Sonoma State University Fall 2004

University 102

Wednesdays 9:00am - 11:40pm/Carneros

Freshmen Interest Group Syllabus

Education Emphasis


Dana Schneider Sharon Bullene

Lecturer in Psychology Peer Leader

Office: Stevenson 3087 Phone:

Phone: 664-2585 e-mail:


Office hours: Mondays 5:40-7pm, Tuesdays 6:30-7, Wednesdays 8:00-9, 11:40-1


Course Description:

As part of this block class, the faculty will serve as the liaison between the core curriculum faculty and the students. You will become familiar with the support services here on campus, get to know faculty, develop skills and strategies essential to academic success and learn about the field of early childhood education. In addition we will discover and explore other careers working with children. The course, "is built upon a commitment to student success in the university community. It is designed to create a learning community, and a foundation of skills and knowledge that will help students develop the habits of thinking and learning necessary in a complex, technologically sophisticated and multicultural world."(From Freshmen Seminar Mission Statement)

This course will be coordinated with Education 250 and English 101. We will have guest speakers from the community and the University discusses relevant topics in Education and academic success at Sonoma State University.


Goals of the Freshman Interest Groups:

Create residential, learning-based peer networks

Improve the academic success of first-year students

Increase retention and increase student satisfaction with Sonoma State University

Facilitate the academic and personal transition to college

Increase student and faculty interaction outside of the classroom (Freshman Interest Group Outline,2004)

The Freshmen Seminar Group with emphasis in Education will also cover topics of interest to students considering a career in Education. This will include:

Careers working with children

Resource Specialists

Social Workers

Pre-School Education

Child Behavioral Specialists

School Counselors

Occupational Therapy

School Psychologists

Probation/ or Child Advocates

an overview of programs in Education at SSU

o Interaction with Education faculty.

o Career exploration within Education;

Method of Instruction:

This course will be a combination of lectures, experiential role-plays, discussion, group presentations, films, clinical examples, and guest speakers. Class participation is expected. Students will be required to pick a developmental stage of focus. Students who have disabilities and require classroom accommodations should meet with me during my office hours to make these arrangements. Please bring accommodations authorization from the Disability Resource Center with you.


Required Reading:

-The Disciplined Mind- Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, The K-12 Education that every child deserves Howard Gardner

Fist year Experience Guide for Success- Reader


Requirements: Point value

Autobiography 20

Educational Debate 20

Faculty Interview 20

Intelligence Project 20

Academic Support Program

Interview and Report 20

Advising appointments (2 required) 20

One-on-one with peer leader 20

Final Paper (required) 10

Attendance and Participation 50

Total Points 200

Method of Evaluation:

50pts- Attendance, Discussion questions, class participation, completion of all homework, and reading assignments. All assignments are to be typewritten. No late assignments will be accepted. No make up exams.

Discussion Questions -Each week you will be responsible for turning in three typewritten essay questions at the beginning of class. These questions will promote discussion, deeper thinking and be thought provoking about the points stimulated from the reading.

Autobiography &endash; I want to get to know you. Tell me about yourself. Who has influenced you? What are the messages about life, work, relationship that you have assimilated from your family of origin. Do you have an early experience that impacted your life? What has contributed to your decision to self identify as someone interested in Education. Did you have an educational experience that has impac6ted your life? 2-3 pages

Faculty Interview - Pick a faculty person and interview them. Ask them about their department, what it has to offer, how they came to make the career decisions they did, who most influenced their educational journey. And if they had it to do over what would they do differently and why? 2-3 pages

Intelligence Project &endash; Identify Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and design a classroom curriculum applying these ideas. APA format, three to four pages with other resources cited,

Academic Support Program Interview and Report &endash; Pick an on campus program and interview the department and write up your summary. Included is a short presentation to the class on your findings. For example, Information Technology, Bookstore, Health Center, Writing Center, Campus Clubs, Library, disability Office, Cool School, Saturday Sidekicks, Admission and Records, etc.

