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Student/Advisor - Frequently Asked Questions

USP 2015 Frequently Asked Questions for Students and Advisors

Last revised: October 19, 2016
  1. How do preapproved substitutions for USP 2015 work in practice?
    • For continuously enrolled UW students, this list of substitutions for USP requirements are automatically applied by the Registrar’s.
    • For students reenrolling at UW after an absence, USP requirements may be substituted by the Registrar’s Office without petition if the course taken has maintained USP designation under the new USP. If you take a course that fit under USP 2003 but does not meet the student learning outcomes of USP 2015, you may petition for a substitution, but the substitution will not be automatically applied by the Registrar’s Office.

  2. What is the course numbering for a First-Year Seminar?
    The course number is 1101. College, department, or UWYO prefixes may be used.

  3. With the expectation that students complete their FYS, Quantitative and first Communication Course, has any consideration been given to students in precollege (remedial math)? Many of our freshmen come in needing a minimum of 2, and perhaps 3 remedial math courses, if they want to go into a major that needs any amount of math. Obviously these students will not be able to complete their quantitative course their freshmen, or perhaps even sophomore, year.
    Approximately 20% of incoming freshmen need remedial mathematics. Ideally, all three components of the freshmen experience (FYS, Q, and COM1) should be completed the first year. However, if remedial math is required, the other two components should not be delayed.

  4. Is there any circumstance in which a First-Year Seminar can be required?
    FYS may not be required for a major or a minor, nor may they be listed on a check list for a major or minor. These seminars are meant to foster intellectual engagement rather than meet foundational disciplinary requirements.

    For additional information on the First-Year Seminar, please refer to our FYS Policy Document.

  5. What is the process to follow if a student elects to transition from USP 2003 to USP 2015?
    Students can submit a request form to move their catalog forward. This form is available at the Office of the Registrar and will require the student and advisor signature.

    Students with fewer than 30 hours of post-high school credit will be required to complete the First-Year Seminar.

    Students opting into USP 2015 with 30 - 60 hours will be exempt from First Year Seminar.

  6. Will ENGL 1010 (USP 2003) count for COM1 (USP 2015)?
    ENGL 1010 will count for the WA requirement under USP 2003 and the COM 1 requirement under USP 2015.

  7. Are there any groupings of courses that will count for USP 2015 coverage for COM 1 and 2?

    Communication 1/COM 1 (3 hours): English 1010, AS 1210, and HP 1020 have been approved as UW’s COM 1 courses. For transfer students, an introductory composition course will fulfill the requirement.

    Communication 2/COM 2 (3 hours): The USP Committee approves UW courses in this category. Some of these courses are embedded in majors; some are not. Transfer students can meet the requirement in several ways:
    1. Completion of a UW COM 2 course;
    2. Completion of a COM 2 course that has been articulated with UW;
    3. Completion of a COM 2-type course that has been nominated for USP inclusion by a community college (articulation paperwork will be necessary);
    4. Completion of an intermediate composition course and a public speaking course;
    5. Completion of either an intermediate composition course and a passing score on the public speaking exam administered by the Communication & Journalism Department or completion of a public speaking course and successful petition for advanced writing status at UW.

  8. What happens if a student has ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020 but not a speech course? This is what we typically see with concurrent high school registration students.
    They will need to complete a COM 2 course or an approved speech course.

  9. What is the grade cut off for "successful completion" of a FYS course?
    C (2.00)

  10. What is the grade cut off for "successful completion" of a COM 1, 2, 3 course?
    C (2.00)

  11. Will I/L courses continue to be offered for students continuing with USP 2003?
    Some elements of USP 2003 are being phased out. Beginning in the fall of 2015, students who have not met the I requirement can use any WC or Communication 3 course for I credit. The L requirement will be waived for all students as the Libraries work with faculty to embed new information literacy modules into a number of USP courses. Requests for waiver of I or L prior to the fall of 2015 should be submitted via USP petition.

