Free Course for Incoming Undergraduate Students

Pacific University's College of Arts and Sciences invites all incoming Fall 2022 students (first-year and transfer undergraduates) to participate in this free, one-credit academic course before college even starts!

PACU 155 The Art of College Conversation is a FREE online course. It will count as one elective credit towards the 124 total required for graduation. The course begins on Tuesday, June 14th and will meet online on Zoom every Tuesday from 4pm-6pm PST until July 12th.

PACU 155: The Art of College Conversation (1 credit, Pass/No Pass)

In this course, students will learn the art of “controversy with civility” and practice techniques for engaging in conversations about difficult topics when there are very different perspectives involved. Students will have an opportunity to get to know each other and discuss current controversial issues in a space that allows for tentative ideas, emerging opinions, gentle disagreement, and challenging assumptions. As a result, students in this course will build skills for participating in discussions that will be useful in college courses and residence halls, with their families, and throughout their lives. This credit will count towards the 124 credits required for graduation. 

Prerequisites: None

Course Faculty:







Jennifer Hardacker, Professor








Stephanie Stokamer, Ed.D., Director of the Center for Civic Engagement

Course Outcomes

Once you have completed this course, you will be able to: (1) Identify 2-3 strategies for continuing conversation; (2) Demonstrate respectful disagreement; and (3) Articulate their own opinion in a way that contributes to discussion.

Pacific is a small school fueled by the close relationships between faculty, staff, and students.  We are a caring collectivity eager to get to know our newest members at a time when we are all feeling disconnected from our usual networks and routines.  I hope this course will give you a small taste of how a quality college education can help you find meaning and a sense of purpose in your world.

Class Meeting Dates & Times

The course begins on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. We will meet on Zoom once a week every Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Oregon time until July 12th.

Enrolling in the course is free for all admitted first-year and transfer students starting at Pacific University this Fall 2022. All readings and other materials will be provided free of cost. Students will need access to the internet in order to stream the lectures and discussion groups via Zoom.

Best of all, the course credits can be applied toward your total credits needed to graduate from Pacific University!

How to Register for this Class

Please complete the Academic Interest Survey by Monday, June 13, 2022 at 12:00 noon if you wish to register for PACU 155. You will only complete one depending on how you are entering Pacific University:

Meet Pacific Faculty & Students

You will get the chance to see Pacific professors in action. A few returning Pacific students have been selected to lead breakout discussions after faculty presentations. We know you’re going to enjoy getting to know some Pacific professors and students before the semester even begins.  

Stress-Free College Credit

If that’s not enough to get your blood pumping, you should also know there is only one short out-of-class assignment, the class is pass/no pass (no letter grade assigned), and you can drop the course without penalty.

We know this is a hectic time for many students, which is why we designed this course to be engaging and important, yet stress-free.

Contact Us

Mike Shingle | Director, Academic & Career Advising