Current Students

Watauga Residential College Curriculum

Curriculum and Courses

The Watauga Residential College curriculum is consciously and deliberately interdisciplinary, designed to teach you to integrate and use information and knowledge from many different sources.

The curriculum fulfills many of Appalachian's general education requirements: First Year Seminar, First Year Writing, Sophomore Writing, and various liberal studies experience and integrative learning experience theme requirements.

First year Wataugans will take two 6 hour core classes: Investigations: Local in the fall and Investigations: Global in the spring. These classes are a centerpiece of the residential college experience. During these courses, you will share with and learn from students in other core classes, and we will explore our education together during common lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

After taking their core classes, Wataugans may take either 9 hours in the Integrative Learning Experience (Experiencing Inquiry) or 12 hours in the Liberal Studies Experience, but not both. If students choose the Integrative Learning Experience, they will be required to take another 6 hours in the Liberal Studies Experience from departments other than Watauga. If they choose the 12 hours in the Liberal Studies Experience, they will not enroll in the Integrative Learning Experience courses. Either way, the 6 hour "Investigations: Global" core course will be part of the Liberal Studies Experience.

The Watauga Curriculum 

  • Investigations: Local 6 hours
  • Investigations: Global 6 hours (Liberal Studies Experience)
  • 28607: Days in the Life (Sophomore Writing) 3 hours
  • Integrative Learning Experience (9 hours) OR
  • Liberal Studies Experience (12 hours total--6 hours "Investigations: Global" + 6 hours LSE Courses)

Investigations: Local

This six semester-hour class examines a broad issue in the context of Boone and Watauga County. It combines specific academic content, skill-building workshops, and excursions to local sites for observation and interviews. You will learn the investigative techniques of interviewing and research and how to evaluate and document the results of your searches.

In the middle of this class block, from 12:15 until 1:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we all gather for lunch and common time in the Great Hall. Some events may be scheduled for a part of this time, but this is relaxed social time for students, faculty, and staff.

The main focus of the class is reflected in its name: you will explore, investigate, and research issues in Watauga County relevant to the academic focus of the class. Your community-based research and collaborative group work will result in reports and presentations to all freshman Wataugans.

Investigations: Global

The spring core class is structured just as the fall core class. The content will focus on global issues in a specific part of the world (Eastern Europe, Iraq, Uganda, Native American, etc.), or on cross-cultural issues.

General goals of Investigations: Local and Investigations: Global:

  1. Build your investigative and research skills
  2. Introduce you to Watauga County and the important issues faced by local residents
  3. Introduce you to global issues that are relevant to Watauga County
  4. Increase your global awareness as you move toward global competence
  5. Improve your reading, writing, and analytical skills and your ability to work effectively in small groups

Integrative Learning Experience Theme

The Integrative Learning Experience Theme, "Experiencing Inquiry: How to Ask Questions," offers Wataugans the opportunity to examine broadly the ways in which scholarly inquiry is conducted. Each course in this theme studies how questions are asked in and across disciplines. Each course begins with a central question: how is inquiry conducted in a specific academic discipline, such as literature, history, art, and social science? The courses then examine how these modes of inquiry are complicated, negotiated, or enhanced when they operate in multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways. Courses are experiential by design, and twice during the semester students taking integrative learning experience classes will join their classmates in symposia that present their findings in their individual classes.

Liberal Studies Experience

The Liberal Studies Experience courses are designed to offer students the chance to gain a wide understanding of the relationship of liberal studies to their college education. Liberal studies experience classes not only include the 6 hour "Investigations: Global" core course, but others as well, among them classes such as "Disciplined Cultural Practice," "Freudian Dreams," "The Practice of Poetry," and "A Walk in Beauty." For a complete listing of the Watauga offerings, see the "Student Resources" menu to the left.

The Watauga Certificate

Watauga students who complete the program can receive the Undergraduate Certificate in Experiential Education, an accomplishment recognized on their transcripts and at the UNC system level. The Certificate Checksheet enables you to keep a record of each requirement. For Certificate checksheets, see the "Student Resources" menu.