  12. How are courses being articulated for the USPs from the Wyoming Community Colleges?

    • Community college students who earn an AA, AS, ADN, or AB degree during the spring of 2015 or after will receive a waiver for all USP 2015 requirements except the U.S./Wyoming Constitution course and Communication 3.  The First-Year Seminar will be required for all true first-year college students even if they have earned an AA, AS, ADN, or AB degree in high school.  Community college students who have not earned an AA, AS, ADN, or AB degree will have to fulfill all USP 2015 requirements, though exemptions from the First-Year Seminar requirement will be available to those who have earned more than 30 college credits after their graduation from high school. 
    • Physical and Natural World/PN (6 hours, minimum): The colleges approve UW courses in this category. Physical & Natural World (PN) courses are designed to help students understand the fundamental concepts of scientific and quantitative inquiry and develop the ability to understand the relevance of scientific, technological, and quantitative skills to contemporary society. Any transfer course that meets the definition will be accepted for USP credit. PN credits must be earned outside the major department. Cross-listed courses are acceptable when the course prefix is not from the major department. For information regarding AP and IB scores please see .
    • Human Culture/H (6 hours, minimum): The colleges approve UW courses in this category. Human Culture (H) courses are designed to help students understand human behaviors, activities, ideas, and values in different situations and contexts. Any transfer course that meets the definition will be accepted for USP credit. H credits must be earned outside the major department. Cross-listed courses are acceptable when the course prefix is not from the major department. For information regarding AP and IB scores please see
    • U.S./Wyoming Constitution/V (3 hours): The colleges approve UW courses in this category. The requirement is mandated by statute and cannot be waived. Transfer students may meet the requirement in one of three ways:
      • Completion of a UW V course;
      • Completion of a course that has been articulated with UW; or
      • Completion of a U.S. Constitution course and a passing grade on the WY Challenge exam administered by the Political Science department.

  13. If a student is earning a degree with a double major, do they need H and PN courses exclusive of both majors or just the first one?
    Students need to earn USP credits only once (e.g. Students only need to have H or PN classes outside one of their majors.)

  14. In a handout provided to A&S Department Chairs this week, under the "Personal and Social Responsibility (7 areas)" section, it is indicated that "Bachelor degree granting departments and programs will be required to specify how their majors will develop an understanding in the following areas:.."

    My question involves the requirement that all BA granting programs must specify how our majors will develop an understanding in the following areas.... including things like (3) personal health and wellness, etc. How on earth can you expect a department to develop or monitor any progress in our majors in such things like "personal health and wellness," or "ethical reasoning"?

    UW, as a whole, will have to assess USP 2015 for the Higher Learning Commission and accreditation. While UW did do some assessment of the USP 2003 program, these efforts are not comprehensive enough to meet the current requirements specified by the HLC for regional accreditation. As such, UW will need to develop a robust plan for assessing all 15 student learning outcomes categories required of USP 2015.

    Departments don’t have to do any specific assessment of the student learning outcomes within the Personal and Social Responsibility category yet. Instead, the University Assessment Specialist, in conjunction with the two USP Assessment Fellows and the University Assessment Coordinators Committee are designing a phased assessment plan for USP 2015 this academic year. While the details are still being worked out, the first phase of USP 2015 assessment will consist of assessment of the First-year Seminar (including the critical thinking learning outcomes). The second phase is likely to involve the assessment of the COM 1/2/3 courses. But UW will have to show how it intends to meet all of the outcomes in the next couple of years, and colleges and departments will bear some responsibility for meeting a wide array of outcomes.

    It’s important to note that some key outcomes will be met in the co-curriculum. Therefore, it might make sense for a department to take a pass on “health and wellness.” But most of the outcomes can be linked to the academic enterprise. For example, all departments and colleges will probably be asked to participate in the assessment of outcomes like diversity and internationalization and ethical reasoning in their programs.

    UW is not the only university that’s using the AAC&U outcomes as the foundation of its general education plan. Institutions all over the country are designing assessment plans — refining them — sharing them. UW will watch, learn, and adapt.

    The detailed, comprehensive assessment plan for USP 2015 will be finalized in spring 2015. This will include a timeline and process for assessing all of the USP 2015 outcomes. Please be patient until this document becomes available.

  15. Could you please provide a matrix demonstrating the mapping from USP 2003 to USP 2015?
    Please click these links for information
  16. What are the grade requirements for USP courses?
    Students must earn a grade of C or above in the First-Year Seminar and Communication 1, 2, and 3 courses. A grade of “D” will suffice for courses in the other categories.

  17. Will the PEAC requirement from USP 2003 be waived?
    No. The Division of Kinesiology and Health plans to offer the course for a while to cover students under USP 2003.

  18. Articulation policies for Community College articulation of COM courses with UW.
    • Most of the Wyoming Community Colleges have articulated their ENGL and Public Speaking courses so that they transfer as equivalents or with the COM2 designation. The WY Transfer Catalog is a good resource to review the current articulations.

  19. Will COJO "deCARF" COJO 1010? In terms of articulation, is it better if they do or don't keep this course number on the books?
    COJO has already filed a CARF to discontinue COJO 1010 for the fall 2015 semester. Any student transferring in with a basic public speaking course will have it transferred as an ELEC 1000 elective course, but we’ll work it out on our side when they have both a public speaking and literature course combination for COM2.

  20. On what basis would students be able to petition for advanced writing standing, what would be needed for a successful petition, and who will be charged with making that decision?
    Advanced writing status will be decided by the English department.

  21. Does a student need to take the COM courses in sequence?
    Yes. Successful completion of a lower-division communication course (COM1) will be a prerequisite for mid-level communication courses, and successful completion of a mid-level communication course (COM2) will be prerequisite for the advanced course (COM3); prerequisites will be enforced.

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