Program Courses

As a future Woodring Distinguish Scholar, you will enroll in a special First-Year Interest Group (FIG), you’ll get access to some of the most highly coveted courses during your first year at Western and will automatically be enrolled in:  

Fall Quarter

EDUC 115 (4 credits) 

SMNR 101 (2 credits) 

SOC 269 (5 credits) 

Winter Quarter

EDUC 110 (2 credits) 


Spring Quarter

EDUC 109 (4 credits) 

Course Goals, Objectives, and Takeaways

  • Gain a broad understanding of the social and political issues important to current educational practices
      • What is the purpose of a public schooling system in a democratic society, and is the U.S. living up to its potential for educational citizens?
      • What educational gaps exist? What is the achievement/opportunity gap, and why does it exist? Why is it important for us to consider these gaps, and how does each shape the educational system?
      • What do we know about how well students are performing in schools today? Or about how well schools are serving students?
      • Who are today’s students?
      • What challenges are faced by diverse members of our student population, and how are educators addressing those needs?
      • What helps children and youth from challenging backgrounds to become resilient and successful in school?
      • What is happening in successful schools?
      • What are best practices for working with students and families?
  • Examine personal development as a college student, community member, and potential education professional
      • Why do people teach?
      • What are the rewards and benefits of teaching?
      • What does it mean to have passion for the profession, and do I possess it?
      • What does it mean to become a “professional”?
      • What knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors are expected of education professionals?
      • What personal rationale do I have for becoming an education professional?
      • Should I consider being a teacher, and how can I decide if the profession is right for me? How do I get there from here?
      • How do I develop a personal plan to pursue an education or human services career?
  • Gain a working understanding of professional pathways for careers in education and education-related social sciences
      • What Woodring people, programs, policies, and procedures should I be familiar with if I want to apply to the College?
      • What does learning theory tell us about how students learn? Based on this literature, what learning styles and preferences do you recognize in yourself?
      • How can you apply your understanding of how you learn to help you succeed in college?
      • How might you use your understandings of learning theory to become a better teacher? 
  • Trained on critical thinking
  • A necessary introduction to injustice in education
  • High expectations from professors
    • “Instructors demanded our best work, but also acted as family members. They supported us in any need.”
  • Well-supported and well-rounded curriculum, very structured
    • “It never felt like we were wasting time.”
  • Learning about a range of teaching and learning styles
  • Good exposure to Woodring staff and faculty and programs
  • Explore the fields of education through ongoing field experiences in a field placement of their choice
    • Develop and practice skills as an observer, participant, and facilitator
    • Practice reflective thinking and writing
    • Make connections between scholarly readings and real-world experiences
    • Recognize and practice professional skills and dispositions
  • Examine personal development as a college student, community member, and potential education professional
    • Develop academic skills and study habits to make the transition to university life and potential application to WCE
    • Articulate personal goals and self-assess progress toward them
    • Determine if an educational career is a good fit
  • Become a part of and help build a cohesive professional community
    • Gain experience and confidence in working with faculty and staff
    • Work collaboratively with peers to enhance learning experiences
    • Develop a system of personal and professional support
  • Develop essential inquiry skills, including research and reading, that will prepare you for life-long learning as an educator
    • Gain practice in identifying important education issues and finding research or scholarly writing to illuminate your understanding of them
    • Practice reading critically and with good comprehension
    • Develop research skills, including the ability to define an appropriate research question, conduct background research on it, and collect original data
  • Enjoyed the “ability to choose” – gave us more freedom  
  • Enjoyed being able to organize the class around what WE wanted to learn, and it was nice to be supported on that  
  • The professor would supply us with materials and readings based on that topics  
  • Like a large family  
  • Ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of concepts in different fields of study
  • Develop academic skills that can prepare them for college success
  • Understand the intellectual, moral, civic, and personal purposes of their liberal arts education
  • Successfully negotiate the academic ad personal opportunities and challenges of their first year
  • Build interpersonal connections with FIG faculty and the larger campus community
  • Develop a strong and supportive peer network with FIG faculty and the larger campus community
  • Develop a strong and supportive peer network with classmates and Peer Mentors
  • There were academic expectations, but it also was a class focusing on how to take care of ourselves, and be a better college student
  • The culminating project allowed us to look at how all of our classes our first quarter built off of each other
  • A time to connect with Jenn and Glenn (get 1-on-1 time with professors that have 400+ students)
    • Helped get us in the door, early relationship with staff/faculty/instructors
  • Structured time with classmates, more of a fun environment to decompress the stress of college
  • Time to spend with the mentors, and get advice coming from actual college students