College students leading an outdoor activity with grade school students 

Student Questions

How do I apply for a House?

The first step towards being considered for House Seminar during the 2016 - 2017 academic year is completing the admissions application and becoming a student of record at SOU. Next, plan on attending one of the Raider Orientation and Registration (ROAR) events where you will meet with an adviser and receive more information about joining a House. The tentative ROAR schedule can be found here:

How will my experience in a House be different than a more traditional SOU experience?

The first year experience of a student enrolled in a House will be slightly different than that of a student following the traditional SOU University Seminar model. House students will have an intimate learning experience with a small group of students, faculty, and staff for the duration of their first three terms at SOU. In addition to coursework within their major, students will enroll in a House Seminar every term with the same group of students. Students will also participate in regular experiential learning activities throughout the year to enrich their academic experience and build tangible skills. 

What is project-based learning and what does it have to do with being in a House?

Students enrolled in Houses will engage in community-based projects as an integral part of their curriculum. You will learn personal, team and leadership skills through hands-on projects and research opportunities. You will work regularly with fellow students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community leaders to solve real problems. After completing the first year House cycle, students who feel passionately about the learning experience they have enjoyed through House will have the opportunity to continue their involvement in these high-impact practices and give back to the House community as mentors to incoming students

Who can participate in a House?

Applications to Green and Skeptic House are limited to 50 incoming freshman for Fall 2016. Students may participate in Houses regardless of their major. For example, a student could join the Green House and then pursue any major on campus regardless of whether it appears to have an explicit connection to sustainability or the environmental sciences.

What happens if I decide to leave the House or leave SOU?

We highly encourage House participants to remain committed to their House throughout their first year at SOU. However, if you choose to leave your House or leave SOU, your House Seminars will transfer as would any other class. If you choose to leave your House but remain at SOU, you will simply begin taking traditional general University Seminar courses to add to your existing credits from your House Seminar. If you choose to leave SOU, your credits will transfer based on established relationships between SOU and many other universities.

What is a cohort?

A cohort is a group that remains together over time. In the case of Houses, the students admitted to the House with you will be your cohort. You will take classes together, go on field trips together and attend social gatherings together. In addition to fellow students, your cohort will include dedicated faculty, staff, and community members committed to working with you to make your experience at SOU exceptional.

Will I still choose a major at SOU if I’m in a House?

YES. Houses are designed to provide you with a thematic and project-based approach to our foundational general education course requirements. All students will still choose a major at SOU and should do so as soon as interests develop. One of the most exciting parts of being in a House is that you will all bring distinct talents and interests to your theme. For example, if your House decides to build a website to solve a community need, you will benefit from having students trained as web developers, writers, graphic artists, marketers, and scientists all on your team.

How might I benefit long-term by participating in a House?

Southern Oregon University is constantly interacting with future employers. What employers tell us they want are students widely trained across disciplines, who are capable of working in teams, and who have experience solving real problems. Houses are explicitly designed to make your time at SOU more rewarding and your resume and portfolio much more attractive to future employers


Faculty & Staff Questions

How can I assist a new student who might be interested in enrolling in House Seminar next year?

Students must first be admitted to SOU. Please direct prospective students to the online course schedule for Fall 2016 course offerings and encourage them attend one of the ROAR events. The tentative ROAR schedule can be found here:

What options do students have if they do not pass the first House Seminar with a C- or better?

House seminar instructors will work carefully with individual students to promote success. However, if a student is unable to demonstrate proficiency they may be asked to enroll in USEM 185: Intro to Expository Writing in the Fall or Winter term in addition to enrollment in House Seminar in hopes of providing the skills necessary to remain with their cohort. If a student fails to earn a C- or better and an instructor does not feel the student will succeed in HSE 102 with the addition of USEM 185, the student can take a trailer USEM 101 course instead and complete the USEM sequence. This would likely preclude the student from the House, but a discussion between the student and instructor is encouraged.

What do we say to students who come in with Writing credits, USEM 101 or AP credit who feel as though they have already taken the HSE 101?

We recognize that some students may arrive at SOU with AP credits. However, the nature of the House Experience requires a relatively stable cohort. Students who arrive with AP credit and who would like to participate in the House Experience will have their AP credits counted only as elective credits. Students may also have the opportunity to apply for positions as writing coaches within the Houses upon submission of a writing sample.

Can students switch Houses?

We hope students will find their House Experience to be exceptional.  However, we realize that some students may feel the need to leave their House at some point.  Students will have two options upon leaving a House.  First, they may leave the House and continue in our traditional general education program to include USEM.  Second, if space is available and instructors approve a transfer, students may transfer from one House to another.

Can a student decide to join the House Experience at any point after their first term at SOU?

We recognize that some students may desire to join a House at some point after their first term at SOU.  If space is available and instructors grant approval, a student may join a section of HSE 299 or 399 (as a sophomore or junior respectively). These courses involve actively participating in hands-on engagement learning activities with the House and mentoring first year House students.  

Will House students be able to use the new degree audit system?

Yes. In year 1 of the House Experience, HSE 101-103 will run in the background as USEM 101-103 and will meet A, B, C strands. As we add curricula in catalogs, we’ll add info into DegreeWorks.  For now, students should be able to use the degree audit system without complications.


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