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Transition Experience (TREX) Courses

Many students wonder if they have what it takes to earn that four-year degree.  The College of Arts and Sciences has specifically designed courses that will help you transition from your high school successes to a college student on the path toward graduation.

Our Transitions Experience (TREX) courses will help you understand how to think critically, reason analytically, and make connections between disciplines—all skills needed to be successful in college.

You will learn these skills in courses that are as engaging as they are informative.  Interested in other cultures and why people to what they do?  Want to learn how your dinner choices influence the world around you?  Curious about life on another continent?  Want to nurture the creative side you never knew you had?  Concerned about the world around you and want to know what you can do to be an involved citizen?  All these topics and more are addressed in our TREX courses. 

Instructions for Selecting a TREX Course

All students planning to enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio Northern University for the fall semester are required to enroll in a TREX course as part of the University’s general education requirements for graduation.  

Please read through the course descriptions listed below and identify your first five choices among these offerings.  Once you have selected your top five choices, input the required information, ranking your course selections as instructed.  Every effort will be made to enroll you in one of your selected courses.  Please try and input your course selections as soon as possible for a better chance at enrolling in your preferred choices.

Fall 2016-17 TREX Courses

Beyond Human?

Dr. Forrest Clingerman
Western society continually debates the role of humanity in the world, as well as the general meaning of human existence.  The ideals of humanism have animated such discussions in the modern period.  But more recently, theorists have suggested that we have now entered a new period of “posthumanism” and “anti-humanism.”  This course will investigate the claims and influences of humanism and posthumanism through theories, literature, and pop culture.  This topic will be used to practice more general forms of intellectual questioning and critical reflection.

Critical Digital Storytelling

Dr. Albert Akyeampong
This course will explore the processes involved with creating critical digital video and documentary and its importance to critical thinking, creativity, and life-long learning. Through critical reflections and discussions of selected readings, digital documentaries, students will tap into their creative abilities and develop strategies for critical and creative thinking in their major area of study. The students will use digital video as a tool for empowerment in telling stories within the community environment.  The problems could include issues related to equity, gender, poverty and access to technology.

Critical Media Literacy

Dr. Adrienne Goss
This course examines the purposes and production of popular media (television, radio, film, blogs, newspapers, among others) and how media inform and construct our knowledge of the world.  Students will analyze media as texts using multiple theoretical lenses, such as Marxist, rhetorical, cultural, psychoanalytic, feminist, sociological, and ecological analyses.  Students will apply a theoretical frame to critically analyze a medium of their choice. 

Emerging Zoonotic Diseases from Anaplasma to Zika: Pandemics Past, Present and Future

Dr. Andrea Graytock
Due to the ease of travel worldwide, local problems can easily become global problems. We will explore emerging zoonotic diseases as an example of how this has happened in the past, what caused these pandemics and what various fields of science—including molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, ecology, medicine, and anthropology—are doing to prevent global pandemics in the future. You will be exposed to how science gets done from design of studies to data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Included is how this knowledge is used to inform our solution of larger problems. You will perform virtual laboratory investigations to engage in these processes that are used by scientists who investigate infectious diseases. We will explore infectious diseases that have affected people throughout the world. In so doing, we will encounter attitudes and beliefs about the causes of disease and treatment of people with those diseases that are much different than those held by Westerners. What can we learn from these cultures about responses to infectious disease?

Film Meets Communication

Dr. Jennifer Walton
The objective of this course is to introduce students to a variety of communication concepts and processes that will help them succeed in different tasks in the academic, disciplinary, professional, and civic arenas. Popular films will be used to illustrate and explain communication concepts, allowing students to make real world connections in communication through the lens of popular film. We will spend the semester engaging in discussions and assignments that will foster an environment of creative and critical thinking.

