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Spring 2019 Connections Info

Connections is an academic course specifically designed to ease your transition to Utah State and to prepare you for your college experience. Higher education is a huge investment. This unique course focuses on helping you go about your USU education intentionally--using resources, taking advantage of opportunities to develop socially, and selecting courses that will help build character as well as employability. Connections allows you to develop a support network of classmates, faculty, and staff to help ensure a successful beginning to your academic experience. It will teach you everything you need to know about becoming an Aggie!

The Connections sections taught spring semester are all held during the regular semester.  Most sections are held during the first 7 weeks of the semester, and they meet twice per week for two hours.  One section of Connections meets once per week for two hours, and it continues throughout the entire semester.  For a video explaining the sections and how to register, click here.

The curriculum in all Connections sections is the same, but each instructor teaches in a different way.  All instructors are selected through a competitive hiring process, and we have a line-up of amazing instructors teaching the spring sections. Join us as we welcome our newest Aggies and talk about what it means to be an educated person!


Fall 2019 Connections Info

Connections is an academic course specifically designed to ease your transition to Utah State and to prepare you for your college experience. Higher education is a huge investment. This unique course focuses on helping you go about your USU education intentionally--using resources, taking advantage of opportunities to develop socially, and selecting courses that will help build character as well as employability. Connections allows you to develop a support network of classmates, faculty, and staff to help ensure a successful beginning to your academic experience. It will teach you everything you need to know about becoming an Aggie!

Course Format

Connections classes have about 34 participants per class. A portion of class time will be spent listening to formal lectures, and a large portion will be spent involving class members in sharing, reflecting, asking questions, and developing learning strategies for the semester ahead. In addition, classes and workshops will be held in many different areas of campus, so you will learn to navigate the campus easily.

Pre-Semester Version of the Course

Pre-semester sessions are held the week before the start of the semester, and three follow-up sessions will be held after the semester begins. The follow-up sessions are designed to provide additional support during your transition to the university environment. They provide a good chance to ask more questions, seek resources, and re-evaluate your study strategies for the semester. The pre-semester section times are as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, August 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m.
  • Follow-up sessions are scheduled in Banner for each section, so students can select a section with follow-up times that work with their class and work schedule

7-week and Athlete Versions of the Course

In addition to the pre-semester course format, there are some 7-week sections offered for students who are not able to come the week before school starts. This class is recommended for band and spirit squad members. The 7-week sections meet twice a week during the first 7 weeks of the semester. There is also a full-semester course for varsity student athletes whose sport is in season during fall semester.

Registering for Connections

Register for USU 1010 like any other course through the Banner system. Make sure you are able to attend the entire time because attendance is part of your grade. Click here for a step-by-step instructional video on how to register for the USU 1010 Connections course.

Assignments

To complete the course with an acceptable grade, you will be required to fulfill certain assignments. Some assignments require writing, following personal observation and research of topics. Other assignments require you to create checklists of the facts and concepts discussed in class or workshops. All assignments are graded and designed to help you apply information during the semester. Students should be aware that Connections is an academic course and carries the same GPA weight as two credits in a university math or science course. Be prepared to give the Connections assignments your best effort.

Preparing for Connections

Plan on Checking In on August 20

Check-in for the pre-semester Connections courses takes place Tuesday, August 20 from 10-3 on the second floor of the Taggart Student Center. It only takes about 30 minutes to check in, and you can come anytime between 10 and 3. After you check-in, take time to visit the "Welcome to USU Fair" in the Sunburst Lounge. There you will receive information about campus and service organizations, employment opportunities, faith communities, local banks and credit unions, and computer set-up assistance.

If you are taking a 7-week or athlete section, you do not need to check in for Connections on August 20. You can simply go to your first class the first week of classes.

Submit your Waiver by August 21 (Required of Students in All Pre-Semester Sections)

If you are attending a pre-semester section that starts August 21, you are required to submit your signed waiver as a "quiz" in your Connections Canvas course. Canvas courses will open on August 14, and you will be able to access that quiz at that time. Waivers are due to be submitted by 9 am on August 21, the first day of class. If you will be under 18 years of age on August 21, you are required to have your parents or guardians sign in ink and upload a scan of a signed waiver to that quiz during the August 14-21 time window.

Complete your Common Literature Assignment

Connections students join in a common literature experience and submit a literature assignment prior to the start of the course. The 2019 selection is coming soon. You are required to the read the book and participate in an online discussion assignment in Canvas before your first class on Wednesday, August 21. If you are in the 7-week session, plan on participating in this Canvas discussion during the semester.

Make Sure you Can Attend All of Class

Part of your grade for the class depends on your attendance. Much of the learning that occurs in Connections is a result of participation in class discussions and activities. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recreate a missed class session or workshop. Class for the pre-semester option begins Wednesday, August 21 at 9 am and continues through Friday night. Make sure to attend your follow-up sessions during the first weeks of the semester.

Bring the Following to Class:

  • Aggie Blue Book (given out at Aggie Orientation, remember to bring it back to Connections)
  • Becoming a Learner book (given out at Aggie Orientation, remember to bring it back to Connections)
  • Common Literature Book: TBA
  • Notebook
  • Pen/Pencil

Check into Housing

If you are living on campus you may check-in to your apartment starting Saturday, August 17 from 10a.m.-10p.m. If you are living off campus, please check with your landlord to see when you are eligible to move in. Check-in for on-campus housing will be available August 17-25 from 10a.m.-10p.m. at the area office where you are living. We strongly encourage you to check in on a Saturday or Sunday because the housing staff is limited during the weekdays due to training. There will be signs to help you find your check-in location once you get close to your residence hall.

Get your Parking Pass

You can buy your parking permits online starting mid-July at parking.usu.edu. During the Connections class, the Aggie Shuttle will be running. No special parking is provided for Connections students, so buy your parking permit prior to August 21 so you don't have to worry about that on the first day of Connections.

Plan your Meals

Connections students are responsible for all meals during the class. Connections instructors will provide lunch one day Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday during the week. Students with meal plans can use them in the dining halls, and dining locations on campus will be open for students wanting to purchase meals.

Plan on Attending Evening Activities

After classes during Connections week, students are invited and encouraged to participate in various evening activities. Whether you are from Boston or Smithfield, you will benefit from meeting other students and making connections with your peers. Evening activities are optional, but highly recommended (class on Friday night is not optional).

Contact: connections@usu.edu or 435.797.0283