Fewer offerings, more impact: A look into spring UNIV 100
University of Louisiana at Lafayette freshmen take University 100 (UNIV 100) in the fall and spring semesters; however, according to some peer mentors, coursework of the sections in fall differs from that of those in spring.
According to the UNIV 100 Catalog for fall 2016, there were more than 100 sections students could choose from. However, there are only four sections offered in the spring semester.
“There are only four sections in the spring because we have fewer than 100 first-time freshmen entering UL,” said Dana Bekurs, associate director of the Office of First-Year Experience. “In the fall, we have about 3,000 first time freshmen.”
The class sizes for the fall and spring semesters are 25.
Bekurs said community service hasn’t been a requirement for the UNIV 100 class since 2015. She added it is not required for students to take part in the Big Event — an annual community service event — in the fall semesters.
“Our fall grades have improved significantly using the new model,” said Ericka Haynes, an associate in first-year instruction, about the thematic-based courses. “Each class is taught by instructors well-versed in their subject matter and each has their own methodology and criteria used for grading.”
She said she looks forward to inspiring students to reach their full potentials and teaching them new ways of thinking and learning.
Peer mentors are in each UNIV 100 class; they are usually sophomore, junior or senior-level students who help the instructor and students taking the course. Kim Clark, a senior childhood and family studies major, will be a peer mentor for the first time this semester.
Clark said she became a peer mentor in the spring because she had trouble finalizing her schedule and she wanted to experience a classroom setting as a mentor and not a student.
Clark also said the spring sections consist of international student transfers, freshmen who have failed the course in the fall and first-time freshmen.
Asked about her hopes for the class, Clark said she would like a class that has transfer students because she is also a transfer student.
“I want to sit there and just talk to them about taking their classes serious,” Clark said.
Brittany Creel, a senior hospitality management major, is another peer mentor for the spring semester and has been a peer mentor since summer 2014. This is her first spring semester being a peer mentor, though.
Creel said she became a peer mentor because, when she took the course in 2013, her class did not have a peer mentor and she volunteered to be one for her class.
“I started to feel leadership qualities I was slowly developing,” Creel said.
Creel said her goal for her class is for the students to become friends with their peer mentor.
“(I think) students can build friendships with their peer mentor unlike one with a professor,” she said.
Creel said she tries to stay in contact with the students during the semester — even outside of class. She said she wants to put all her efforts into each class and for the students to put all their efforts into each class.