New and Recently Established Undergraduate Education Programs Highlighted

September 9, 1997

Editors: Following are new or recently established programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder that focus on enhanced opportunities or increased faculty contact for undergraduate students.

Students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are returning to campus this fall to find a New Media Center in their midst.

The school was selected last spring to be a member of New Media Centers, a consortium of computer companies and universities dedicated to finding innovative ways to use new technology in higher education. The center houses nine computer work stations and the tools to produce a digital TV newscast, a newspaper and Web sites.

The Center will be a resource for students who need assistance in developing advanced Web pages and for researchers who explore on-line education and distance learning. It also will be available for conferences and university functions.

There are 85 academic members of the consortium that work with businesses such as Apple Computer, Adobe, Macromedia and Korg. New Media Centers are found in 34 states, four Canadian provinces and Australia, Colombia, Finland, Sweden and Taiwan.

Contact: Bruce Henderson, 492-4558

ORIENTED TO BUSINESS

For several years, the College of Business and Administration has required all freshman students to take a one-credit-hour orientation class their first semester.

The course introduces students to the Business College, its centers and majors, and to CU and an array of career possibilities. Students also are taught the basic language of business and how each component – accounting, management, entrepreneurship, information systems, economics and marketing – contributes to a successful venture.

Professor John Lymberopoulos plans and leads most of the course, but for three weeks, six professors volunteer to teach small groups of 25 to 30 students. Students who have indicated an area of interest are placed with a professor from that discipline. They discuss the discipline, its trends, research and career opportunities. Students also are exposed to study abroad programs and to local and national business leaders who speak to the class.

The seminar, which ends Oct. 30, is a pass/fail course.

Contact: John Lymberopoulos, 492-7541

UNIVERSITY ADDS HONORS COURSES

As part of CU-Boulder’s Academic Strategic Plan, the Honors Program is increasing its course load to 36 classes compared to the 25 offered last fall.

Honors seminar classes are designed to provide for a maximum of 15 students. “The model of the typical Honors class is the critical thinking courses offered in some departments,” said Dennis Van Gerven, director of the program. “This format is particularly attractive in that we are bringing together our best students with our best faculty,” he said.

Honors students must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.3. Eighty percent of Honors courses fulfill core requirements, and students find they are a more personalized way of fulfilling those requirements.

“Each year we invite over 1,000 freshman applicants – based on GPA and ACT scores – to participate in Honors if they come to CU,” Van Gerven said. About 400 of 1,000 applicants actually end up at CU.

“This is a powerful recruitment tool, and we have never been able to offer seats to all of these students and have counted on some choosing not to take an Honors course,” he said.

“A year ago I had a parent from California call me and say that the Honors invitation had been the deciding factor in their decision to come to CU rather than a California school and now their son wasn't even in an Honors course. Fortunately we found room for that student. That danger today is far less likely with the advent of the new courses,” he said.

Some Honors classes encompass a large lecture and a small seminar meeting each week between the students and the professor teaching the course. Co-seminary courses are used in anthropology and biology and will expand to other departments such as philosophy and political science.

Contact: Dennis Van Gerven, 492-8017.

PILOT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH A SUCCESS

A pilot program for incoming freshmen in July and August brought 10 students to the Mountain Research Station near Nederland for a month of alpine research and college life. Eight students from Colorado and two from out-of-state participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), studying under CU faculty.

Kim Malville, director of CU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, said SURE and other undergraduate research programs at CU may entice Colorado’s best students to stay and study in their home state.

“It’s time we start viewing undergraduates as our research colleagues,” he said.

The students were paid $6 an hour and received free room and board. Students worked on a variety of environmental research projects including alpine hydrology and water chemistry, tree island research and the effects of bioturbation (animal disturbance - principally pocket gophers) on vegetation.

Contacts: Kim Malville, UROP director (492-8766); Thomas Davinroy, SURE project director (492-4815).

NEW DEGREE PROGRAMS

The Boulder campus is launching two new degree programs this fall after receiving approval for the degrees from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education last spring.

Seven students are enrolled in the new doctoral program in kinesiology, while 26 students are in the master’s program in East Asian Languages and Literatures. The master’s program was broadened from the previous master’s in Chinese to include two tracks each in Chinese and Japanese. Students can select a language and literature track or a language and civilization track.

Contacts: Laurel Rodd, East Asian Languages and Literatures, 492-1138, Russell Moore, Kinesiology, 492-5209

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