What is AUx?

The American University Experience (AUx) is a full-year AU Core Curriculum course specially designed for students transitioning into their first year of college at AU. Students will complete AUx1 in their first semester and then complete AUx2 in their second semester.

Students are assigned required resources and assignments through Canvas (AU's e-learning platform), and meet weekly for group dialogues of approximately 19 students. AUx classes are co-facilitated by an AUx Instructor and Peer Facilitator. AUx Instructors and Peer Facilitators are specially trained to work with first-year and transfer students, and all AUx Instructors have an a faculty appointment.

The AUx program is continuing to evolve to better meet the needs of AU students. The program has and will continue to incorporate anti-racist pedagogy and practices into AUx1 and AUx2 and center the voices of people of color in the curriculum. These changes are directly based on student, Peer Facilitator, and Instructor feedback and experiences and influence how the AUx programs revises the curricula for AUx1 and AUx2.

timeline of implementation:

Academic Year 2016-2017
  • AUx1 pilot #1 implementation in fall 2016
  • AUx2 pilot #1 implementation in spring 2017
Academic Year 2017-2018
  • AUx1 pilot #2 implementation in fall 2017
  • AUx2 pilot #2 implementation in spring 2018


AUx1 draws on many academic disciplines including student development theory. The course is designed to help students navigate their academic, social, cultural, and psychological adjustment to university life. Themes covered in this standardized course include academic wellness; campus resources; exploring and expressing identities; dimensions of wellness; being in community; rights and responsibilities; the cycle of socialization; privilege and oppression; and restorative practices.

AUx2 seeks to create a space for conversations and learning about race, social identity, and structures of power. The course builds upon concepts introduced in AUx1, blending personal exploration of social identity formation with a multidisciplinary approach to race. As a starting point for the academic study of the structures of culture and power as well as social movements that challenge those structures, the course equips students to become part of a community of learners whose members come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a range of experiences. AUx2 aims to equip students to begin the practice of engaging in dialogue with recognition of impact on individuals, communities, and structures.