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Course AUx1

Course Description

American University Experience I (AUx1) (1.5 credits): A one-and-a-half credit required and graded (A-F) course, taken by all students in their first semester at American University. Course content will be developed by one or more full-time faculty members. This collaboratively-taught course will be offered in a hybrid format, taught by a professional Instructor with an affiliate faculty appointment in the School of Education and supported by a junior or senior student peer leader. 

Drawing on many academic disciplines and on student development theory, the course will help students navigate their academic, social, cultural and psychological adjustment to university life consistent with the University’s learning outcomes.

The Perch lounge in Anderson-Centennial Hall

Your AUx courses will be taught in The Perch in Anderson-Centennial Hall

These include:

  • Cultural Competency and Effective Communication:
    • communicating across differences of race, culture, sex, gender, disability and sexual orientation
    • understanding the perspectives of others
    • exploring and expressing identities
    • academic freedom and freedom of expression
  • Civic Engagement
  • Collaboration and Ethics:
    • finding and creating community on campus
    • responding to conflict
    • responsible advocacy
    • bystander intervention
    • leading within one’s community
  • Personal Growth:
    • embracing change
    • making independent decisions
    • health, wellness and resilience
    • self-assessment and early exploration of career goals


AUx1 Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

AUx1 course learning outcomes are achieved through online readings and videos, in-class learning and activities, reflective writing assignments, and separate individual and small group discussions with course Instructors, Peer Leaders, and classmates. 

Course Goal #1: Students Will Learn the Benefits of Engagement with Their New Campus Community

  • Learning Outcome: Students will identify policies, programs, and support resources at American University (including staff, faculty, and peers) and discuss how they can contribute to their academic success and personal well-being.
  • Learning Outcome: Students will orient themselves to campus and begin to engage with AU’s policies, programs and support resources.
  • Learning Outcome: Students will apply knowledge-based skills (e.g., time management, self-care, task prioritization) to develop healthy habits, to embrace change, and to cope with the stresses that often accompany major life transitions.

Course Goal #2: Students Will Explore Their Identities as Young Adults

  • Learning Outcome: Students will explore, define and express their own identities, strengths, challenges, passions and goals orally and in writing.
  • Learning Outcome: Students will prepare for future decision-making related to their academic course of study and career aspirations by applying critical thinking and transferable skills to develop realistic short- and long-term professional and academic goals.

Course Goal #3: Students Will Learn to Become Part of a Diverse Community

  • Learning Outcome: Students will analyze the multiple aspects of diversity and inclusion and examine how those dimensions impact their and others’ experiences at AU.
  • Learning Outcome: Students will demonstrate empathy and respect for those whose experiences and opinions vary from their own.
  • Learning Outcome: Students will practice respectful cross-cultural communication skills while effectively advocating for themselves and others.