University College

Wagner Hall

100 Wagner Hall
1005 Asp Avenue
Norman, OK 73019
Phone: (405) 325-3521
FAX: (405) 325-7383
ucquestions@ou.edu
www.ou.edu/univcoll

Administrative Officers of the College

Nicole J. Campbell, Ph.D., Dean
Lillian D. Miller, M.Ed., Assistant Dean
Janel Russell-Pendergraft, M.Ed., Director, Academic
  Advising Operations
Travis Lightsey, MSOL, GCDF, Director, Center for Major and
  Career Exploration
AJ Tierney, Ph.D., Director, Center for Student Advancement
George Bogaski, Ph.D., Director, Assessment & Academic
  Processes Analysis
Lori Stevens, M.Ed., Director, First-Year Learning and Engagement
Jami Houston, M.Ed., Director, Student Learning Center

Academic Advising

Maggie Bartlett, Academic Counselor
Nathan Kerswill, Academic Counselor, Assistant Director
Allison Lemke, Academic Counselor
Jon Minks, Academic Counselor
Cliff Morgan, Academic Counselor
Cassandra Negron, Academic Counselor, Assistant Director
Jay Owens, Academic Counselor
Matt Regier, Academic Counselor
Sunny Wenger, Academic Counselor

General Information

The mission of University College is to assist new students in making a successful transition to the university and building a solid foundation for further academic success. University College includes Advising, the Assessment Center, the Center for Major and Career Exploration, the Center for Student Advancement, Freshman Programs, and the Student Learning Center. It is also the academic home of OU's ROTC programs. Founded in 1942, University College was one of the first academic units in the United States to focus on meeting the specific needs of first-year students. Since then, many colleges and universities have patterned their first year experience (FYE) programs on the University College model. University College is the entry point for new undergraduate students who come to the University of Oklahoma directly from high school, as well as many transfer students. It is also the academic home for pre-health majors.

Academic advising is one of the primary functions of University College. Professional academic counselors are available throughout the year to help students decide on majors, select appropriate courses, and become acquainted with university policies and resources. Our goal is to provide students with the support they need to succeed at the University of Oklahoma. 

In addition to taking courses required for their major(s) of interest, University College students will also take courses common to all degree programs at the university. These include two courses in English composition, one course in American history, and one course in United States government (political science). Students will also enroll in courses required for general education, courses required for the major, or courses designed to explore various fields of interest. Students may also take courses to supplement their high school background or to help them be successful in college. 

Students whose American College Test (ACT) scores indicate high aptitude for college work have many opportunities to tailor their programs to their particular abilities. If they have taken high school courses that are equivalent to college work, they may be encouraged to omit certain freshman courses and move into more advanced courses. If they need college credit for the courses omitted, they may take advanced standing examinations to earn that credit. Students should take such action only after discussion of their individual needs and objectives with an academic counselor. Qualified students are also encouraged to apply to the Honors College.

Programs & Facilities

Support Courses and Programs

Making the Transition to College: Courses for First-Year Students

University College works diligently to provide courses that meet our mission of "assisting new students in making a successful transition to the University and in building a solid foundation for further academic success."

  • The First-Year Foundations Course helps first-year students thrive at OU by providing active learning environments, close communities, and tools for navigating OU.
  • University College Seminars give students an opportunity to discover a unique support system while making a successful transition to college learning. Each seminar features exploration of a specific topic with an outstanding instructor and a small class environment.
  • The Choosing a Major course explores the majors and minors that OU has to offer, and it helps students find their own interests and strengths.
  • Faculty Mentoring provides the opportunity for students to build relationships with faculty, increase their network base, and gain valuable life experience.
  • Strategies for Success assists students who are on academic probation or notice.
  • Transitions for Transfer Students introduces transfer students to the academic requirements, policies, and resources at the University of Oklahoma.

First-Year Student Faculty Mentoring Program

The First-Year Student Faculty Mentoring Program matches entering students and experienced faculty mentors to help create nurturing and personal relationships, thus easing the transition from high school to college. This program provides students opportunities to build connections with faculty and gain valuable life experience. It is a chance to become acquainted with someone who is personally interested in the student's success, and who can guide a student through the complexities of university life. The minimum expectation of the mentoring program is that the student will meet with the mentor twice during the fall semester and at least once in a group setting. To participate, a student will enroll in UNIV 1210. This is a zero-credit course, which costs nothing. A student who participates throughout the semester will receive an “S” (satisfactory). 

