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The USP Curriculum -- From an Outreach POV

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Mun Hou Lo

on 20 September 2014

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Transcript of The USP Curriculum -- From an Outreach POV

Possible Starting Point #1:
The Applicant's Expectations

"What kinds of experiences are you hoping to have?"

"What are you expecting from your NUS education?"

"Would you prefer a narrower, specialized education, or a more broad-based one? Or both?"

"Are you interested in gaining global experiences?"
Possible Starting Point #2:
Your Experiences

"I am a Chemical Engineer + USP, which means that..."

"I took a really interesting USP module..."
The USP Curricular Experience
"I think what you are hoping for can be found in the USP..."

"The class I took is a good representative of USP classes..."
"USP classes focus on skills."
These skills are useful across disciplines, and are applicable no matter what the job is; "learning how to learn."
"The USP curriculum complements my major."
"USP is very inter-/multi-disciplinary."
"USP provides a broad-based education."
"USP facilitates independent learning."
"USP helps me see the big picture."
"USP classes are intensive/rigorous/challenging."
"USP classes gave me a deeper understanding of an issue."
What kinds of skills?
"I learned to pose questions."
"In my Writing and Critical Thinking class, instead of responding to a pre-set question, I had to find my own problem. And I had to justify why the problem was interesting."
"I learned about different disciplines and their methodologies."
"At a very early stage, I got to hear from different researchers in different fields."
"I learned to quantify and solve problems."
"In my Quantitative Reasoning class, we thought about whether to take a qualitative or quantitative approach. We figured out how to quantify a problem, how to determine and measure variables, how to construct models to test the solution."
Foundation Tier:
Learning important skills

Each USP MODULE is often interdisciplinary.
The USP CURRICULUM STRUCTURE is interdisciplinary.
The USP CLASSROOM is interdisciplinary.
Inquiry Tier:
Applying those skills

Reflection Tier:
Questioning those skills

"USP classes are small."
"This USP class got me to look at the evidence that led scientist to deduce the theory of X."
In terms of weightage, but also philosophically.
"I designed an ISM..."
Senior seminar
"USP expanded my idea of the classroom."
Joint Degree Programme with ANU
Double Degree Programme with Waseda
Cultural Immersion in China or India
Student Exchange Programme with the World
Often A Non-Starting Point:
The USP Curriculum,
Abstractly Explained

"Do you know what the USP is?"

NUS operates on the modular system. Hence you get to
your education, and you can opt to do the USP programme.

USP is an
honors programme, with a

your faculty and your major--in fact, it gives you the best of both worlds (broad-but-rigorous base, intensive specialization.

How Do I Talk About the USP Curriculum for Outreach Purposes?
Or: "I learned to situate my knowledge, and to see the bigger picture."
Full transcript