This past summer, my family made the move from Wyoming to Oregon. I am now working at Eastern Oregon University, a small state college that primarily serves a rural population. I am one of two instructors in our CORE program. This program is designed to serve first year students using a developmental framework. Students are enrolled in these courses based on placement test scores. Many of my students are first generation and/or non-traditional.
CORE is part of the university’s Integrated Studies Program and counts towards General Education requirements. The first course that students take, CORE 101, is paired with a writing course (WR 115). With no more than 20 students per cohort, they attend the same CORE and writing sections back to back. I have two cohorts this fall with a different English/Writing faculty partner for each. This structure is intended to help develop community in the cohorts and to take advantage of some of the benefits seen in small learning communities.
CORE 101 is basically a college survival course, while WR 115 is a basic intro to college writing. In CORE, we focus on improving students’ literacy, critical thinking, metacognition, reflection, and study skills. The seminar introduces students to university resources and the culture and traditions of higher education. We also strive to help students become integrated into the wider EOU community.
CORE 102 is an inquiry course where the primary focus is career and academic major exploration. It includes personal assessment of student values, interests, and abilities. Students also develop skills in financial literacy and health/wellness awareness.
It is now finals week, and I am wrapping up my first classes of CORE 101. I have learned a great deal and I am retooling 101 for next term and working on my syllabus for CORE 102. I have always enjoyed working with students on study skills and metacognitive processes. I regularly integrated college prep skills in my high school courses and it’s interesting being just on the other side of that. I have always enjoyed working with people in situations that involve change and transformation, and this is certainly one of those.
While I am not directly teaching history or social studies, this background in critical and analytic thinking is very beneficial. I plan to remain active and involved in the social studies community while connecting with professionals in first year experience and university developmental programs.
I really love the small town and small school atmosphere of this university. Our largest lecture class on campus is about 100 students and none of my own classes are over 20. The university highly values the benefits that come with small class sizes and greater faculty/student interaction. My husband and I have really enjoyed teaching here so far. It’s a great community to be a part of.
Do you have any questions about this new position or the program? Do you work with students on study skills at any level? Are you involved in a first year experience program? Do you have any other questions? I’d love to hear from you.
- CORE Course Descriptions from the EOU Course Catalog