Strategies for Success

Center for Student Advancement

The Center for Student Advancement (CSA) is committed to providing programs and services that promote the retention and success of students experiencing academic challenges. CSA offers courses entitled Strategies for Success and Transitions and oversees the First-Year Student Faculty Mentoring Program. CSA is open for student walk-ins or appointments. For more information on the Center for Student Advancement, call 405.325.2574 or go to Wagner Hall room 150.

New Sooner Orientation Program

Beginning in mid-May and continuing throughout summer, University College supports incoming students through the New Sooner Orientation Program. This program allows students and their parents to spend a day on campus in small groups, accompanied by student guides who are current OU students. Activities include meeting with academic advisors to discuss majors and select courses, visiting with other campus services and resources, and enrolling in fall classes. Students leave the campus feeling comfortable with OU, with an appropriate schedule, and with a sense of what they can look forward to in the fall.

ENTRY-LEVEL ASSESSMENT
The Assessment Center provides assessment and course placement services for new and transfer students to give them the best possible chance of success in attaining their academic goals. 

All new students at the University of Oklahoma will be assessed in three areas: reading, English and mathematics. The American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be used as the preliminary screening instrument for English and reading. The Math Offers Model (a placement generated by OU’s Assessment Center) will be the preliminary screening for mathematics. Students will be placed in the appropriate course based upon their assessment scores and choice of major. Those not placing in the needed class will use a secondary assessment of Accuplacer for English and Reading and ALEKS for mathematics These assessments are used to provide academic counselors with information on students’ current skill levels. If the test results indicate a need for improvement in any of these areas, an academic counselor can help students select courses designed to develop or enhance skills. 

Assessment Guidelines

The University of Oklahoma requires an ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment and Accuplacer Reading and English Placement Assessments to determine readiness for various courses.

MATH PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT

The University of Oklahoma requires all first-time OU students or transfer students who need to enroll in a math course to first use the Math Offers Model to see if they can place in the desired class without taking a test.  Those that are not placed in a class via the Math Offers Model will take an ALEKS Mathematics Placement Assessment to determine their proper math course placement. The ALEKS Placement Assessment covers material from basic math through pre-calculus and will provide an accurate indication of a student’s math skills and a recommended course placement. See Math Assessment for more information.

READING PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT
All incoming OU students with an ACT reading sub-score of an 18 or less are required to take a Reading Placement Assessment to determine whether they must take a developmental reading course before moving on to higher reading leveled courses. There are no enrollment restrictions for students with an ACT reading sub-score of 19 or higher. If a student is admitted Test Optional, our predictive models will determine if a person needs to take the Accuplacer assessment. See Reading Assessment for more information.

ENGLISH PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT
All incoming OU students with an ACT English sub-score of an 18 or less are required to take a English Placement Assessment to determine whether they must take a remedial English course before moving on to ENGL 1113. There are no enrollment restrictions for students with an ACT English sub-score of 19 or higher. If a student is admitted Test Optional, our predictive models will determine if a person needs to take the Accuplacer assessment. See English Placement for more information.

University College Action Tutoring

The Student Learning Center, a department of University College, offers free tutoring sessions through UC Action. This nationally, CRLA Certified service offers walk-in sessions, small group appointments, online tutoring, and/or faculty directed sessions to help students take action towards their own academic success. 

Undergraduate Students

Admission to a Degree-Recommending College

A student may be admitted to one of the degree-recommending colleges on the Norman campus if they have declared a major, completed a year of coursework, and achieved an overall grade point average required for entrance into that college. Admission to the degree-recommending colleges at the OU Health Sciences Center requires a separate application process and is governed by requirements unique to each college or program.  

Major Exploration and Advising for Undecided Students

Many students in University College have not yet chosen an academic major, and many of the students who have declared a major will change their majors during their first year. University College offers students the unique opportunity to take a semester or more to explore different career options and academic majors. Rather than making an uninformed decision, students are encouraged to evaluate options by enrolling in exploratory classes, completing inventories designed to assess abilities and interests, and interacting with major exploration coaches who are experienced in working with undecided students. 

The Inventory Super Strong Assessment and MyMajors are web-based systems designed to aid students with the process of making a decision about selecting a major and/or a career and are available to all OU students through University College. These programs allow students to explore careers and the relationship between choosing a career and choosing an academic major. The college’s major exploration coaches can meet with students and, using results from career assessments and their familiarity with all OU majors, help students narrow their focus about majors and careers.

Pre-Health Professions Advising

University College advises students seeking to enter professional health fields such as communication sciences and disorders, dental hygiene, nursing, nutritional sciences, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician’s associate, and the radiologic technologies. The assistance of an academic counselor is especially important to pre-health profession students who want to complete their admission requirements while maintaining a competitive grade point average for admission to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. 

