Each Fall Semester USU offers the University Connections course for incoming freshman. This year there were 61 sections. The Connections course begins and students attend Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and half day on Saturday. They then meet three more times in the first three weeks of the semester for follow-up sessions. "This unique course focuses on developing critical college study skills, time-management techniques, and test-taking strategies. Through this course, students are connected to the University environment, including academic expectations, policies and procedures, resources, services, and physical layout. Through a common literature experience, students are provided with an introduction to the challenging academic environment of the University. Students are also introduced to extracurricular activities designed to enrich their overall educational experience. Most importantly, Connections allows students to develop a support network of classmates, faculty, and staff to help ensure a successful beginning to their academic experience"
(USU 2012-2013 Catalog).
The Connections Survey was designed to assess how helpful Connections is, and to evaluate satisfaction with various components of the course. A total of 1,597 students were enrolled in the course and 1,512 students responded to the survey. This represents a return rate of 94.7%.
THE CONNECTIONS COURSE WAS PERCEIVED AS BEING MOST USEFUL IN HELPING STUDENTS TO:
- 60.6% of the respondents were female.
- 70.9% of the respondents graduated from a high school in Utah.
- 70.1% of the respondents are living on campus.
PRIMARY REASONS FOR ENROLLING IN CONNECTIONS
- Get settled before school started (88.5%).
- Learn about opportunities to be involved on campus (88.4%).
- Learn about University policies (87.7%).
- Navigate the physical layout of the campus (86.7%).
- Earn two academic credits (81.6%).
- Learn about campus resources (65.4%).
- Learn the physical layout of the campus (63.5%).
- 86.2% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the Connections Canvas website was easy to navigate.
- 85.6% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that because of the course they were more informed about campus events.
- 80% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the peer mentor assistance was important to the course.
- 79% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that that they were glad that there were evening activities for Connections students.
- 78.5% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the Connections course helped ease their transition to USU.
- 78.2% of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they were satisfied with their Connections experience.