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COR 1203: Freshman Seminar

Fall 2009

Course Instructor: Dionne S. Davila, M.A.
Office Location: Tomás Rivera Center for Student Success DB 2.114
Class Location and Time: Sec 901 TR, 9:30-10:45am,  FS 3.528
Sec 903 TR, 2:00-3:15pm, FS 3.406
Phone: (210) 458-2838
Office Hours: 8:30am-9:15am/12:30-1:30pm.
For a different time please call the number above for an appointment.
E-mail Address:

COR 1203 Freshman Seminar is a 3 hr college credit course that will satisfy UTSA’s Core Curriculum requirement for the Social and Behavioral domain. This class will count toward your degree at UTSA and will also count toward your grade point average (GPA). This class is required for all students participating in the Access College and Excel (ACE) program but, optional for the Personal, Academic, and Career Exploration (PACE) program. The focus of this class is on society and self with emphasis on fostering self-awareness.

Course Goals and Objectives

This course is designed to help you develop a strong sense of community here at UTSA as well as help you apply knowledge critical to success in college, including academic learning/study strategies, leadership skills, time management, and the use of campus resources. The course will also assist you in becoming a more active learner, and help you define your own educational goals and objectives through self-assessment, reflection, and discussion.

The objectives are as follow:

  1. To improve your academic learning/study skills by reading more effectively, taking better class notes, listening better and remembering more, and becoming a better test taker.
  2. To learn life skills such as time management, goal setting, leadership training and stress management.
  3. To improve oral and written communication skills.
  4. To begin the process of deciding on a major and planning a career.
  5. To learn to set personal goals, create positive expectations for yourself, developing your personal strengths.
  6. To increase your involvement in all facets of university life.
  7. To learn to balance academic freedom with responsibility.
  8. To develop a sense of community and sense of belonging.
  9. To learn about the sources of assistance and opportunities which are made available

 to UTSA students through guest speakers and campus resource tours.


Thriving In College and Beyond. Cuseo, J., Fecas, V.S., Thompson, A. (2007) First Edition.

A Hope In the Unseen. Suskind, Ron (2005), New York: Broadway Books.

StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and  Beyond. Anderson, E.; Clifton, D.; Schreiner, L. (2006) 2nd Edition.


You must be able to use your UTSA e-mail account. If you are

unable to access your account, contact the computer lab located on the second floor of the Frio Street building.


It is your responsibility to attend class. Because learning takes


  place as a result of active participation in learning activities and discussions, attendance in this course is required, and participation is a significant part of your grade. Be certain that your name appears on the daily sign-in sheet. Tardiness is frowned upon. It is disruptive to both the instructor and your classmates.

*Laptops are not to be used in class (unless Disabilities Services has given me a letter indicating what learning aids you may use in class). Laptops can cause a great distraction to students and myself.

**Please put all cell phones on vibrate during class. NO TEXTING IN CLASS UNLESS I AM ASKING YOU TO USE IT FOR LECTURE. If you are expecting an important phone call during class time please let me know prior to class starting. If you are going to take the call, please exit the classroom with as little distraction as possible.


In order for new skills to be learned, they must be applied. Assignments will involve the application and practice of skills you are learning in class, and must be completed in a timely manner to be useful. Late assignments will only receive half credit unless medical documentation is provided. Should you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out about missed assignments/notes from your classmates. Deadlines remain the same no matter if you were absent or not so if you think you might be absent then turn in assignments early. Only extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is NOT the responsibility of the instructor, or the class mentor, to track you down and let you know what information you missed. The responsibility is solely yours.


You will be required to meet weekly with the course mentor to ensure the appropriate skills are being applied to other courses you are taking. This is an excellent time to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have about the COR 1203 class or any of your other classes.
Mentor meetings are worth 10 points each and count as a significant part of your grade. More information on mentoring will be provided during the class.

Exam I 50pts 495-550pts A
Exam II 50pts 440-494pts B
Attendance/Participation  130pts 385-439pts C
Group Project 60pts 330-384pts D
Assignments 70pts 0-329pts F
Career Portfolio 60pts  
Common Reading Essay 50pts  
Mentoring Meetings 80pts  
Total Points  550pts  

Your grade will be calculated on a point total.

Group Projects:

  As a class students will work together with student activities staff to create, coordinate, and execute a student activities event for the downtown student body. The class will be divided into smaller groups or committees that will be tasked with specific duties to help pull off the event. Guidelines and requirements will be handed out in class at a future date.

