Discovery - Course description
The Discovery course is part of the series of courses of the American University Preparatory Program (AUPP). The course is designed to introduce candidates to the United States higher education system, the American culture, diversity, and the general communication discourse. It tackles the importance of culture in our everyday lives and the ways in which cultures interrelate. It serves as a foundation to increase students’ understanding of intercultural and multicultural communication and ultimately prepare them to deal with diversity as well as function both socially and academically in an increasingly diverse environment. Moreover, it provides students with study skills necessary to succeed in a US based higher education institution. It also introduces students on necessary skills for preparing well-rounded university applications. The course focuses on fundamental research techniques, general academic writing standards, in-text citations and referencing using the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style, how to avoid plagiarism, critical and creative thinking, intercultural communication competence, presentation skills (public speaking), library research, note taking and time management.
General course objectives
Upon completion of the class students should be able to:
- Know and understand challenges, expectations, and requirements of a graduate school program in the United States
- Identify the key components of applications for university programs and prepare them
- Absorb and process knowledge about interpersonal and intercultural communication
- Live and work in a highly diverse society
- Apply intercultural communication discourses to everyday life
- Write proper academic essays/research papers
- Cite in text and write references using the APA style of writing and referencing
- Prepare and deliver effective informative and persuasive presentations to a diverse audience
All work submitted for this course must be original and unique. Any act of cheating or plagiarism will be dealt with according to the University Policy. Students are expected to comply with A.U.K policies on Academic Integrity/Honesty. Any student suspected of violating this obligation for any reason during the term will not receive any credit for the completion of the class.
Summary of Course Assignments
Personal Statement – As part of learning about preparing applications for university programs students will be asked to write a personal statement. The personal statement is used in most applications and should describe a student’s abilities and his/her suitability for the particular program to which he/she is applying.
Synthesis Research Paper – This written assignment is the major assignment for this class. Each student is required to write a 5 -7 pages essay to resemble the format of a Synthesis Essay as discussed in the provided course materials. This is when students are required to prove that they know how to write proper research papers acceptable in a US graduate program. Students will be provided with the “Social Construction Theory” and will be asked to synthesize theory, research, practice, and experience to produce an analytical, critical, and academic manuscript. The quality of the paper will be based on quality of thesis, quality of supporting arguments, quality of conclusion, and the overall quality of writing. For this paper, every part of class material is expected to be used as a reference as well as outside credible sources. This paper should follow an APA format and have at least five references. Topic: How media, society, and culture shape my reality?
Presentation – Students are required to prepare an informative speech. The speech should be between 10-12 minutes. Students are required to choose a culture of their choice and present all cultural traits, values, artifacts, traditions, and everything associated with that particular culture, to their peers. The speech will be evaluated according to a systematic grading rubric.