Most liberal arts universities in the United States offer first-year experience courses. Our American University Experience (AUx) curriculum addresses the most relevant issues facing students as they transition to college while learning about the resources available to them on campus and in Washington, DC. New students will take part in classroom activities and discussions, online homework, written assignments, and personalized mentorship experiences in AUx. In addition, AUx teaches students to explore and model ways of communicating and living in a diverse society and address divergent opinions on challenging topics.
Students enrolled in AUx will have the opportunity to learn from faculty and staff Instructors and upper-class Peer Leaders who have been specially selected and trained to work with first-year students. By joining AUx, first-year students will become part of a small (19 students or fewer), inclusive and affirming community. In order to foster and encourage conversation and learning, AUx classes are taught in non-traditional classroom spaces.
Students who have participated in AUx have a greater sense of belonging, which makes them more willing to engage with and contribute in their new learning environment. Previous AUx students have indicated that they have an increased satisfaction with their on-campus social lives as well as personal connections to faculty, staff and peers. In addition, AUx students have an increased familiarity with campus resources that address academics, bias and discrimination, finances, and mental and physical health. AUx students cite that they are often the "go-to person" for their friends who are seeking to find supportive resources on campus.
AUx is not a living-learning community. Students in AUx can participate in University College, AU Scholars, AU Honors, Community-Based Research Scholars or the Three-Year Scholars Programs Living-Learning Communities. AUx also welcomes students who choose not to take part in a Living-Learning Community.
24 sections of AUx1 (1.5 credits) will be offered in fall 2017 and 23 sections of AUx2 (1.5 credits) will be offered in spring 2018. If a student completes AUx1 with a grade of C or higher, they will be guaranteed a space in AUx2 (1.5 credits) in spring 2018. If a student receives a grade lower than a C in AUx1, they are not eligible to take AUx2 in spring 2018. At this time, AUx is not available to students transferring to AU or Washington Mentorship participants.
These A-F graded courses will be co-taught by an AUx Instructor and a Peer Leader and meet once per week. Readings and videos will be assigned through Blackboard as online homework, and students will be asked to complete short written assignments. The content will be covered in class discussions, as the students come together as a group to process the material, participate in classroom exercises, and explore new ways of thinking.
The AUx Instructor and Peer Leader are there to help support students during their first year of college, both inside and outside of the classroom. The AUx Instructor and Peer Leader have been specially selected and trained to work with first-year students and are knowledgeable about the resources and opportunities available to them on the American University campus and in the greater Washington, DC area.
Students who complete AUx1 in the fall of 2017 (1.5 credits) and AUx2 in the spring of 2018 (1.5 credits) will receive a total of 3.00 credits toward their General Education requirements in their choice of Foundational Area two, three or four. Students who complete AUx1 but do not continue on to AUx2 will receive 1.5 elective credits toward their graduation requirement, but will not receive General Education credits.