The Student in the University
CCC1115 Thu, 1:00-2:50 SPH 0301
Lecturer: John W. Merck, Jr.
Office: Centreville 1218 , Geology 1119
Office Hours: Thursday, 3:00 - 5:00 PM in Geology 1119
Teaching Assistant: Ajia Alfred
Course Web Site:
This site can be accessed on the Earth, Life & Time home page.
UNIV100 is a one credit, 10-12 week course with these goals:
- To help freshmen understand how the University experience differs from high school
- To give freshmen access to the resources and skills essential for academic success
- To help freshmen clarify why they are in college and set realistic goals
- To introduce students to the variety of cultural and social resources of the University
- To help students achieve an effective transition to an adult life with scope for positive action.
- Above all, to enable freshmen to become sophomores.
- 2006-2007 UM Undergraduate Catalog
- Additional to be provided
Grading: The final grade for this course will be earned on the basis of the following. Details follow.
Accessibility and Accomodations for Students with Disabilities: If you have a documented disability, you should contact Disability Support Services
0126 Shoemaker Hall. Each semester students with documented disabilities should apply to DSS for accommodation request
forms which you can provide to your professors as proof of your eligibility for accommodations. The rules for eligibility
and the types of accommodations a student may request can be reviewed on the DSS web site at
- Attendance and participation: (Absolutely required) Because this is a discussion-based course, your attendance and participation in class is essential. Attendance will be recorded at every session. If a situation arises that requires your absence please notify the instructors by email before class. If it's a genuine emergency and you can't contact us in advance, nevertheless do so as soon as possible - literally. During next week's class simply will not do. Each unexcused absence will drop your final grade by a full letter.
- Journal: (20 percent) You are required to submit a monthly journal entry, due by midnight the day after class. This will be done by email and you will send copies to the instructor and the TA.
- Library Safari: (10 percent) You are required to select a faculty member from one of your classes other than ELT or UNIV100 and make an appointment to meet with him/her during office hours.
- Faculty Interview: (10 percent) You are required to select a faculty member from one of your classes other than ELT or UNIV100 and make an appointment to meet with him/her during office hours.
- Statement of Purpose: (20 percent) You are required to write a statement of purpose, such as you would submit as part of a scholarship application.
- Campus Web Memoir: (20 percent) You are required to construct a web-memoir of events that you attend on campus and make a presentation to the class.
- Time capsule: (20 percent) Instead of a final journal entry, write a summation of your thoughts about your first semester in the form of a message to future freshmen.
Religious Observances: The University System of Maryland policy provides that students should not
be penalized because of observances of their religious beliefs, students shall be given an opportunity, whenever
feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignment that is missed due to individual participation in
religious observances. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of any intended absences for
religious observances in advance. Notice should be provided as soon as possible
but no later than the end of the schedule adjustment period (September 15).
Integrity: The University of Maryland has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity,
administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all
undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course.
It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more
information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit
The University of Maryland is one of a small number of universities with a student-administered Honors Code
and an Honors Pledge, available on the web at http://www.jpo.umd.edu/aca/honorpledge.html.
The code prohibits students from cheating on exams, plagiarizing papers, submitting the same paper for credit in two courses
without authorization, buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents, and forging signatures. The University Senate
encourages instructors to ask students to write the following signed statement on each examination or assignment:
"I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination (or assignment)."
Course Evaluations: CourseEvalUM will be open for students to complete their evaluations for Fall 2008 courses between Tuesday, December 2, and Sunday, December 14. Students can go directly to the website to complete their evaluations, beginning December 2. You will be alerted about these dates and provided more information closer to that time, and students will be alerted via their official University e-mail account.
Students who complete evaluations for all of their courses in the previous semester (excluding summer), can access the posted results via Testudo's CourseEvalUM Reporting link for any course on campus that has at least a 70% response rate. You can find more information, including periodic updates, at the IRPA course evaluation website.
The expectation is that all students will complete these. This is YOUR chance to anonymously
evaluate this class: please use this opportunity!
The simple act of articulating one's thoughts can have a remarkably healthy effect on one's state of mind and ability to cope with new situations and confusion. For this reason, the maintenance of a journal is a cornerstone of UNIV100. In it, you may reflect on the things/people/places you encounter during this time of major change. Your adjustment to college life, thoughts on the new people you're meeting and those you're leaving behind, your relationship with your room-mate, and your reactions to college-level classes are all fair game. Of course, it's not really a proper journal because the class instructor and TA will be reading what you write and responding to it. So, really, it's more of a blog, just with an audience of two. Nevertheless, your thoughts and impressions will be the main focus. Use the journal as a means to communicate with us about any matter of concern. Anything you submit as a journal entry is considered confidential and will only be read by the instructor or TA, but....
We do reserve the right to take appropriate action if your entries suggest that you, or someone else, is in physical danger.
Although you are welcome to correspond as often as you like, you must submit one journal entry per month. They are due via email by midnight the day after class. Either the instructor or the TA will respond. You should always send the journal entry to both of us each time, however. Although it may not be possible, we will make every attempt to get them back to you before the next class. The journal format may be a continuous dialog, or it may be a separate discussion each time. This is up to you.
Scoring of journal entries: Journal entries should be a free-flowing reflection of your thoughts. We won't assign points to such a qualitative assignment, however we know the difference between a thoughtful entry and a hastily submitted list of your recent activities. If we consider your entry inadequate, we will withhold credit but will allow you to submit revisions for a regrade during the following week.
