The fall 2009 semester marks the trial run of the new Signature Course Cohort program. The initiative pairs a Signature Course seminar with another undergraduate course with related content, adding another dimension to the interdiscipinary seminars and helping first-year students acclimate to the academic rigors of UT Austin. Both courses fulfill core curriculum requirements that all undergraduates must complete.
Each group of up to 18 students also participates in a five-week seminar led by a Signature Course student mentor. In addition to assisting students with their writing and study skills, mentors offer support drawn from their own experiences in the same Signature Course. Mentors also introduce campus resources such as the UT Learning Center and the University Writing Center. Signature Course mentors are selected by Signature Course faculty based on their leadership skills and academic achievements.
The first two participating professors are Dr. Stanley Roux, teaching “Hidden Treasures of Plants: Fuel, Food, Meds, and Money,” and Dr. Elizabeth Pomeroy, teaching “Separating Fact from Fiction in Mental Illness through Film and Literature.” Both Signature Course seminars will be paired with “PSY 301: Introduction to Psychology.” Cohorts are open to all first-year students at the university.