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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.

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 2018-19 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.

College and Life through Literature

Dr. Eva McManus
This TREX course will focus on a mix of literature and non-fiction works as well as hands-on experiences to provide an introduction to college life and to making choices both here and in other aspects of life. Readings will include works that address challenges characters and real people face in these situations. Hands-on experiences will include an exploration of campus resources.

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.

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 Ethics

Dr. Jonathan Spelman
What should we eat? In this course, we’ll try to answer that question by taking a closer look at the role that food plays in our lives and the effects of industrial agriculture. We’ll use the tools of philosophy to explore the relationship between food and identity, justice, culture, and religion and to investigate how our eating practices impact food workers, the global poor, animals, and the environment.

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.

Leaders in History

Dr. Catherine Albrecht
Examination of the role of significant leaders in history. In this course, you will explore concepts of leadership, assess the interplay of historical circumstances and individual attributes in successful leaders, and delve into historical and recent assessments of the leaders studied. You will have the opportunity to analyze the attributes of successful leaders and to apply what you learn about leadership to your own studies and career.

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.

Sport and Modern Society

Dr. Bob Carrothers
Sports have become an integral part of modern societies, both in the U.S. and around the world. To ignore sports or treat it simply as a diversion, is to ignore a fundamental element of domestic and international culture which leaves the picture of these societies incomplete. The goal of this course is to apply the critical lens of various academic disciplines such as psychology, biology, business, and especially sociology, to all aspects of sports in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of these endeavors and of society as a whole.

The Mythbuster Experience

Prof. Rich 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.

The Vikings and Their Legends

Dr. James Walter
There are many depictions of the Norse in contemporary film, television and books, but this course will look at some of their legends as they knew them. We will also see how these legends were reworked in different times and places and take a look at the society, history and language of the Vikings.

World War I in Text and Film

Dr. Michael Loughlin
This class shall critically analyze various types of depictions of World War I employing several history texts, memoirs, films, novels, and poetry. We will try to compare the various depictions for historical accuracy as well as the more subtle moral, aesthetic, and military aspects of the Great War. Several films and the novels on which the films were based shall be critiqued by using various historical accounts dealing with those subjects. The major focus of the class will be historical accuracy, aesthetic sensibility, moral and ethical choices, as well as interdisciplinary treatment.