FAQ: General

Many 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.

In AUx, students will have the opportunity to learn from Instructors and upper-class Peer Facilitators who have been specially selected and trained to work with first-year students. 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.

Starting in academic year 2018-2019, all incoming first-year students will be required to take AUx1 and AUx2 as part of the AU Core Curriculum. In fall 2018, students in the International Accelerator Program (IAP) will take AUx1 in restricted sections and be mainstreamed into AUx2 in the spring.

In academic year 2019-2020, transfer students and Washington Mentorship student will also be required to take AUx1 and AUx2.

AUx1 and AUx2 are two of the foundational courses that comprise the AU Core Curriculum. To receive credit for the courses, students must receive a C or higher in both courses.

These A-F graded courses will be co-facilitated by an AUx Instructor and a Peer Facilitator 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.

Over 90 sections of AUx1 (1.5 credits) will be offered in fall 2019 and over 100 sections of AUx2 (1.5 credits) will be offered in spring 2020. Students who complete AUx1 in the fall of 2019 (1.5 credits) with a C or higher will take AUx2 in the spring of 2020 (1.5 credits). Students who receive lower than a C in AUx1 will need to retake the course again and receive a C or higher before continuing into AUx2. Students who receive lower than a C in AUx2 will need to retake the course and receive a C or higher to fulfill their AU Core Curriculum requirement.

In spring 2020, sections of AUx1 will be offered for spring admits and they will take AUx2 in fall 2021.

The AUx Instructor and Peer Facilitator are there to help support students during their first year of college, both inside and outside of the classroom. They 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.

The majority of the AUx1 Instructors are members of the first-year advising team. Incoming first-year students they will be assigned to a section of AUx1 (CORE-100) that is taught by their first-year advisor and their advisor will have no more than 76 assigned students. This close-knit relationship allows their advisor to engage in personal mentorship that recognizes student’s individual needs. Plus, this ensures that students will see their advisor every week in the classroom during the Fall semester.

Transfer, washington mentorship, and spring admits will not have a first-year advisor as their AUx1 Instructor. Instead, their sections will be taught by staff and faculty who have been specifically selected and trained to instruct their sections.

Students will be able to choose their own section of AUx2 and thereby their instructor.

AUx is not a living-learning community. Students in AUx can participate in University College (UC), AU Honors, Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar (FDDS), Community-Based Research Scholars (CBRS) or the Three-Year Scholars Programs Living-Learning Communities. Students in AUx can also choose not to take part in a living-learning community.

FAQ: 2016-2017 & 2017-2018

Students who completed AUx1 in either fall of 2016 or fall 2017 (1.5 credits) with a grade of C or higher and AUx2 in spring of 2017 or spring 2018 (1.5 credits) with a grade of C or higher are eligible to receive a total of 3.00 credits toward their General Education requirements in their choice of Foundational Area 2, 3, or 4.

Please contact your advisor or school-based advising unit to determine how the courses should be counted.


If you have questions about AUx, please reach out to our staff:

  • Izzi Rose Stern, MA
    AUx Program Manager

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