ILS 139 Belong, Explore, Become: Discovering your UW paths

Cross-College Advising Service (CCAS) is partnering with Chadbourne Residential College and the Integrated Liberal Studies Department to introduce a new Fall 2021 course – ILS139 Belong, Explore, Become: Discovering your UW paths.

This seminar is designed for and open to all first-year, undecided students exploring majors in any school or college at UW-Madison.  The course will use personal reflections, readings, discussions, and experiential activities to explore self, community, and the liberal arts education.  Students will progress through a framework with the goal of developing confidence and tools to navigate the University’s opportunities and resources.

In this class, we will examine the concepts of belongingness and transitions, and consider questions of identity, community, and connectedness. To help students discover what majors to pursue or their future paths, we will explore UW-Madison schools and colleges, departments, majors, opportunities and resources. Students will examine the role of advising and how to get the most out of advising opportunities. Making connections between coursework and lived experiences outside of class will strengthen students’ strategic exploration.

If you have questions about the course, please email Laura Stephenson (lstephenson2@wisc.edu) and include “ILS139” in the subject line. If you have questions about your CCAS advisor or need help choosing classes, please email ccas@ccas.wisc.edu or call 608-265-5460. You can find more information about CCAS here.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Is this course for me?

If this is your first or second semester at UW-Madison, YES!

This course is designed for and open to all first-year, undecided students exploring majors in ANY school or college at UW-Madison. This course is also open to students who are planning to apply to a limited-enrollment program, such as programs within the School of Business, College of Engineering, School of Nursing, and School of Education.

Over 2,000 incoming students begin their college career by exploring majors with CCAS.  If you are still deciding on an academic major – fantastic! Testing and evaluating your interests is part of the college experience; join us as we explore together! 

What should I do if this course is full?

In order to keep the course meaningful for all participants and give first-year students the opportunities to connect in a small setting, each section will remain small. However, this course will be offered every fall & spring semester, so keep it in your cart! Take a look at other first-year seminars to find a course that fits your schedule.

What should I expect in this class?

The course is divided into three sections: Belong, Explore, Become. First, we will look at the fundamental elements of belonging and examine them in the context of our current lives. Next, we will begin our strategic exploration and spend time with your interests, strengths, and values. We will also explore UW Madison offerings and work to identify multiple paths that align with your findings. Finally, we will put all the pieces together, reflect on your journey, and create a toolkit to use for future decision making.

In this course, you will:

  • 1. Identify and summarize the core elements of belongingness.
  • 2. Analyze and critique in a scholarly manner material related to college student transitions.
  • 3. Identify and meaningfully engage in learning opportunities that explore interests.
  • 4. Employ reflective practices to appraise own skills and monitor self-defined goals.
  • 5. Design and create a project that demonstrates depth of knowledge and mastery of strategic exploration.
  • Class meetings are organized around in-class activities, discussions of out-of-class reading/assignments, and reflections on experiential learning. Evaluation includes writing assignments, course engagement, and reflection activities.

Will this course count towards my degree?

Yes! This 1-credit course counts as an elementary L&S credit and moves you one step closer to 120 credits to graduate.

Do I have to be a member of the Chadbourne Residential College community?

No! Any first-year student is welcome to join.

Can I take this class in the same semester as another first-year seminar?

Yes!  You may find this seminar to be complementary to other seminars such as those offered by residential learning communities, First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs), or cohort programs.

Is this class being offered in person or online?

Both! Two sections (004 & 005) are offered in person and one section (006) will be online-synchronously. We know that there were varied experiences last year with different modes of learning (i.e. in-person, online, hybrid), and some students felt more comfortable with online courses. Thus, we are providing both options this Fall.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

If you have questions about the course, please email Laura Stephenson (lstephenson2@wisc.edu) and include “ILS139” in the subject line. If you have questions about your CCAS advisor or need help choosing classes, please email ccas@ccas.wisc.edu or call 608-265-5460. You can find more information about CCAS here.