Career Portfolio

This project will consist of creating a portfolio around a career or area of study you wish to pursue. A career services advisor will visit with our class several times this semester to help you with this process. You are also encouraged to make an appointment with career services should you have any specific questions with searching for a career and major of interest. Some of this information will be included in your portfolio. More information regarding this assignment will be given at a later date.


All papers must be typed, double spaced, use 12 pt font, and 1” margins all around. A cover page is optional as long as you indicate the title of the paper, your name, date, course name, section number, and day and time of the class somewhere on the first page.


Part I, chapter VI, section 3.22 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System states the following: “Any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty is subject to discipline. Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, submission for credit for any work or material that attribute in whole or part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempts to commit such acts.”


I wish to fully include persons with disabilities in this course. Please let me know, as early in the semester as possible, if you need any special accommodations in the curriculum, instructions, or assessments of this course to enable you to fully participate. I will try to maintain the confidentiality of the information you share with me. However, I must contact Disabilities Services so that they can share with me the services that I can use to assist you.

*This schedule is subject to change

Date Topic  Assignments  Due Date
Thu 8/27 Introductions, mentoring info; syllabus activity;  “Choices”& activity “Getting To Know You” ;1)Lrng Styles Packet pgs 11-20 9/03
Tue 9/01 Learning Styles & Mult. Intelligences; Strategic Learning- Cuseo Chp 4-pgs 105-114; “Hope in the Unseen”  1)Learning Styles packet pgs 2-6 & 22-23;  2)Summer Common Reading Assignment 9/10
Thu 9/03 Student Activities presentation
Program planning 101
Attend/observe student activity event & write summary 10/01
Tue 9/08 Career Services presentation
Meet in Computer Lab Rm 2.402
“Do What You Are” test/results;
“Hope” Essay; Career Portfolio;
Bring BIO 1033 notes to nxt class mtg
Thu 9/10 “Hope” Book; Activity; Strategic Learning- Cuseo chp 4-pgs115-141 3)Soundtrack for your life;
4) Note-taking assignment
Tue 9/15 True Colors presentation by
Student Activities
Bring “True Colors” results to next class mtg; Grps select their prog. 9/17
Thu 9/17
Thu 9/17cont.
 Stdt Activities.- prog planning 101 StrengthsQuest Assmnt/Results; Finding Your Path to Your Future Prof- Cuseo Chp 9 p.285-297 10/08
Tue 9/22 Memory- Cuseo chp 5 pgs145-155; ;activity; “Hope” book NONE  
Thu 9/24 Stdt Act.-program planning 101; “Hope” book discussion None  
Tue 9/29 Career Center: DWYA results  Chp 9 continued p. 298-314 10/13
Thu 10/01 Groups Meet In Class N/A  
Tue 10/06  Stdt Act. Program Planning 101 None  
Thu 10/08 Test Taking-Cuseo ch5 p.156-172;
Intro to StrengthsQuest
5. Question Chart/Study Questions 10/20
Tue 10/13 Cuseo Chp 9; Review for exam None  
Thu 10/15 Exam 1/ Groups Meet None  
Tue 10/20 SQ/Reading Skills; Activity 6. SQ Assignment 10/29
Thu 10/22 Financial Aid presentation None  
Tue 10/27 Hope Essay Due!
Career Center-Interviewing 101
Thu 10/29 SQ; Higher Level Thinking-Cuseo ch 6 p. 179-194; Activity None  
Tue 11/03 Campus Polices: Alcohol pres. None  
Thu 11/05 SQ/Cuseo chp 6 p.194-209; Activity 7. Cuseo Chp 6 assignment 11/12
Tue 11/10 Library Visit- Meet at DT Library None  
Thu 11/12 SQ and Activity None  
Tue 11/17 IDEA survey; Career Center-Portfolio tips None  
Thu 11/19 Author Visit/ NO CLASS N/A  
Tue 11/24 Campus Police: Campus Safety pres.  None  
Tue 12/01 Health Services: SHADES pres. None  
Thu 12/03 SQ and Activity; Portfolio due None  
Tues 12/08 Study Day-NO CLASS N/A  

Final Exam Dates:

Section 901: Monday, December 14th 10:30am-1:00pm
Section 903: Thursday, December 10th 10:30am-1:00pm