The first step towards being considered for House Seminar during the 2014 - 2015 academic year is completing the admissions application and becoming a student of record at SOU. Next, plan on attending one of the Raider Orientation and Registration (ROAR) events this summer, where you will meet with an adviser and receive more information about joining a House. The tentative ROAR schedule can be found here:
Students enrolled in Houses will experience SOU differently than students not enrolled in Houses. Students enrolled in Houses will have an intimate learning experience with a small group of students, faculty, and staff throughout their time at SOU. In addition to coursework within their major, students will enroll in a House Seminar every term with the same group of students. Students enrolled in Houses will also experience all of their general education in an integrated and thematic manner. For example, rather than take introduction to art history, introduction to sociology, and introduction to biology as distinct classes with different groups of students, you will be introduced to these subjects in one class with one group of students designed to address all of these subjects generally linked to the theme of your house.
Students enrolled in Houses will engage in community-based projects throughout their time at SOU. You will learn all of your general skills through hands-on projects and research opportunities. You will work regularly with fellow students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community leaders to solve real problems.
Well, not at this time. Though this might be an option in the future, the House itself is not a physical place. Houses are groups of students with similar interests taking classes together over four years. You won’t necessarily live together (though that option may exist in the future), but you will certainly take classes together, attend social activities together, and work together to solve problems.
Application to Social Justice and Green Houses is limited to 50 incoming freshman; Skeptics and MindBody will be accepting 25 each. Every year, your House will admit another “cohort” of students. Thus, a given House could ultimately include as many as 200 students. Students may participate in Houses regardless of their major. For example, a student could join the Social Justice House and then pursue any major on campus regardless of whether it appears to have an explicit connection to social justice.
We highly encourage House participants to remain committed to their House throughout their time at SOU. However, if you choose to leave your House or leave SOU, your House Seminars will transfer as would any other class. If you choose to leave your House but remain at SOU, you will simply begin taking traditional general education electives to add to your existing credits from your House seminar. If you choose to leave SOU, your credits will transfer based on established relationships between SOU and many other universities.
A cohort is a group that remains together over time. In the case of Houses, the students admitted to the House with you will be your cohort. You will take classes together, go on field trips together, attend social gatherings together, and you will do so throughout your time at SOU. In addition to fellow students, your cohort will include dedicated faculty, staff, and community members committed to working with you to make your experience at SOU exceptional.
YES. Houses are designed to provide you with a thematic and project-based approach to our general education course requirements. All students will still choose a major at SOU and should do so as soon as interests develop. One of the most exciting parts of being in a House is that you will all bring distinct talents and interests to your theme. For example, if your House decides to build a website to solve a community need, you will benefit from having students trained as web developers, writers, graphic artists, marketers, and scientists all on your team.
Southern Oregon University is constantly interacting with future employers. What employers tell us they want are students widely trained across disciplines, who are capable of working in teams, and who have experience solving real problems. Houses are explicitly designed to make your time at SOU more rewarding and your resume and portfolio much more attractive to future employers
Faculty & Staff Questions
Students must first be admitted to SOU. Please direct prospective students to the online course schedule for Fall 2014 course offerings and encourage them attend one of the ROAR events this summer. The tentative ROAR schedule can be found here: www.sou.edu/admissions/raider-orientation-and-registration-roar-2014.html
House seminar instructors will work carefully with individual students to promote success. However, if a student is unable to demonstrate proficiency she may be asked to enroll in USEM 185: Intro to Expository Writing in the fall or winter term in addition to enrollment in House Seminar in hopes of providing the skills necessary to remain with her cohort. If a student fails to earn a C- or better and an instructor does not feel the student will succeed in HSE 102 with the addition of USEM 185, the student can take a trailer USEM 101 course instead and complete the USEM sequence. This would likely preclude the student from the House, but a discussion between the student and instructor is encouraged.
We recognize that some students may arrive at SOU with AP credits. However, the nature of the House Experience requires a relatively stable cohort. Students who arrive with AP credit and who would like to participate in the House Experience will have their AP credits counted only as elective credits. Students may also have the opportunity to apply for positions as writing coaches within the Houses upon submission of a writing sample.
We hope students will find their House Experience to be exceptional. However, we realize that some students may feel the need to leave their House at some point. Students will have two options upon leaving a House. First, they may leave the House and continue in our traditional general education program to include USEM. Second, if space is available and instructors approve a transfer, students may transfer from one House to another.
We recognize that some students may desire to join a House at some point after their first term at SOU. If space is available and instructors grant approval, a student may join a House after their first term. Each House Seminar is mapped to our general education strand requirements. Depending on what courses a student has taken prior to joining a House, he may be asked to take one or more additional general education courses outside of the House Experience to supplement materials missed in previous House Seminars.
Yes, with the exception of a quantitative reasoning course. This year, all incoming freshman will meet their general education requirements through participation in the House Experience for four years and taking a quantitative reasoning course. This may change in future years. This year’s incoming House Experience students will receive a sheet very similar to the blue and green sheets received by all other students that make it clear how participation in the House Experience will fulfill general education requirements.
Yes. In year 1 of the House Experience, HSE 101, 102, 103 will run in the background as USEM 101-3 and will meet A, B, C strands. As we add curricula in catalogs, we’ll add info into Degree Works. For now, students should be able to use the degree audit system without complications.