The History of GPS

The Gateway Program Seminar (formerly Freshman Seminar) was developed and offered for the first time in the fall of 1994.  
GPS was designed to help students transition into academic culture and is designed as a high impact experience. Prior to 2014, students self-selected to enroll in GPS. This accounted for 85% of incoming first-year students. UCCS redeveloped its general education curriculum (now the Compass Curriculum) in 2014 and faculty elected to make GPS the foundational course of the Compass Curriculum for all students entering UCCS.

GPS Learning Outcomes

Under the current leadership of Omar Montoya, GPS continues to grow and develop as the needs of our students continue to evolve. GPS offers its instructors yearly professional development opportunities and the program continues to train and cultivate student peer leaders that are embedded in every section of every course. GPS has learning outcomes that are consistent with the Compass Curriculum and meet the outcomes established by the GPS Advisory Group.
Upon completing the Gateway Program Seminar course, UCCS students will be able to:
  • Describe why a university education is important in the pursuit of personal and professional goals.
  • Act as a responsible,ethical college student through the use of intellectual curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, analytical reading, and listening skills.
  • Act as a civil and responsible university citizen through the development of necessary civic, ethical, and social competencies.
  • Develop the self-advocacy skills to access personal, academic, professional and information technology support at UCCS.
  • Analyze, apply, and integrate knowledge and skills as they relate to the disciplinary focus of the GPS section.
  • Communicate effectively through writing to receive, comprehend, and convey information.
  • Communicate effectively through a prepared, purposeful individual or group presentation.

GPS Assessment

The GPS Outcome Survey uses a pre/post survey to evaluate changes related to the GPS Student Learning Outcomes. The pre-assessment survey was distributed through Blackboard in the GPS classes during the first Start Up Day. The post-assessment survey was administered through instructor distribution of a survey link in November (second and third week). In summary, the results indicated an increase in:
  • Students’ knowledge of where to access academic and personal support on campus
  • Students’ self-reported confidence in writing, ability to develop and organize college level papers, and overall improvement in writing.
  • Students self-reported ability to develop and organize a presentation for a course.
  • Students’ self-reported acquisition of new skills related to success in college.



University Studies Programs

University Studies exists to provide students with excellent academic and transitional support services as new members of the UCCS campus community. University Studies is the result of a collaborative effort between the Office of First Year Experience (FYE) and the Gateway Program Seminar (GPS). It is an experience designed to help students achieve their academic and co-curricular goals while exploring more about themselves and creating their professional and personal futures. Students will be engaged inside and outside of the classroom; learning skills that will help them navigate our campus community and be successful in all of their intended endeavors.

Qualifying students are invited into the University Studies Program.
University Studies students take one of these GPS courses.

Finding Your Way-STEM is for students interested in science, engineering, or technology, whose goal is to enter the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences or another science discipline. This course helps you to develop the pieces of the puzzle in order to build the skills you need to succeed in future coursework. We will help you succeed in making your personal and professional dreams a reality!

FRI 10:50AM - 1:30 PM / Section 003
Join us for a journey where we will examine the concepts, principles and operations of business. We will visit with Colorado Springs companies where they will share the successes and challenges they face in an ever changing and challenging business climate. But most importantly, we will explore how business strategies can help you explore, navigate, and develop your personal roadmap for success here at UCCS.

WED: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 005
THURS: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 001
Explore the intersection of Nursing and the transition into college life at UCCS. Join us as we learn about the healthcare field with guest speakers, a tour of the Simulation center, and the UCCS cadaver lab! A small snapshot into the skills you’ll gain include: self-care, time management, responding to patients emotional and psychological needs and teamwork!

FRI: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 002
Friday 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 004
The primary objective of this course is to make leadership development relevant and practical for you. “Leadershop” provides a deeper understanding of leadership through group interaction, application of theories, team exercises, and self-reflection of your experiences using a creative, interactive learning approach.

TUE: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 006
TUE: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 007
TUE: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 008
FRI: 8 AM - 10:40 AM / Section 009
WED: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 010
WED: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 048

GPS Learning Communities

In an effort to evolve with the needs of our students, GPS offers student learning communities. Through our first-year learning communities, UCCS students enjoy connections with others students while gaining a better understanding of their specific areas of interest. The learning communities are centered around a specific topic/focus. Learning communities have been proven to be beneficial to students and campuses alike and, at UCCS. We are continually looking for news ways to advance the learning community concept.

Learning communities consist of a GPS course, a connecting interdisciplinary or disciplinary course, and the option of living with your learning community classmates on their respective themed floor in campus housing.

