The walls and center of the large room in the University of Northern Colorado's University Center were lined with tables where students waited nervously for faculty, family members and other students to ask them to expound on the displays that represented their research projects.
The students were there for fall semester's UNIV 101 Research Night, the culmination of a semester-long course designed to help first-year students make the transition from high school to college.
Recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education as a high-quality program moving the needle on student completion, University 101, as the three-credit course is formally titled, with an informative yet rigorous introduction to the college atmosphere and its demands.
Topics range from how to address professors, to adapting to larger class sizes, to time management and how to take good class notes.
Angela Vaughan, director of the first-year curriculum and instruction, said that students who participate in the research night learn how to use research skills to evaluate information from sources, and to improve their written and verbal communication skills. Both are a part of the course's main objectives.
Carlee Gray, a freshman pre-Nursing major, said that students were given an outline to use for their research project.
"I will definitely use that in the future," Gray said. .
Alondra Vazquez, a freshman pre-Nursing major who researched the effects of food advertising on children, said she took the course because she heard that students who took the course were more likely to be accepted into UNC's Nursing program, which has more applications than openings.
"Our University 101 instructors believe that each one of these students belongs here at UNC and has something valuable to offer," Vaughan said. "We hope the experience helps students to feel the same way."
- Monique Becker, Senior Journalism Major
Freshman Human Services major Hannah Schuster, left, shares her findings on how music therapy benefits those with autism with a fellow student.