University College Enrollment Policies

All-University Writing Requirement

All University of Oklahoma students must complete a university writing requirement, consisting of six hours of English Composition and/or Expository Writing (ENGL 1113 and ENGL 1213 or EXPO 1213). Any student who has not fulfilled the requirement is encouraged to enroll in English and/or Expository Writing.

Pass/No Pass Option

First-year students in University College may not enroll in courses on a P/NP basis. Students in University College who are above freshman standing may enroll in courses on a P/NP basis only if they have a declared major and the approval of that major department.

Forty-Five Hour Rule

Students who have attempted 45 or more semester hours, based on grades of A, B, C, D, F, I, P, NP, S and U, may enroll or continue to enroll in University College only with a 2.00 or higher grade point average in their last OU enrollment period or with a 2.00 or higher OU retention grade point average

Academic Probation

University College students on academic probation must be advised by an academic counselor in University College before they may enroll for the next semester.

Student Responsibilities

All colleges and universities have requirements that must be met in order to earn a degree. These include coursework in both general education areas and courses in a specific major, as well as compliance with academic standards and policies. Although academic counselors and departmental advisors are available to help students plan their programs of study, students have an individual, three-fold responsibility in this regard:

  1. to know his/her academic standing relative to published standards;
  2. to understand the published degree requirements; and
  3. to know and observe academic deadlines, as established in the University’s Academic Calendar.

Opportunities

Awards/Honors/Scholarships

PACE Awards

PACE awards represent outstanding accomplishments in four areas, limited to student performance during the fall semester only.

The PACE acronym is interpreted as:

  • Participation in recognized campus clubs and activities
  • Academic achievement with a minimum of 3.25 in 14 hours
  • Community service either on campus or in the metro area
  • Excellence in leadership positions on campus including residence life

First-year students may be nominated by faculty, staff, academic advisors, organization sponsors, student organization presidents, and housing resident advisors, or students may self-nominate. A committee composed of University College administrators and staff reviews all nominations and then selects up to one percent (1%) of the total number of entering freshmen in any given year as PACE recipients.

All applications must be completed by February 1st of every year.

McLaughlin Balch Awards

These awards honor Mr. Dennis McLaughlin, a long-time benefactor of University College, and his grandmother, Ann Balch, who greatly valued education. The awards are given to several of our top students in University College. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

Myrna Carney Award

The Myrna Carney award is a special University College Award, established to honor Dr. Myrna Carney for her 24 years of service as Assistant Dean in University College. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

Phi Kappa Phi Award

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary honor society in the United States. Since 2006, the OU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has recognized outstanding freshmen who have distinguished themselves in their academic achievements at OU. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

Paul Judice Environment Award

This award is given by Dean Nicole Judice Campbell to honor her father's devotion to sustaining the environment. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

Sylvia Corwin Education Award

This award seeks to honor the most promising first-year student pursuing a career in Elementary Education. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

Dan Tankersley "Boot Strap" Award

This award, presented by the Center for Student Advancement, assists and rewards students who have overcome life obstacles and demonstrated academic perseverance to progress toward graduation. Recipients are selected from PACE Award applicants.

Alpha Lambda Delta National Freshman Honor Society

The national freshman honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta, is sponsored by University College First-Year Learning and Engagement Office. Students must have completed a minimum of 12 letter-graded semester hours during their first fall term with at least a 3.5 fall OU GPA and no grades of I, N, D, F, or U for fall semester. They must also accept the invitation sent by email in early January and pay the required dues online by the posted deadline date.

Commencement Banner Carriers

Each year, the University College staff nominates University College students to be honored as the University College banner carrier at the May Commencement ceremony. University College administration selects one of these nominees as the official banner carrier based on their academic success.

Alison Smith Overbay Scholarship

The Alison Smith Overbay Scholarship Fund was set up by Eddie Carol Smith & Shirley Jean Smith as a way to honor their daughter. Dr. Eddie Carol Smith is the former Vice President for Research at OU. The scholarship is endowed at a level that will allow a scholarship in the amount of $1500 for the fall semester.

Miller Family Scholarship

The Miller Family Scholarship was established in 2014 by Todd and Stephanie Miller. The scholarship is endowed at a level that will allow a scholarship in the amount of $500 for the fall semester.

