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Foundational Studies Program

Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program is an innovative general education curriculum built around signature University Learning Outcomes.

Traditional general education curriculums are often no more than a hodgepodge of lower-level classes, but Boise State offers a carefully designed program. Students practice key skills throughout their college career and master those skills over time.

The image below describes how learning outcomes of Foundational Studies Courses connect the curriculum:

Learning Outcomes Connecting the Foundational Studies Courses Curriculum
Click here to view an accessible version of this image.

Direct link to Foundational Studies Events calendar: Google Calendar Link

UF 200 Students Create and Donate Childrens’ Books

Image of children's books

Childrens’ books written and illustrated by Boise State students are on display at the Albertsons Library from April 18-29. The books translate key themes from Dr. Margaret Sass’s Civic and Ethical Foundations (UF 200) course into brightly illustrated stories for children. The assignment? Produce engaging books that help preK-2nd grade readers understand diversity, learn about other cultures, and practice empathy.

The students made both electronic and printed versions of their childrens’ books. Visit the library from April 18-29 to see their printed work and enjoy the unique approach of each student author–from Billy the Goat Goes to the Basque Festival by sophomore Zack Petterson to I Love Being Brown by sophomore Anwar Mostafawy.

Civic engagement projects like this are key components of all UF 200 courses. Each project is designed to help Boise State students learn by actively connecting with communities outside the classroom. That’s why Dr. Sass’s students not only wrote, illustrated, and published their books–they also brought them to a wider audience. Each student author visited a school or traveled on Garden City’s Bells for Books Bookmobile to directly share their stories with local children.

After the book are displayed at the Albertsons Library, the printed books will be donated to the Garden City Public Library or local elementary schools, increasing the diversity of their childrens’ collections. For more information about Bells for Books or volunteering on their bookmobile, please contact Michael Zohner at 208-472-2948.

Disciplinary Lens in Social Science Assessment Moving Forward

How skilled are Boise State students at using the methods of inquiry characteristic of social science? How well can students analyze and describe different cultures? Draw connections between diverse perspectives? Or discuss the historical forces that have shaped today’s institutions? These are some of the questions that Boise State faculty who teach Disciplinary Lens in Social Science (DLS) courses ask themselves each semester.

In December and January, DLS faculty helped us capture their assessments of Fall 2015 student work against the University Learning Outcomes (ULOs) for social science. We would like to thank the faculty who participated in the Fall assessment survey for their efforts. We had an excellent survey response rate of 91%, and we are planning improvements in our outreach to concurrent faculty to achieve an even higher rate for Spring semester.

In addition to their written commentary, DLS faculty rated student work on a 1-4 scale as “unsatisfactory,” “developing,” “good,” or “exemplary” using Boise State’s ULO 11 Social Science Rubric.

Fall 2015 DLS Survey Scores

Gathering data like this is the first phase of Boise State’s faculty-driven ULO assessment process, which is focused on continually improving the university’s signature learning outcomes.

The Foundational Studies Program will soon be seeking DLS faculty to help review final assessment reports at the end of the 2015-16 school year. Interested DLS faculty should e-mail or contact their department chair.

Coffee and Conversations Event: October 9, 2015

Coffee and Conversation

OCTOBER 9, 2015
12:00-1:30 PM

Event Flyer: Oct 9 2015 FSP Coffee and Conversation Event


Join your colleagues for some coffee and a conversation about fostering effective teamwork. Highlighted faculty will present digital posters about their work and answer your questions.


Jen Black and Steph Cox are lecturers in the English Department who have been teaching UF 100 together since 2012. They have team taught every variation on the course: 15-week plenary/discussion, 15-week online, 7-week summer online, and 5-week summer hybrid. This experience has provided them with many opportunities to study, practice, and teach about effective teamwork.

Cynthia Bradbury is an adjunct faculty member in the Anthropology Department. Cynthia began exploring cooperative learning techniques while teaching 8th graders from “the projects” in Norfolk, Virginia. At Boise State, she continues to use groups to provide structure for classroom activities, encourage students to take charge of their learning, and give students experience working closely with others.