Do you know exactly what happens after a violent crime has been committed? Do you wonder how accurate popular television shows are in illustrating criminal investigations? In this course, you will learn about the criminal investigation process, modern techniques in crime scene investigation, and will explore high profile cases in the criminal justice system. This course is for Criminal Justice majors and is part of a learning community. Students will also be enrolled in CJ 1001: Introduction to Criminal Justice as part of the learning community.

THURS: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 037
Linked course: CJ 1001, Section 001
In this course, we will come alongside you and help identity your personal connection to the college experience and provide you guidance and pathways to meet your unique goals. We will help you find answers to questions you may have such as: What will I be good at? How do you know why you are taking the courses you are advised to take? How am I going to pay for being in college? Am I expected to automatically understand everything an instructor tells me? Is making friends this hard for everyone? Ultimately, you will learn that we will figure out what college is together.

This course is for students accepted into the MOSAIC Gateway Program.

THURS: 4:45 PM – 7:20 PM / Section 007
Linked Course: Soc 2220 / Section 001
Explore the magic of teaching and learning with us! This course will examine the art and science of teaching through the lens of the Harry Potter book series. We can learn much about teaching from J.K. Rowling’s magical world. In this class, you will spend time volunteering in local schools and working with experienced “Muggle” classroom teachers who teach students with various learning needs.

This course is open to allstudents, but is recommended for students majoring in Education

THURS: 8 AM - 10:40 AM/ Section 018
Linked course: LEAD 1000, Section 003

GPS Courses That Enabling Alternative Scheduling

To be able to thrive in the stress of today’s world, we all need a new set of skills emphasizing self-reflection, resilience, mindfulness, and personal sustainability. This course will introduce you to new techniques to manage stress, develop positivity, create new habits, and become more productive in both your academic life and your future career.

This is a pre-term course.

Are you interested in cooking healthy meals? Have you ever wanted to grow your own food? This course will teach you how to grow, harvest, and cook your own food and will also explore the links between health and sustainability that occurs with local food. The course also emphasizes food traditions around the world and introduces you to global flavors in the kitchen. Health, wellness, sustainability, gardening, and culinary basics are all a part of this course!

This is a Weekend University course.

“Designing your Life.” It’s Stanford’s most popular class, a New York Times best seller, and a created expressly for transfer students at UCCS. If you’d like to gain personal clarity, explore professional possibilities, get expert input, and move toward the future YOU want, sign up for this transformational new course.

This is an intensive course.


GPS Courses for Specific Disciplines & Programs

This course introduces you to the different topics and opportunities in mechanical engineering. You will explore technology, biomechanics, and atmospheric & space flight through a mission to Mars. We will build gliders, explore aerodynamics and wind tunnels, rockets, and apply experimental principles to analyze problems and develop solutions for the mission.

WED: 10:50AM - 1:30PM / Section 011
Could robots ever take over the world? Maybe not, but these machines are becoming more and more capable. Just how do humans and robots differ? Can robots actually see, play soccer, vacuum the living room, or collect the trash? As you and your teammates design and build your own robot, you will also learn basic robot technology.

This class is for non-computer and non-electrical engineering majors.

MON/WED: 12: 15 PM - 1:30 PM / Section 027
School—it’s more than just rules, tests, and lunch. Schools are the centerpiece of every community, and they help produce future citizens who create social change. Through interactive, field-based experiences, you will work with novice and veteran teachers who educate students with various cultural backgrounds, languages, and abilities.

This course is for students interested in Education and teaching.

TU: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 033
This course takes a broad-based look at the design of everyday things and how we interact with them. Who among us hasn’t had the experience of trying to open a door that looks like it should be pulled but actually requires a push to be opened? Or maybe you’ve been confused with which way to on a faucet or how to get a paper towel dispenser to work. In this course, we explore design fundamentals, principles, and approaches with an emphasis of how they are applied to designs that are simple and obvious to use.

MON: 8AM - 10:40 AM / Section 012
Strong roots grow powerful trees. This course is specifically designed for recipients of the Launching Integrity, Values, and Excellence in Leadership (LIVE) scholarship. Through dynamic weekly sessions and an epic field trip guaranteed to excite, you will uncover your unique leadership abilities and connect with opportunities to lead on the UCCS campus and in the community. For LIVE Leadership Students

TUES: 1:40-4:20p.m. / Section 039
Did you know the US homicide rate is among the highest in the industrialized world? This course examines the topic of homicide, the nature and causes of violent crime, the controversy surrounding guns, and the role of the media in shaping public opinion. Students will tour correctional facilities, meet criminal justice officials, and debate the death penalty, prisons, and correctional reform.