The scholarship seeks a student that is a military dependent, with a strong work ethic, who is earning his or her own way through college.
Specific Criteria for the award are:

  • University College student at the time of nomination
  • Proof of status as a military dependent
  • 3.0 or higher GPA.
  • Indication of financial need.
  • Clear sense of purpose and direction and positive attitude.
  • Strong work ethic

Milton V. Brown Scholarship

The Milton V. Brown Scholarship was established in 1986 by the Milton V. Brown Foundation. The scholarship seeks a student with a strong work ethic, who is earning his or her own way through college. Mr. Brown writes: I seek a student who despite obstacles and difficulties has managed to overcome them and qualify for a college education. The scholarship is endowed at a level that will allow a scholarship in the amount of $9000. The scholarship will begin the fall semester of the student’s second year and continue for a total of six semesters at a rate of $1500 per semester. One student will be selected each spring semester.

Riley L. Pitts Vietnam Memorial Scholarship

The Pitts Scholarship honors the memory of Captain Riley L. Pitts of Oklahoma City.  Captain Pitts died on the Vietnam battlefield on October 31, 1967, while serving as Commander of Company C, 2/27th Infantry, 25 Infantry Division.  He is the only Oklahoman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, and was the first black officer to ever receive this award.  The Medal of Honor is our country’s highest award for heroism in combat.  President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the medal to Captain Pitts’s widow, Mrs. Eula Pitts, on October 10, 1968.  This scholarship was established and financially supported by the Coca-Cola Foundation and many friends and family members of Riley and Eula Pitts. The scholarship is for $2500.

Courses

UCOL 1002. First-Year Foundations.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Freshman standing and departmental permission. First-Year Foundations is OU's introduction to college course, assisting in the transition from high school to college. First-year students learn campus systems and policies, build essential academic skills (critical reading, time management, test-taking, etc), explore major and career planning, and are introduced to campus resources. This course is an elective credit and doesn't count for major credit in any department. (F, Sp)

UCOL 1013. Introductory Seminars.3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: departmental permission. This course is intended to assist students in the transition from high school to college. Focus is placed on both the characteristics and behavior of the successful college student. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, study skills, time management, goal setting, learning styles, financial planning, emotional intelligence, and personal and civic responsibility. (F, Sp, Su)

UCOL 1022. University College Seminar.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: None. May be repeated with change of topic; maximum credit 12 hours. Each seminar is developed and taught by an individual faculty member who leads students through an in-depth exploration of a specific intellectual topic. This course does not count for major credit in any department. However, the course may count for elective credit as granted by a department. (F, Sp)

UCOL 1030. Leadership Practicum.1-3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: permission of the First-Year Learning and Engagement Office. May be repeated with change of content and credit hours; maximum credit six hours. Leadership practicum content to include but not limited to campus cultural programming, presentation/public speaking, interviews/resumes, student program budgets, and peer assistant training. This course does not count for major credit in any department. However, the course may count for elective credit as granted by a department. (F, Sp)

UCOL 1523. Gateway to Belonging at OU.3 Credit Hours.

This course teaches critical thinking skills and supports students in developing a true understanding of others, as well as a sense of belonging at OU and beyond. It offers students an opportunity to consider how they have formed their own beliefs and opinions and how they can interact with one another to gain the most from their college experience. (F, Sp, Su) [V-FYE].

UCOL 2002. Strategies for Success.2 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit four hours. Strategies for Success is designed to assist students in reaching their academic potential. It is required for students who are on academic probation, notice, or who are identified by University College to be in need of academic assistance. This course will emphasize study skills, time management, motivation, and goal setting. (F, Sp)

UCOL 2021. Choosing a Major.1 Credit Hour.

This class is designed to help students decide on a major that fits their personality, interests, skills, and goals. Working through the decision making process, this activity based class uses self-assessments, group discussions, and in-class research, to explore majors and related careers. By the end of class, students will have decided on a major or have narrowed their options, and will have the skills and resources needed to make decisions about future career choices. (F, Sp)

UCOL 2970. Special Topics/Seminar.1-3 Credit Hours.

1 to 3 hours. Prerequisite: May be repeated; Maximum credit nine hours. Special topics course for content not currently offered in regularly scheduled courses. May include library and/or laboratory research, and field projects. (Irreg.)

UCOL 3001. Transitions for Transfer Students.1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: must be a transfer student. Introduces transfer students to the academic requirements, policies, and resources at the University of Oklahoma. Students will learn about academic advising, transfer credit, degree programs, resources, student life, and methods for achieving academic success at a four-year research institution. (F, Sp)

UCOL 3440. Mentored Research Experience.3 Credit Hours.

0 to 3 hours. Prerequisites: ENGL 1113 or equivalent, and permission of instructor. May be repeated; maximum credit 12 hours. For the inquisitive student to apply the scholarly processes of the discipline to a research or creative project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Student and instructor should complete an Undergraduate Research & Creative Projects (URCP) Mentoring Agreement and file it with the URCP office. Not for honors credit. (F, Sp, Su)