted course on transcripts. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the request for an incomplete grade. The full university policy on incomplete grades is located at


Graded Items

Assignments and ActivitiesPoint Value
Starting Point AssignmentVariable
Identities ReflectionVariable
Academic Majors Research AssignmentVariable
Majors Exploration SeriesVariable
Final Conference30
Forum- Diversity20
Forum- Education20
Forum- Student Choice20
Additional assignments, vary by instructorVariable


Course Grading Scale

A grades B grades C grades D grades F grades
291 ≤  A+ ≤ 300 261 ≤ B+ < 270 231 ≤ C+ < 240 200 ≤ D+ < 210 0 ≤ F < 180
279 ≤ A < 291 249 ≤ B < 261 219 ≤ C < 231 189 ≤ D < 200
270 ≤ A- < 279 240 ≤ B- < 249 210 ≤ C- < 219 180 ≤ D- < 189


The co-curricular events and final conference have a set point value for all sections of USC 101. For other assignments and activities for the course, your instructor will determine the point value. You may find that you do not have exactly the same assignments as students in another section of USC 101, and similar assignments may have different point values in different sections of the course. However, all assignments and activities are designed to help you make a smooth transition from high school to college, learn how to succeed academically, learn about yourself, and explore majors and careers.


Course Schedule

Your instructor will provide a projected schedule of reading assignments & projected schedule of any homework due dates, quizzes, and tests.