This course is for students interested in Criminal Justice.

TUES: 1:40-4:20PM / Section 032
Exclusively for military students, “Transitions” will help you sharpen your academic skills, find a major and career that fit, and build on your military professionalism.

For active duty military and student veterans only.

FRI: 1:40-4:20PM / GPS 3010, Section 001
TUES: 4:45-7:20PM/ GPS 3010, Section 004
Explore the intersection of the mind and society with a focus on how we think, learn, and live. Topics of discussion are designed to investigate the role of ambiguity in the gray spaces of human endeavor.

For University Honors Students.

WED 1:40 - 4:20p.m. / Section 016 and 002*
Enhance your ability to redefine the world with "collective impact." Collective impact is the commitment of a team, formed from different sectors, to address complex social problems. Understand the importance of knowing yourself when thinking about how to best help others, and where a college degree fits in. You’ll find your own way to engage on campus or in the community through a service learning project. This class is encouraged for students interested in the Human Services program, as well as interest in Counseling, Social Work, and other helping professions

MONDAYS: 10:50 AM – 1:30PM/ Section 040

GPS Courses for Specific Hobbies and Passions

GPS requires all of its students to attend Start Up Days, August 22nd-23rd, 2019 from 9:00a.m. - 4:30p.m. Start Up Days COUNTS AS 4 WEEKS OF CLASS!

Ideas are dangerous. Not convinced? Look at how far some groups and individuals have gone to suppress, or even destroy, ideas. Through immersive, game-based learning, we will visit the two trials of Galileo Galilei, as well as attempts in South Carolina to ban the Harry Potter novels. Join us as we explore book burning from multiple perspectives, and recognize the patterns that lead to the suppression of ideas and movements.

THURS: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 020
In this class you will explore cognition, memory, and learning. You will learn how you learn, and explore ways to learn better. You will also investigate ways to work collaboratively with others, and how to help your peers (which in turn helps you).

MON: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 029
You Say You Want A Revolution? This class provides an overview of the social and cultural influence of the Beatles on music, society, popular culture, art, and film. We will begin with the four lads from Liverpool in the early 1960s and discuss the evolution of the group from the Cavern days through Abbey Road. Join us for a Magical Mystery Tour with one of the most influential bands of all time!

TUES: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 035
Have you ever seen a new product or service and thought to yourself: “Why didn’t I think of that?” “Be Your Own Boss” can help you take control of your destiny. You’ll learn the “how to’s” of entrepreneurism: how to market your idea, how to run your business, how to understand your customers, how to get others excited to work for you, and how to grow the money you make.

MON: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 030
This course connects you to “YOU” and establishes your path to success. You will develop a support system and have a fundamental understanding of who you are, where your strengths lie, and what it will take to be a successful student, professional, and contributor in your community.

MON: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 022
"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world." In this class, storytelling is explored through television and movies. The professors for this class have worked in film and television, which includes Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. You will examine how stories are metaphors for life, and you will write and animate your own story

MON: 1:40 PM 4:20 PM / Section 025
According to Tom Hanks’, “A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown.” How do you define heroism? Heroes explores the topic of heroism from both a broad perspective and at a very personal level. You will examine questions such as, “What makes a hero, how do heroes influence us, how can you develop your inner hero, and does each life represent a heroes journey?” Join GPS Heroes to explore this fascinating and potentially life-altering topic!

MON: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 019
Meet actors, visual artists, art historians, musicians, and film-makers from the UCCS community who will narrate their journeys from college to professional careers. You’ll learn by example the techniques of persistence, problem-solving, practice, and performance as emphasized in the arts. Highlight your personal flair and embark on your arts journey!

FRI: 9: 25 AM - 12:05 PM / Section 042
No, not the 1980’s talent television show. This class is about you, -- starring in your own life. By identifying your strengths, interests, and opportunities, you will explore different themes and topics, discover more about yourself, and learn what it means to be a college superstar.

TUES: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 015
Field of Dreams: “Baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.” This class will explore the history, legends, strategies, and complexities of baseball.

MON: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 017
Who do we stare at? Who do we ignore? Who do we call abnormal, misfits, or freaks? In “Disability Tales,” we explore these questions and more by examining disability through the pop culture of yesterday and today. Think you know the tale of disability -- think again!

TUES: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 028
In this course you will explore new aspects of the subcultures and different spaces of Colorado Springs. You will think about different perspectives on the city-- from the historical perspective, to outdoor living, to mainstream and alternative musical and arts scenes, and perhaps mainstream to alternative sports spaces. If you are interested in all things WEIRD, this class is for you!