This is a structured program of the university libraries designed specifically for UNIV100 students. Its aim is to familiarize you with the services of the libraries - an essential academic skill, especially in the days of the internet, when reliable and unreliable source material can be very hard to distinguish. It is not the same as library orientation activities performed in ENGL101. We are scheduled to perform the library safari on 9-18. Meet in McKeldin Library, Room 6103 (6th floor) rather than the normal classroom. A library volunteer will conduct the activity. Your assignment will be done on the spot and returned to us.
Set up an appointment with a faculty member (That means full-time lecturer or professor, not a teaching assistant, and not me or Holtz. ) and visit them during their office hours to discuss anything you wish. If you're stuck for topics, these should work nicely:
Statement of Purpose
The visit should be at least 20 minutes and you may inform the professor that this is an assignment. You will describe/discuss this meeting in a journal entry in October. A page of the course web site explains the assignment for potential faculty interviewees.
- What can one do with a major in their field?
- What is the job market like?
- How did he/she come to be faculty at UMCP?
- What kind of appointment does he/she have?
- What's a typical day like for a faculty member?
- What's the best/worst part of the job?
- Difficulties you may have with a course like this?
- How will this course fit into one's career goals?
- What does your research entail? (Always a winner!)
You will have the faculty member sign a document verifying that the interview has occurred, and turn this in.
Remember: As an ELT sophomore, you will be required to perform a practicum project. This interview is a good time to scout for possible project advisors.
You wrote such a statement in your college application. Now that you are here, you should know that the task is ongoing. You will be asked to write and submit a statement of purpose, as if you were applying for a specific fellowship or grant, such as those sponsored by the university's National Scholarship Office or one of the colleges, such as the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences. More information will be provided in class.
Campus Events Web-Memoir
In this project, you will sample a few of the many intellectual and cultural experiences that the University of Maryland has to offer. Your task will be to attend or participate in at least one activity from each of the following four areas and provide evidence of your attendance. You'll assemble a page for your personal web site (from the ELT colloquium) using whatever methods/materials you wish to express your experience in these activities. The following information must be included for each event:
- the date
- the location
- one to three paragraphs of reflection.
- imaged (either your own or others', with proper credit given) are great but are strictly optional.
At the last class meeting, you'll give a 5-minute presentation to the group sharing your experience. If there is a type of event that is not listed below but which you would like to attend, please get prior approval from me before going.
Note: In addition to the web page, you must submit proof of attendance of some sort. In many cases, a program, ticket stub, or order of worship will be available. If not, be sure to have an organizer sign ELT's generic Activity Verification Form
The events you report on here may not be used for extra credit in the ELT colloquium!
The categories and activities are:
Time capsule: Instead of a final journal entry, we ask you to write a summation of your thoughts about your first semester in the form of a message to future freshmen. This should include:
- Recreational - cultural - self improvement
- Diversity horizons:
- Participate in a meeting, social function, or presentation of a student organization representing some cultural group of which you are not (by any stretch of the imagination) currently a member.
- Attend a religious service or festival for a religion to which you don't (by any stretch of the imagination) belong.
- Participate in another major cultural event of a culture outside your own (be sure to get my approval first.)
- Participate in a Blood Drive or donate blood
- Write for the Diamondback
- Participate in a Terp Impact activity
- Perform community Service for non-academic credit (other than Service Day. Also not if you're sentenced to do it by a court.)
- Tutor someone else (at least two hours - be sure to obtain verification form)
- Participate in the functions of a Community Civic Organization
- Attend University Governance Meeting (Board of Regents, Faculty Senate)
- Attend SGA Meeting
- Serve as the ELT freshman representative on the
CPS Student Advisory Board
- Serve as a CPS Ambassador,
or in Student Program Circle,
or in the Residence Halls Association
- Go to a high school to promote ELT (and Scholars, and UMCP)
- Volunteer at a clinic, shelter, or other similar institution
- Volunteer at a non-profit organization
- Volunteer for Scholars on the Hill
Previous students' time capsules.
- The ways in which you found college to be unlike high school
- Methods that you learned to interact effectively with faculty
- The social and logistical challenges you faced interacting with other students, especially your room mate.
- The academic pitfalls you encountered and how you avoided or climbed out of them
- You impressions of the University as a cultural community
This message will be posted on the class web site where future freshmen can read it and be warned and encouraged.
I capriciously reserve the right radically to alter this syllabus with minimal notice at my most trivial whim. - JM
Class Schedule for Fall 2006
Student introductions - Who are you? What do you want?
College is not High School
Essential campus services - Know them. They're your friends.
Introducing time management and study skills
DUE - Journal entry 1. Note: The topic of the first journal will be the time capsules of Fall 2007.
Diversity - It's more than a bureaucratic buzzword.
The Social Scene and Responsible Choices I: Substance abuse
The Social Scene and Responsible Choices II: Sexual health
Connecting with University Society - meet the experts
DUE - Journal entry 2.
How not to be a bad guy. |
- The Code of Academic Conduct
- Preventing/coping with sexual assault
DUE - Faculty Interivew
Mental health - don't just take it for granted.
Guidelines for writing your statement of purpose
DUE - Faculty interview
Connecting with your career - meet the experts.
DUE - Statement of Purpose
DUE - Web memoir.
Why am I still here? - Course wrap-up and critique|
DUE - Time capsule.