College Connections

Course Details

Course Number: MWSU 1233  Section Number: 106, 108, 111, 115

Fall 2011

Location: McCullough Hall

Classroom Number: 107

Days & Times:

MWSU 1233-106   MW 9:00 AM - 10:20 AM

MWSU 1233-108   MW 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

MWSU 1233-111   TR 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM

MWSU 1233-115   TR 11:OO AM - 12:20 PM 

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
SusAnn Key L.P.C.   
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Course Objectives


Welcome to College Connections!  This three-credit hour course is designed to help you transition into a college community and provide opportunities for you to gain knowledge and skills essential to achieving your educational objectives.  You have probably been told that college will be much different from high school, and now is your chance to find out.  Every student’s journey will be different.  We will cover topics that will be helpful to you in your personal and academic life during this transition.  The goal of this course is to improve your chances of having a successful and productive university experience.  Some of you may struggle to meet the demands of your new life for a variety of reasons.  No matter where you are on this continuum, you will benefit from the concepts, activities, skills, and connections in this course. 



Upon completion of this course, you will be able to improve your skills in the following areas:


ACADEMIC SKILLS:  Taking notes, reading, study strategies, test taking, research, critical thinking, time management, academic planning, oral and written communication skills, intellectual discourse, and use of technology for distance learning

Evaluated by:  Participation in class discussions, exercises and assignments, lecture notes, research projects, time management study, WebCt Blackboard assignments, completion of a Learning Portfolio, and a final exam


UNIVERSITY KNOWLEDGE:  How to utilize university resources and navigate M.S.U. policies and regulations

Evaluated by:  Attendance at various campus events and completion of summary reports on the experience, class discussions, library tour and presentations


SKILLS FOR LIVING:  Transition into college, information literacy, financial literacy, values awareness, working in a diverse environment, health and wellness, goal-setting, and career planning

Evaluated by:  Group participation and interaction, class discussions, Majors Fair attendance and assignment, and career research project

Course Expectations


  • Textbook:  Gardner J. N. & Jewler A.J., & Barefoot, B.O., (2010).  Your College Experience:  Strategies for Success, 9th ed., New York:  Bedford/St.Martin’s      
  • Common Read:  Wiesel, Elie, (2008).  The Night Trilogy:  Night, Dawn, Day,  New York:  Hill & Wang
  • Three-ring binder and five tab dividers
  • Three-hole college-ruled note paper (no spiral notebooks)
  • Daily Planner (Free of charge at Clark Student Center Information Desk)




Grading Standards


Grades are earned through your performance and participation; they are not given.  Please remember this throughout your college career. Your goal for this course is not simply to earn a satisfactory grade, but to learn and apply skills which will lead to your success.  You will get out of a course what you put into it.   


Extra credit is not available.  The key to passing this course is staying on track with assignments and homework when due as well as adequate preparation for tests.  Occasional bonus points may be available at the discretion of the instructor. 


You are allowed only one make-up test.  If you believe special circumstances apply, you must bring your required documentation and schedule an appointment with the instructor.  Make-up tests are offered only during the last week of the semester.


Course Grade will be assigned on the following point scale: 




College-Level Work

900 -1000



800 - 899



700 - 799



600 - 699



000 - 599




Submission Format Policy


Written assignments in college classes must ordinarily be typed unless you are otherwise instructed.  Although this is not an English course, students are expected to practice, expand and refine communication skills.  If an assignment is not completed by the assigned day and that assignment is essential to participation in the day’s activity, you may be asked to leave and complete the assignment before joining the class, and that day will be marked as an unexcused absence.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


Assignments will be collected at the beginning of class on the dates specified.  No late work will be accepted or graded unless specific arrangements have been made with the instructor in advance of the due date.  Being absent from class does not excuse you from turning in assignments when they are due.  It is your responsibility to stay current with class assignments.  If you must miss a class, arrange for someone to bring your completed assignment to me before class.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements





Attendance will be documented with your signature on the class attendance sheet at the beginning of each class period. 

If you are late to class and the attendance sheet has been taken up by the instructor before you arrive, you are considered absent.  In other words, 1 Tardy = 1 Absence.


If you have been absent from class 3 times, you must meet with the instructor and may be dropped from the class with a course grade of “F”.  Students who miss a class because of participation in a university-sponsored event such as band or an athletic competition must present a letter signed by the sponsoring faculty or coach to their instructor prior to the absence and arrange for early completion of assignments.  Students are encouraged to keep a record of the dates and reasons for any absences.  Always notify your instructor if you have to miss a class.   Documentation detailing the reason for the absence must be provided to your instructor upon your return to class.  Required documentation includes a signed doctor’s statement on the doctor’s letterhead if you miss a class because of illness.  Appropriate documentation is also required for a family emergency or death in order for the absence to be considered an excused absence.  If you miss class because you are hospitalized or have a death in your family, you should notify the Dean of Students Office immediately.

Other Policies


As a college student, you will be treated and respected as an adult. You are expected to take responsibility for your learning and exhibit courtesy and respect toward your instructor and fellow students.  Due to the nature of discussions involved in this class, it is important to listen and to be tolerant of different viewpoints, values, and opinions in such a manner as to maximize learning for yourself and your classmates.  This course is designed for you.  Class activities and discussions will focus on behaviors which contribute to a successful and positive college experience.



Basic Ground Rules:

·         Value differences as strengths and have considerations for viewpoints other than your own

·         One person speaks at a time

·         Laugh with each other – not at each other

·         Maintain confidentiality if requested

·         No one dominates – everyone participates


Course Standards:

  • Come to all classes on time and stay until class is dismissed
  • Report anticipated absences in a timely manner
  • Prepare for class by reading and reflecting on your assignments
  • Participate in discussions and all class activities
  • Complete all assignments and turn them in on time
  • Turn off and put out of sight all cell phone and other electronic devices during class.


Instructors may drop a student from a class for either disruptive conduct, consistently failing to complete classroom assignments, excessive absences, or academic dishonesty.  A student dropped for any of these reasons will be given a course grade of “F”.  Students should refer to the current MSU Student Handbook & Activities Calendar and the MSU Undergraduate Catalog for university policies on academic dishonesty, class attendance, and student’s rights and activities.


If you have questions, need help, or want to discuss something in more detail than is possible in class, please come see me.  I have office hours and am available at other times by appointment.  Please don’t let problems slide until it is too late!

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.