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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 2015-16 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.

Imperial President?

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.

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. 

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.

Myth as Reality

Dr. John Lomax
This course examines personal causality as a way of understanding experience. Analyzes the stories, or myths, that people use and have used to express and explain their sense of what is real. Explores 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.

The Mythbuster Experience

Prof. 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.

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.

Nutrition, Nature and Nations - Food for Thought

Drs. Vicki Motz and Catherine Young
This course explores what we eat, why we eat it, and the personal, regional, and global ramifications of our food choices.  Students will critically analyze information regarding worldwide practices in growing, marketing, regulating, and consuming of food.  Come prepared to read, write, think, discuss, and eat!

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.

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.

World War I

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.

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 range from issues related to equity, gender, poverty and access to technology.

The Function of Memory

Dr. Kristie Payment
Memory is a critical aspect of everyday life and understanding how memory works can thus facilitate our daily experiences.  This course will focus on examining human memory, both for why it sometimes fails you and for how you can learn to maximize its effectiveness.  Real life experiences of memory successes and failures will be discussed and viewed in light of current research evidence and theory.  Topics will cover the history of memory research, how to maximize retention, how memories become distorted, and some memory disorders.