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COS 1015 and 1016: Successful Starts in Science

COS 1015 and 1016 form a first-year experience course series that is required for all first-year students in the Orion Living Learning Community. COS 1015 (Fall semester, 1 credit) provides first-year students with a connection to a network of personal, academic, and professional support, as well as exposure to a wide range of opportunities presented by upper-class peers (e.g., study abroad, undergraduate research, internships, professional networking, and service learning through science outreach). COS 1015 also includes a peer mentoring program in which first-year students meet for one hour each week with a sophomore mentor and up to six other first-year students in Orion. COS 1016 (spring semester, 1 credit) provides opportunities for first-year students to develop collaborative teamwork and interpersonal skills through participation in the Orion citizen science projects, which are managed and implemented by Orion’s student leaders. This spring course also includes participating in service learning activities in collaboration with several science-outreach organizations at Virginia Tech.

3 Things You Should Know About COS 1015 & 1016:

  1. Our community contains many different science majors, so we focus on interdisciplinary skills that students can use to communicate across and between a wide variety of scientific disciplines. We hope to teach you how to be a better scientist, no matter what your particular discipline may be.
  2. Our FYE course is two semesters long. In the second semester, students will mostly focus on carrying out a team-based project. The project is designed to help students develop their problem-solving and teamwork skills.
  3. For some students, our FYE course can be substituted for the FYE course required by their majors.

Key Learning Experience
Our Literature Review assignment is the capstone assignment that requires that students combine the content to which they've been introduced with research skills. Students get to study/research something that has sparked their interest while also using the university resources they learned about during the semester.

What is the most enjoyable part of the course? What can students learn from this part of the course?
The most enjoyable part of the course is the team-based project because there is a lot of independence associated with it. You will have more freedom and responsibility when it comes to these projects. It puts your learning into your own hands, providing hands-on learning opportunities for you to practice better communication and science.

Other Things to Know About COS 1015 & 1016?
Come into the course with an open mind! We cannot teach you specifics relating to your major but we can teach you how to be a better scientist overall.

Contact: Dr. Temperance Rowell