University Perspectives

University Perspectives: Destination Graduation is an eight-week, one-hour, mandatory freshman-level course with a 19:1 student faculty ratio. A faculty initiative, the course is designed to enhance engagement and strengthen student learning.

Course outcomes are focused on providing students with a smooth transition to university-level work and increasing retention and graduation rates—outcomes that are consistent with the institutional goals and priorities of the university.

Research shows that students who develop an early affiliation with the university are more likely to persist to graduation. A recent Gallup-Purdue study also found "that support and experiences in college had more of a relationship to long-term outcomes for . . . college graduates. For example, if graduates recalled having a professor who cared about them as a person, made them excited about learning, and encouraged them to pursue their dreams, their odds of being engaged at work more than doubled, as did their odds of thriving in all aspects of their well-being.” Faculty can make an impact that last a lifetime.

Faculty Make a Difference

University Perspectives offers first year students an opportunity to establish a network and connect with faculty regardless of their major. Faculty who participate have an opportunity to introduce students to their discipline and interact with students they might not otherwise meet in a small and personalized classroom environment. University Perspective instructors are compensated and given the title of provost lecturer for the year.

Faculty or staff interested in teaching University Perspectives can email kwestee@uark.edu for more information.

Course Content

Course content supports freshmen in learning to:

  • Practice critical thinking
  • Develop an understanding of civic engagement
  • Achieve success through note-taking, wellness and time management
  • Create plans and implement them
  • Take responsibility for their education and life
  • Be proactive; do the most important things first
  • Understand academic integrity
  • Investigate career planning
  • Use campus resources such as the library, health center, learning centers, advising, financial aid, etc.
  • Establish a network that includes college personnel, faculty and other students
  • Access information and college services

Course Description

The University Perspectives: Destination Graduation course description is:

University Perspectives is an innovative required one-hour freshman course designed to enhance student success. A "flipped" class, it will have an online component in addition to in-class interaction. The course will emphasize the transition to the university and university-level work by addressing topics such as critical thinking and civic engagement. Other units intended to enhance overall student success include — but are not limited to — note-taking, time management, and academic integrity. All freshmen must complete UNIV 1001 by the end of the first academic year."

University Perspectives: Destination Graduation was developed by a committee that included faculty from all colleges, staff and several administrators.