Final Paper &endash; Write up a summary of your life experiences this semester. Include any realizations regarding your career direction. How has this class supported your adjustment to campus life and what would have worked better for you. Include some current literature in the field of transitions, leaving home and any relevant research in this field. APA format, 2-3 pages, references page.

Educational/Learning Debates. You will pick a current educational or learning Issue and debate the clashing views. You will need to present to the class the controversial educational issue, presenting both pro and con perspectives. The class will rate the effectiveness of each opposing position.

Educational/Learning Debates- 20pts

You will pick a current educational or learning Issue and debate the clashing views. You will need to present to the class the controversial educational issue, presenting both pro and con perspectives. The class will rate the effectiveness of each opposing position.

Two panel participants on each side of the debate, use of visual aids and current research on the issue are expected. Each side will have ten minutes to present their position, followed with five minutes of questions and five minutes of rebuttals. The class will be asked to rank each group on

Effectiveness and relatedness to learning issues.

Clarity of presentation ideas/ and visual presentation.

Response to Rebuttals

Well researched Topic Ideas

School Vouchers/ Can Charter Schools revitalize Public Education?

Should Separation of Church and School be maintained?

Should the Curriculum be standardized for all?

Should Behaviorism shape Educational Practices?

Does School violence warrant a Zero- Tolerance Policy?

Is mandatory Community Service Desirable and Legal?

Do High Stakes Assessments Improve Learning?

Should Multiculturalism Permeate the Curriculum?

Should Schools Provide Psychological Counseling?






Course Outline

Wednesdays 9-11:40


Aug. 25- Broken Squares - Icebreaker, Course Introduction - Syllabus review, goals, expectations &endash; students and instructors. Homework: Reading: Chapter 1


Sept. 1- Autobiography, Campus Resources, Activity/discussion &endash; Moral Development, Listening to Children film, Values, beliefs, choices, Time management.

Homework: Reading: Chapter 2, Autobiography due next week


Sept. 8 -Activity/discussion &endash; Autobiographies Due, Study skills issues &endash; spelling strategy, note taking, test taking, writing samples, Homework: Reading Chapter 3,Campus Resource Presentations &endash;

Next week


Sept. 15 -Campus Resource Presentations - Writing Center, Library information (Karen Brodsky &endash; in class) Homework: Chapter 3


Sept. 22 - Campus Resource Presentations, Tutorial Center.Alcohol and college students &endash; class discussion, Guest Speaker, Library information (Karen Brodsky &endash; in library) Educational Debate

Homework: Chapter 4


Sept. 29 - Guest Speaker &endash; from SSU Education Department, Counseling and Psychological Services Presentation

Homework: Chapter 5


Oct. 6 - Advising appointment sign ups-Getting to know your Faculty

Issues of cultural difference, Educational Debate

Homework: Chapter 6, Missing Home exercises.


Oct. 13 - SAFE &endash; Sexual Assault &endash; Academic and Career advising Presentation, Library time to work on Improvement Group Projects Homework: Chapter 7

Faculty interview Due/ Present


Oct. 20 -SSU Sexual Harassment Policy Presentation &endash; Educational Debate

Homework: Chapter 8


Oct. 27 &endash; Careers working with children &endash; Guest Speakers &endash; On Campus Programs- Jacqueline

Homework: Chapter 9, peer-advising appointment


Nov. 3 - Guest speaker on issues in Education - Educational Debate

Homework: Chapter 10


Nov. 10 &endash; Presentation on Departments/

Homework: Chapter 11


Nov. 17- Childhood Behavior and Emotional Problems, Educational Debate

Homework: Computer search

Nov. 24 Thanksgiving

Dec. 1 &endash; Careers working with children presentation// Intelligence Paper Due

Homework: Advising appointment set up

Dec. 8 -Final Class meeting &endash; Transitions


Dec. 15 &endash; Final &endash; 9-10:50am Final Paper due