Student Studying in Wisconsin Historical Society Reading Room

Course Overview

The Wisconsin Experience Seminar (Counseling Psychology 125) is a one-credit (75 min/wk., 15 wk.) first-year extended orientation seminar open to all new students (freshman and transfer) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is taught by a faculty or staff member and an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow in an active, discussion-driven, and community-oriented learning environment. Class size is capped at 20 students. Transfer and freshman sections are offered in the fall and spring. In fall 2016, 22 sections are available. In addition to general sections for freshmen and transfer students, sections for freshman and transfer engineering majors, international students, students living in University Housing, and students interested in LGBTQ+ issues at UW-Madison are available. More:

Course Description, Learning Outcomes, and Syllabus

This small, interactive course is designed to help new students transition successfully to academic and student life at UW-Madison. Students will explore campus resources and opportunities; their skills, identity, interests, and goals; and the history and purpose of UW to help them make the most of their Wisconsin experience and achieve their personal and professional goals.

As a result of this course, students will …

• Develop positive relationships with faculty, staff, and students
• Engage with campus resources and opportunities to develop the habits of a successful college student and to have a fulfilling Wisconsin experience
• Assess their skills, interests, and values in order to make the most of their Wisconsin experienceand to further their personal and career goals • Analyze the multiple dimensions of identity and how those dimensions impact their and others’ experience at UW-Madison
• Discuss the history, culture, and purpose of UW-Madison and how those shared reference points may influence their Wisconsin experience
• Plan how they will engage with and contribute to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and other communities during their undergraduate career

Course learning outcomes are achieved through meaningful assignments, readings, in-class discussions and activities, and interactions with campus resources and opportunities. For more information, checkout a syllabus template for The Wisconsin Experience Seminar: Counseling Psychology 125 - A Wisconsin Experience Seminar Also, see more about the course.

Information for Prospective Students (Freshmen and Transfers)

The Wisconsin Experience Seminar is a 1-credit course to help new students transition to UW-Madison.

What you’ll get from the class?

• A good start on your academic and career goals
• Information about campus resources and opportunities
• Tips on how to get involved and make most of your Wisconsin Experience
• An orientation to academic and social life at UW-Madison
• Meet other new students!

What makes this class unique?

• Only for new students (freshman and transfer)
• Small (20 students or less)
• Interactive and discussion-oriented
• Co-taught by an experienced undergraduate student
• It’s a fun way to ease into life at UW-Madison!

Quotes from former students:

"CP 125 made the transition from a small high school to a big university much less intimidating. I made a lot of new friends in my class and learned so many useful tips and tricks to help me navigate my way through freshman year."
- Natalie Chevalier, freshman pre-kinesiology major

" CP 125 helped make UW-Madison feel like home and it was so much fun!"
- Joelle Stewart, undecided freshmen

"The course introduced me to encouraging faculty and supportive peers and helped me begin to make my college experience exactly what I want it to be."
- Makenzie Severud, sophomore neurobiology and Spanish major

"CP 125 gave me a place where I felt comfortable asking questions about general campus life. It really helped me become accustomed to college and made me aware of all the opportunities I have available to me here. It also created a very welcoming environment and I'm still friends with many of my classmates."
- Leslie Franczek, sophomore biomedical engineering major

Counseling Psychology 125 - A Wisconsin Experience Seminar - F16 - Syllabus Template

Fall 2016 Sections

Find The Wisconsin Experience Seminar on My Course Guide by searching for COUN PSY 125. Please contact Kevin Clarke, Assistant Director of Academic Engagement, at 608-265-3079 or at with questions or registration issues.  

Look at all the sections for Fall 2016: 2016SectionHandout.pdf


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Center for the First-Year Experience
101 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Dr.
Madison, WI 53706-1319
PH: 608-263-0367
FAX: 608-265-3370

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The Center for the First-Year Experience is a unit within the Division of Student Life