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Focus Connections RAP Fall 2014
Undecided? This RAP can help you explore your options!
Focus RAPs are designed for first-year students who enter UMass Amherst without a declared major.
When you join this RAP you will:
- Enroll in a unique a 1-credit seminar designed to help you explore a wide range of majors at UMass.
- Engage with an academic advisor to identify your interests, strengths, and values in order to pursue your academic goals.
- Share your living-and-learning experience with other first-year students who have not yet declared a major. This gives all students in the RAP a chance to get to know each other and take some classes together. It's also a great way to make a successful transition to the academic and social life of the University.
Focus Connections is a great RAP for you if you think you are interested in a major in social sciences, humanities or the arts. It is also a great choice if you have no idea what you may want to major in. The OASIS seminar provides you with an opportunity to confirm an idea you have or to explore and identify various other possibilities. The other classes connected to this RAP will give you an opportunity to learn about different options while completing pre-requisites for some of the majors, and making progress on your University General Education requirements.
Specific Course Information
"World History Since 1500" (History 111) for students living in Van Meter Hall.
Here is a message about the class from Kathryn Julian, the instructor:
This course is an introduction to the issues of a growing global culture and the social, intellectual, political, and economic forces that contributed to the spread of ideas from around the sixteenth century to the present.
More specifically, in this course we will focus on the themes of social and cultural movements, or what ideas look like in practice, and their effects on communities. We will explore global themes, such as:
We will investigate tensions resulting from nationalism, modernity, and religion and consider the formation of world economies and the spread of mass culture.
The course emphasizes critical analysis and takes an interdisciplinary approach to history.
United States History Since 1876 (History 151), for students living in Moore Hall.
Here is a message about the class from Tony Repucci, the instructor:
This course explores the development of social, political, and intellectual life in the United States from 1876 to the present day. We will:
Examine the cultural, social and political events for Reconstruction to the Obama Administration.
Explore several themes within those broad topics including: race, reform, and America's role in the world.
We will explore and give voice to marginalized members of society and voices, including Native Americans displaced by western settlement; new immigrants; disadvantaged workers; and African Americans.
We will learn to think like a historian, using evidence to analyze a problem and support an argument.
We will learn how historians seek to understand the "whys" of change over time, through the examination and analysis of sources-both primary and secondary.
Most importantly we learn how to read sources critically and write and speak effectively based on solid evidence.
Topics will include:
late 19th century industrialization
the farm crisis
emergence as a world power
the Progressive Era
World War II
domestic problems and foreign relations since 1945
ALL Focus RAP students participate in OASIS First-Year Seminar, a one-credit seminar taught by your academic advisor from the Undergraduate Advising office. In this class you will work closely with your advisor to explore various majors and determine how to best match UMass Amhersts' academic options with your interests and abilities.
The OASIS seminar helps you to identify and refine your personal approaches to learning in a college setting, so you can make efficient use of your study time and get better results. You will also be introduced to the wealth of resources on campus that can assist you with academic, social, and personal issues.