FRI: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 041
This course will examine the relationship between self and the environment. How does the place we live affect us? How have people changed the environment of Colorado? This class will be organized around field trips and outdoor activities (including an overnight camping trip), readings, discussions, group work, a service project, and presentations that help us reflect upon our place in Colorado and how we and others interact with it.

WED: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 024
Building an understanding of Social Identities is perhaps more important now than ever. Through an interactive and dialogue based approach this course will challenge students to explore social power dynamics in America. Students will learn the systemic and interpersonal impact of dominant culture within the United States. Specifically, this course will explore personal identity through and intersectional lens.

TUES: 10:50 AM - 1:30 PM / Section 046
Ghandi once said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” He was right, and in today’s world where heart disease, cancer, and strokes top the list of health concerns, the “helping professions” top the list of best jobs. In “Club Med,’ you’ll explore the opportunities the health sciences have to offer!

MON: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 021
Do you enjoy listening to and learning from speakers who are making an impact in their industry or community? Would you want to be a transformational speaker and make an impact yourself? Do you want to learn about how to serve effectively in the community and participate in service-learning projects with local nonprofit organizations? In this course, you'll learn how to effectively serve those in our community AND find your voice to inspire not only yourself but more so others. Someone once said, "There are two types of people: those who come into a room and say, 'Well, here I am!' and those who come in and say, 'Ah, there you are.'" So… do you think you can speak?

WED: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 026
Sport Center looks at sports through a social science lens – examining sport from communication, economic, psychological and sociological perspectives. We will explore: How does the mindset of an exceptional athlete differ from the rest of us? What motivates fandom? What role do sports play in the economy? Do we have too much invested in our sports idols? How are sports reflective of culture? This course is for both the casual and die-hard fan as we learn about the role sports play in society

THURS: 10:50 AM - 1: 30 PM / Section 023
They say, "There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs." This course is about the ups and downs of academics in college. Some new students are surprised to find themselves struggling to get organized. Some notice their assignment deadlines whizzing by... after the fact. Some are reluctant to talk with their instructors, even when that's exactly what they need to do. This seminar will help you to be more reflective and purposeful about your own academic choices. You will learn how to elevate your success by becoming your own advocate, organizing your time, and stepping up to all the academic challenges you face.

THURS: 1:40 PM - 4: 20 PM / Section 051
Vision Quest teaches you that academic success is more than the pursuit of a degree, but a voyage of self discovery and the creation of your own narrative. Utilizing a three-fold, scaffolded system you are encouraged to form a narrative of success, including self-awareness, empowerment, and advocacy. Through visualization, realization and actualization exercises, you will create short and long-term plans for success!

TUES: 1:40 PM - 4:20 PM / Section 034
Are you interested in learning about managing and restoring the forest environment near Colorado Springs? This course focuses on balancing the ecology of a sustainable forest with the needs of human users. Through lectures and field studies, you will investigate the relationship between climate change, human influences, political perspectives, and the financial issues of forest management.

WED: 8 AM - 10:40 AM / Section 031
Do you anxiously await the time of year when you can build your fantasy football team? How do you strategically put together your all-star group of players? In this course, you will learn about team effectiveness and the psychological underpinnings associated with the rise of fantasy football. If you are new to the fantasy football realm, you will learn how to build your own team using strategy and team theory.

TUES: 8AM - 10:40 AM / Section 038
The Cafe explores coffee and coffee culture. This course is ideal for all students, regardless of their major because of the various aspects surrounding Cafe. This highly contextualized course will not only investigate the lifecycle of the coffee bean but also the sociocultural aspects of coffee consumption, Cafe servicescape, and other phenomenon surrounding coffee and coffee scenes.

THURS: 1:40PM - 4:20PM / Section 050
Learn techniques and skills that will prepare you for challenging situations and teach you how to develop resilience so that you can achieve peak performance. This course introduces various mindfulness techniques in order become a strong leader, think clearer, manage stress, make better decisions, and perform at the next level.

MON: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 052
This course takes a broad-based look at poker theory and applications of poker analytics to real-life situations. We will foster an environment for the study of poker and game theory, develop the basic strategies and advanced foundation for decision-making in poker, and provide an understanding of the current poker environment and how you might leverage talent for poker in your future careers.

TUES: 4:45 PM - 7:20 PM / Section 044
Taking lessons from the one and only Michael Scott (and crew), this course will offer tips for success in school, work, and life. Topics will include good habit forming, time management, self-care, planning for success, learning about your strengths and working through challenges, communication skills, and finding your best path, all framed by some awesome moments from The Office.

WED: 4:45 PM - 7: 20 PM / Section 036