Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take the first-year seminar, How to Change Your World?

  • The class provides the opportunity to explore a topic of contemporary significance from a variety of perspectives.
  • It will be taught by Faculty Teaching Fellows, who receive special training in teaching first-year students.
  • It allows students to get to know faculty from across the university as they explore their academic interests.
  • The class hones skills that students will use in other classes at OWU.

How is this class different from other first year courses?

  • The amount of work in the seminar will be equivalent with any other 100-level class, but the seminar is structured differently than other first-year courses, which generally focus on introducing students to a single discipline, such as Introduction to Psychology or Introduction to American Politics. This seminar is interdisciplinary, bringing together faculty with expertise in different aspects of the main topic.
  • There will be opportunities to learn from outside experts and work together with other sections throughout the semester.
  • This class focuses on transferable skills that will be valuable to students in other courses at OWU and that employers list as critical. Many other courses teach these skills, but this class will allocate more time to them.

Why was I chosen for this class?

  • Students invited to participate were chosen randomly from among all incoming students. Next year, all incoming first-year students will be required to take this seminar as part of the revised general education requirements. During this year of transition, we are piloting the seminar with approximately 25% of the incoming class.  

What does it count for?

  • The course will count towards OWU’s requirements for graduation, and students who enroll will remain on track to graduate on time. 
  • Specifically, the course will count towards a distribution requirement of your choice. During the fall semester, students will work with their advisors and the course instructors to elect the distribution requirement they want the course to count towards. Normally students are required to take three social science courses, three courses in the natural sciences, three courses in the humanities, and one course in the arts.
  • Students completing the course will be eligible to opt into the new general education curriculum that goes into effect in Fall 2023 and is centered around developing core competencies and transferable skills.

Will there be exams? What kinds of assignments will there be?

  • The course is centered around problem-based learning, which involves students in activities and assignments designed to tackle real-life problems. While activities and assignments may vary slightly across sections, there is no final exam or long paper.

Does it cost anything to register? Are there fees associated with the course?

  • There are no fees associated with the course or any of the activities.

How do I sign up?

  • If you were invited to take the course, there’s nothing for you to do. Your Faculty Registration Guide will make sure that you are properly enrolled.

What if I don’t have space in my schedule?

  • No problem! You can opt out of the class by talking to your Faculty Registration Guide during your registration appointment.

Can my friend sign up too?

  • While most spaces have already been assigned to selected students, a few additional spaces remain. If someone who has not received an invitation wishes to register, they can ask their Faculty Registration Guide to place them on the waiting list.

Department Contact Info


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