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Transition Courses

Transition Courses

Transition Courses are challenging, credit-bearing courses developed for students during key transitional periods of the undergraduate experience. In these courses, students learn educational philosophies, approaches and theories and have the opportunity to put in to practice evidence-based techniques for student success. The courses are taught using highly-structured, active learning techniques. In addition to gaining content knowledge, the goal of these courses is to encourage optimal development during important educational transitions.

There are currently four transition courses offered by the School of Education in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Retention in the College of Arts and Sciences and Thrive@Carolina. See here for a full list of transition courses offered within the School of Education.


EDUC 230: Thriving after the First Year: Accessing High Impact Opportunities, a 1 credit course, was designed specifically to help sophomore and junior students maximize their time and success at UNC.

EDUC 230: Thriving After the First Year: Accessing High Impact Opportunities:
Accessing High Impact Practices combines academic inquiry with real-world applications in real time. The course is designed primarily to help students identify and access meaningful HIPs aligned with their individual values, needs, and goals. Students will be guided to ask critical and reflexive questions that will help them describe and link their unique purpose at the university with their potential contributions to the world. The course includes substantive content on student belonging and student engagement with clear linkages to how these concepts relate to engagement in HIPs and student thriving. This course introduces students to the breadth of HIPs offered at Carolina as well as HIPs that may be accessed through Carolina’s extensive network of partners and alumni. Finally, the course will facilitate the application process for every student to engage in one or more HIPs in a forthcoming term.


Navigating the Research University: EDUC 130
This one credit hour course provides students with knowledge to succeed at a research university. In this seminar-style course, students explore the value of a liberal arts education as well as survey educational theories of academic motivation, resiliency, and self-advocacy. Through critical thinking, thoughtful analysis and writing, students also examine the roles of research, diversity and engagement in a community of scholars. The course material is presented within a framework of students’ current work toward academic success and their path to degree attainment.

  • Semesters Offered: Summer I, Summer II
  • Click here for a sample course syllabus


The Junior Transfer Seminar: Thriving in Transition: EDUC 301
The Junior Transfer Seminar is a three credit hour course designed to help junior transfer students make a successful transition to Carolina. In a small-class environment, students are challenged to think critically about educational issues as they transition to a 4-year, research university. Through readings, videos, course activities, and research, students will explore questions such as: What is the value of higher education? What is intelligence and how does it develop? What is the role of habit in learning and success? What is happiness and what is the role of happiness in education? What does development look like among college-age students? What is the role of motivation in college success?

Participating in this seminar helps transfer students build a network of peers with the common experience of transferring. This course is also designated as a research-intensive course and students may use this course toward earning the Carolina Research Scholar designation on their transcript. For more information on the Carolina Research Scholar program and to register, visit

  • The Junior Transfer Seminar fulfills EE, experiential education, and SS, social science, general education requirements.
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
  • Click here for a sample course syllabus


The Science of Learning: EDUC 330
In this three credit hour course, students will be introduced to the science of learning literature, which covers educational, cognitive, and social psychology, as well as studies in behavioral neuroscience, the learning sciences and disciplinary education. Students will be expected to understand the conceptual and empirical foundations of the science of learning, and they will also be asked to apply this understanding to case studies, problem sets, and their own education. This course is appropriate for students who want to know how people learn, and how to leverage that understanding to improve their own, and others’ learning.

  • The Science of Learning fulfills an SS, social science, general education requirement.
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II
  • Click here for a sample course syllabus


Thrive@Carolina and Beyond: EDUC 231
In this three credit hour course, students will learn the science of thriving and strengths-based strategies for young adult development. The course will bridge contemporary literature on positive youth development, non-cognitive factors, positive psychology (e.g., hope, optimism) and more. Learn and invest in thriving as a student UNC-CH and beyond.

  • Thriving in College and Beyond fulfills CI, communications intensive, and SS, social science, general education requirements
  • Semesters offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Click here for a sample course syllabus

For information on General Education requirements, please visit Academic Advising and see The Curriculum overview on The Undergraduate Curricula website.


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