A student objects to the packaging of Northern Illinois University's UNIV 101, the for-credit course on how to navigate college.  Her suggestions say much more about the state of preparation of incoming students, than about flaws in the course.
NIU could change the UNIV 101 curriculum so that students spend more time talking about where the important buildings are and where students can get academic and career assistance. It could also spend time talking about where students can go to get counseling. The class could also actually go over blackboard, MyNIU and e-portfolios like the website says it does.

Some other important things the course could cover are study, time-management and note-taking tips.
That's the author's idea of work that's not busy-work? What has been going on in the high schools?  And how hard is it to do a walking tour of campus the day before classes start, which is something I'd seen people doing in the past.

But even the good parts are troubling.
NIU could also change UNIV 101’s description to a class that builds cooperation by emphasizing group work and encourages diversity through the Common Reading Experience. Something needs to be done about the course because its description gives students false expectations about what it will be like.
In common with many other universities, the Common Reading Experience is an opportunity for the cultural-studies types to push their worldview on students not yet prepared for the nuances.

In this morning's paper (the print edition only appears on Mondays and Thursdays now) a letter-writer offers a lukewarm defense.
In 2014, nearly 60 percent of incoming freshmen and transfers took UNIV 101/201. The overwhelming majority (84 percent) felt the course met or exceeded their expectations. UNIV 101/201 is an outstanding way to begin your college experience at NIU. You will meet new friends, get to know important campus resources and start to build essential skills for academic, personal and professional success.
Put another way, two courses that do what college readiness in high school ought to be doing. And somehow reducing the number of class meetings from 26 to 16 doesn't inspire confidence.

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