About the University Experience Program (UEP)

The University Experience Program (UEP) brings together mission-focused curriculum for students across all majors, infusing high-impact learning experiences for students.

Launched by Project ISLAS, the University Experience Program promotes the success of all CI students through courses that

  • highlight the four CI mission pillars (multicultural, international, interdisciplinary, and civic engagement/service learning)
  • scaffold the learning of critical thinking competencies and multiple literacies;
  • focus on the transition to university studies;
  • embed high-impact learning practices such as learning communities, undergraduate research, and interdisciplinary learning; and
  • employ faculty- and peer-support strategies.

Most University Experience courses meet General Education outcomes.

University Experience Seminars UNIV 150, 250 and 349 have embedded peer mentors, University Experience Associates (UEAs), who also lead Dolphin Interest Groups (DIGs) learning communities.

The University Experience Program benefits from on-campus partnerships, and external funding from the U.S. Department of Education (Project ISLAS 2010-15 and current Projects ALAS and OLAS), the Keck Foundation, and the California State University Give Students a Compass Project.

For more information on:

Course List

UNIV 100 - University Life and College Success (1 unit)

Introduces first-year students to university life, the structure and policies of the University and the development of strategies and skills to help ensure success in college. Typically includes guest speakers from the campus and community. Emphasis on applying in other classes the skills and strategies learned.

UNIV 105 – Empowering First Generation Students (3 units)

An introduction to the history, social challenges, academic challenges, financial challenges and social justice issues of those that are the first in the family to go to college. Students will explore their own educational experience and institutions of higher education, conduct research related to first generation students, and learn ways to navigate the issues that first generation students face. GenEd: A3, C3B, or E

UNIV 150 - First Year Seminar (4 units)

This freshman seminar integrates the CI mission and critical thinking with strategies to promote student success. Students will develop literacies (quantitative, information, scientific, financial, cultural), communication skills (oral and written), and multicultural perspectives. The seminar promotes success in major core courses and/or introduces students who have not declared a major to CI’s interdisciplinary ways of knowing. Gen Ed: A3, C3b, or E; Goals 1, 2 and 3.

UNIV 198 - Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research (3 units) SPIRaL

Students develop basic data collection and interpretation skills, learn to use and evaluate various information sources, and develop an awareness of how both methods and sources arise from disciplinary contexts. Students will be introduced to current theory on interdisciplinary learning and begin to practice methods and processes that lead to interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration. Gen ED: A3; Goals 1, 2 and 3. Recent offerings: “The Chemistry of Ceramics;” “Game of Thrones and the Modern Middle Ages;” “From Stones to Drones”

UNIV 210 - Critical Thinking and the University Mission (3 units)

Teaches critical thinking skills, including forms of logic, by introducing students to the four components of our mission. Students will apply various types of arguments and understand the relationship of language to logic in analyzing issues and opportunities specific to multiculturalism, internationalism, interdisciplinarity and community engagement. Gen Ed: A3; Goals 1 and 2. Formerly UNIV 110.

UNIV 250 - Second Year Seminar (3 units) Project OLAS

Examining ideas and perspectives in a complex world, this sophomore seminar highlights interdisciplinary connections in scholarship and “ways of knowing” and fosters in students their development as self-reflective, culturally aware, and responsive community participants. Students gain hands-on experience, knowledge, and skills about local communities and community organizations and learn how different academic disciplines apply to real world problems. Requires community service work, in addition to class time, during the semester. Topical content and community-based projects will vary from semester to semester. GenEd: A3, D, E; Goals 1, 2, 3, and 7. Recent offerings: “Serve and Learn as Active College Students” and “Students in the Public Interest” – Sustainability theme

UNIV 298– Further Investigations (3 units) SPIRaL

The entire class enters the “process of answering a question, solving a problem, or addressing a topic that is too broad or complex to be dealt with adequately by a single discipline” (Klein and Newell, 1997). As students approach parts of the larger problem, they gain experience in deciding what methods and types of information are necessary. In collaborating with each other, they will identify disciplinary perspectives and integrate their insights by building a more comprehensive perspective. Students who complete University 298 will have priority enrollment in University 398 and 498 when they are offered in future semesters. Gen ED: A3; Goals 1-4; Goals 5-7 (depending on content). Recent offerings: “Water and Conflict in the West;” “Inside the Black Box” (politics in the archives); “Oceans: Whale/Human Interface;” “iShare Science”

UNIV 300 - University Life and College Success for Transfer Students (1 unit)

Introduces transfer students to university life, the structure and policies of the University and the development of strategies and skills to help ensure success at CI. Typically includes guest speakers from the campus and community, as well as self-assessment of prior work and current academic strengths and weaknesses. Emphasis on applying in other classes the skills and strategies learned.

