Evaluations Show LS 100 Productive and Positive

April 06, 2010

The Office of Academic Affairs at Mount Union College has released evaluation results for the liberal studies course (LS 100), a class required of all incoming freshmen. Overall, the course is still a productive and positive experience for students.

The incoming freshmen of 2005 were required to read 'Friday Night Lights' by H.G. Bissinger. A majority of the students, 78.4 percent, felt the book was appropriate. The majority of the mentors, 85.7 percent, agreed. This percentage was higher than in previous years.

As far as applicability of the book to new students at Mount Union, 59 percent felt it applied to them, but 41 percent felt it did not.

Some students on the other hand felt that class discussions were too focused on the book and not enough on the college experience. One student said, 'They should concentrate more on the kids and what is going on with them and not so much on the book.'

Also many students did not care for the critical thinking text book. 'I would change the critical thinking text. It mirrors the group communications text and was difficult to use,' one student stated.

Another student said instead of the critical thinking text, 'I would prefer to do learning activities that are self-contained and do not require outside reading.'

LS100 students are also required to attend four out of five campus events: a sporting event, musical recital/theatre performance, volunteer/service project, religious service and an organizational meeting. Students seemed to feel this was an important aspect because 75 percent indicated that the required attendance at the variety of events is a strong component of the course.

Students are also required to attend a total of six convocations. This year was the second year which offered a convocation called 'Spotlight on Academics.' Both years it has been offered, students indicated that it was very helpful.

The Ryan Grove's convocation also had high ratings by students, 86 percent.

There were also students who felt there were things they should have learned in the LS100 class to aid the college experience, but did not learn. One student commented, 'We call this a 'transition class' but we focus on academics too much. It should help students acclimate. It should teach the 'how tos': dropping a class, using IQ web and interlibrary loan and what functions happen in what offices.'

Students indicated that the overall experience of LS100 was a very helpful transition process. Ninety percent of students indicated the FYE experience greatly made the high school-to-college transition smooth. 'The FYE group made this the most enjoyable LS100 class I ever had,' commented one mentor.

Some students felt that more students should be allowed to be involved in FYE. 'Use McCready as another FYE residence hall for more people to join,' suggested one student.'

LS 100 has existed at Mount Union in some form since the mid-1980s. The course has provided support to freshmen students as they begin their college experience by encouraging college involvement, providing assistance with academic services, offering course registration assistance and mapping out plans for the college experience. Campus faculty and staff serve as mentors for the course.

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