How to Change Your World is a new interdisciplinary course for first-year students. It brings together faculty from across OWU to explore a single complex question that is both immediate and enduring.

How to Change Your World challenges students to dig deeply into issues that concern them and explore how they might contribute to change. Through this process, they will develop foundational academic skills, such as critical reading and information literacy, that will help them succeed in all their OWU coursework - and begin to design their futures.

MOVE: Mobility, Migration, and Belonging

blur of people in a crosswalkThis year, the topic for How to Change Your World will be "Mobility, Migration, and Belonging."

The movement of living things has created the world as we know it. People relocate. Animals migrate. Viruses spread. Yet movement also creates conflict – between cultural practices, ideologies, histories, governments, economies, art forms, and organisms that have never coexisted in the same place.

In this course, we will investigate the tension between the drive to move and barriers to that mobility. How can we create a more just world that allows for movement while encouraging a sense of belonging and connection? And how do issues of relocation and change affect your own sense of self and the future you imagine?

The amount of work in the seminar will be equivalent with any other 100-level class. However, the seminar is structured differently than other first-year courses, which are generally focused on introducing students to a single discipline, such as psychology or biology. This seminar is interdisciplinary, bringing together faculty and outside experts from the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences to explore different aspects of mobility, migration, and belonging.

Students who successfully complete the course will be exempt from one of the general education distribution requirements.

How to Sign Up

About 25% of new students were selected randomly from all incoming students to participate in the first-year seminar in Fall 2022. In 2023, all incoming first-year students will be required to take this seminar as part of OWU's revised general education requirements, which take effect in Fall 2023.

If you were selected to take this course, you will receive an invitation by mail, and your faculty registration guide will make sure that you are properly enrolled when you meet with them.

For more information about the first-year seminar, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Department Contact Info


Ashley Biser
Faculty Director of First-Year Seminar
P 740-368-3863