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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 2017-18 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.

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.

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.

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.

Sociology of Food

Prof. Becky Brooks
This course addresses the production, consumption, and globalization of food. We will consider food as a social ritual and a component of culture, with ties to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and identity. Also discussed are social movements like farm-to-table and vegetarianism. Food’s connection to health is highlighted, with emphases on eating disorders, diabetes, and malnutrition.

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 Art of Self Discovery

Dr. Christine North
What do I want to be when I grow up? What am I passionate about? Where am I headed in life? What does it mean to make a difference? What are my talents? How do I find a job I love? If any of these questions have ever crossed your mind, then this class is for you! This course explores the idea of vocation as it relates to one’s strengths, interests, and talents. You will engage in creative endeavors, develop interpersonal skills, and practice personal reflection as you learn about yourself and about others in The Art of Self-Discovery.

The Mythbuster Experience

Prof. Paul Nutter
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.

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.