Food, Religion and Identity

Dr. Hongyu Wu
Food is indispensable for human life, but it means much more than the nutritional elements that human beings need to survive. Food is intimately related to religion, society and culture. This class explores how rules and norms that guide food consumption, prohibition and preparation reflect the relationship between human beings and the divine, between human beings and non-human beings, and the social classification; the class also explores how food-related rules and practices in different religious traditions help to construct one’s social and cultural identity. This course covers primary and scholarly writing on food in different religious traditions in various social, cultural, political and historical contexts. Video clips, films and images will be also included.

Imperial Presidents?

Dr. Robert Waters
Is the president too powerful? It’s a question that has frequently bedeviled Americans since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution. In an age in which presidents from both political parties have been accused of imperial pretensions and policies – from the criminality of the Clinton years, to “Bush lied, people died” and “signing statements,” to constitutional law instructor Barack Obama’s seeming ignorance of the separation of powers – the question of how much power the president legitimately possesses plays a part in everything from how school children view our government to questions of life and death.

Intro to Creativity for All Majors

Dr. Denise D’Arca
This course is based on the premises that creativity is an ability that can be developed, and that it's a useful tool for every person (not just those in the arts). Topics to be covered include application of the creative process in various contexts (including the student's major), brainstorming and problem-solving techniques, the science of creativity, and myths or barriers to creativity and how to overcome them. Everybody can be creative.

Kings, Prophets, and Storytellers

Dr. Raymond Person
This course examines select stories of Israel's kings and prophets in Samuel-Kings and Chronicles, including a discussion of how these stories may have been transmitted in oral tradition.

Myth as Reality

Dr. John Lomax
This course examines personal causality as a way of understanding experience. Students will analyze the stories, or myths, that people use and have used to express and explain their sense of what is real. They will explore myths in text and image to discern the function, range, and impact of myth in the lives of individuals and communities, from antiquity to the present.

Psychology and TV

Dr. Megan Kraynok
This course will demonstrate various psychological phenomena and theories using reality television shows and documentaries. Throughout the semester, episodes of several reality television shows and documentaries will be viewed and psychological themes of these episodes will be discussed. We will also investigate how theories might be applied to change the situations and maladaptive behaviors demonstrated in the shows viewed.

Science Fiction and Philosophy

Dr. Errol Katayama
This course aims to develop and facilitate critical thinking skills by examining a number of philosophical issues (such as the nature of reality, person, mind, and space and time, as well as ethical and political issues related to technology) through science fiction thought experiments.

Sleep on It

Dr. Megan Kraynok
Do you ever wonder why you don't go to sleep until 1 AM when you know you have class the next morning? What is happening when you sleep? Why is sleep important? Why you dream? This course will investigate what normal and abnormal sleep looks like from birth to late life. We will examine sleep habits, sleep disorders, what happens when we get enough sleep (or not), and what sleep researchers are investigating today. We will also monitor our own sleep to figure out how we can sleep better, feel better, and perform better!

The Medieval Warrior: Past and Present

Dr. Lisa Robeson
The Western ideal of the warrior hero developed during the Middle Ages in ways that still inform Western ideals of military heroism. This course explores the ideal of the warrior hero in the Middle Ages using the tools of different academic disciplines, including history, literature, art, and archaeology, and then examines the transformation of the ideal in modern culture, focusing on contemporary literature, art, and film.

The Mythbuster Experience

Dr. Richard Miller
This course will investigate the myths that have been “busted” by innovators and inventors in the past and present, and the ones hoped for the future. We will use critical thinking applications and investigations to study urban legends and media, and make and justify decisions by collecting and gathering data.   We will also investigate today’s myths that influence societal institutions (economics, education, family, politics, and religion) and their degree of impact. Students will be involved in a hands on mythbusting experience as part of this class.

zombie crisis management

Dr. Samantha Howe
This course uses simulation to introduce students to how policymakers might react in response to a zombie outbreak. Simulating task force members, students will consider the types of data necessary for epidemic response management, the difficulties of obtaining that data, and how public response to government impacts policy implementation.