UNIV 311 – Presenting Your Research (1 unit)

Supervised work and study involving student research, scholarship, and creative activity and the presentation of that work. All students are required to attend the Sage Research Symposium, or similar conference, to present a talk or poster upon completion. Program approval will be required to substitute this course as an elective in a major. Repeat 3 times up to 3 units. Graded: Credit / No Credit

UNIV 349 - Transfer Year Seminar (3 units) Project ALAS

This interdisciplinary seminar for first year transfer students promotes successful intellectual and social transition to CSU Channel Islands through a problem-based approach. Students examine the modern world and issues facing societies from multiple perspectives, and develop and convey to others analysis of and solutions to problems using the methodologies, tools and techniques of academic disciplines. Students will develop inquiry skills that emphasize critical thinking and independent learning as well as identify how universities and specific disciplines relate to social problems. The seminar promotes students’ reflection on prior learning at other institutions and its relationship to the CI mission and their degree program, and aims to increase student engagement in intellectual life at the university. Themes will vary. Gen Ed: A3, E, UDIGE; Goals 1-4. Recent offerings: "Politics Counts", "Integrating Identities", "International Modernism and Cultural Upheaval: Arts and Political History", and "Problems in Energy and Society"

UNIV 391 – United States Travel Study Experience (1-3 units)

Provides an opportunity for students to earn credit for travel and study within the United States. Students study a topic or discipline associated with the travel destination. Students participate in university sponsored travel that facilitates or enhances specialized study under the direction of faculty from a campus academic program. Students are required to synthesize the results of their course experience in a written, visual or presentation format. Repeatable for credit up to 9 units. A lab fee is required. Recent offerings: “Research at Sea”, “Detroit Study Tour”, and “Science and Public Policy-Yellowstone”

UNIV 392 - International Experience (1-3 units)

Provides an opportunity for students to earn credit for travel and study in a country outside the US, where the student is immersed in a foreign culture. With faculty advisor approval, students may participate in a university-sponsored trip abroad or a personal trip abroad. Requires an approved plan of study by the faculty advisor prior to the experience. Repeatable for credit. Gen Ed: C3B; Goal 1. Recent offerings: Cuba, Costa Rica, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, and South Africa

UNIV 398 - Advanced Investigations (3 units) SPIRaL

Students explore an interdisciplinary research question by developing their own research plans, drawing on multiple disciplines and the multiple approaches to research presented in the 198/298 sequence. Students will disseminate results through a research paper and presentations on campus and in local schools. In addition, students will be required to identify and apply to relevant summer research programs, internships, and scholarships. GenED: A3.Gen ED: A3; Goal 1-4; Goals 5-7 (depending on content). Recent offerings: "Chemistry of Plant-Animal Interactions”

UNIV 399 – Peer-to-Peer Effectiveness Seminar (3 units)

This experiential seminar is for students interested in serving as peer leaders in a variety of forms, including peer mentors, peer educators, peer advisors, academic coaches, orientation leaders, and resident assistants. The interactive course gives student an opportunity to study theories of student development, active learning pedagogy and lesson planning, the role of reflection in deep learning, literature on first generation and underrepresented minority student success, and theoretical and practical perspectives on peer leadership and group facilitation. Students will apply what they learn to specific “students helping students” contexts on campus, and document their learning in an eportfolio. GenEd: A1, E

UNIV 492 – Sustainability in Campus Infrastructure (3 units)

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor required for enrollment. Program approval will be required to substitute this course as an elective in a major. Supervised work and study involving sustainability in campus infrastructure. All students are required to attend the Sage Research Symposium, or similar conference, to present a talk or poster upon completion. Graded: Credit/No Credit

UNIV 494: Internship (1-3 Units)

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor Required for Enrollment Description: Students engage in an approved internship in which theories and skills learned in their chosen major are applied in a particular work setting. Repeatable up to 6 units Graded: Letter Grade

UNIV 498: Faculty-Student Research Collaboration (3 units) SPIRaL

A group of 4-10 students works on an interdisciplinary research project that directly relates to a faculty mentor’s research program. Student work will be completely original and either publishable on its own or a key part of the faculty member’s publishable work. Student option: Graded or Credit/No Credit.