Ram 101 Course Syllabus

Course Description

This course provides students with foundational psychosocial theories as well as skills in reading, composition, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, and public speaking that they will apply to their academic success and beyond. Students are required to think reflexively about themselves, each other, their academics, and goals through personal journaling, group work, active listening, class discussions, and oral presentations. This course is reserved exclusively for scholars in the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program. They will learn to turn to their RAM peers and RAM faculty and staff for support. Note: Students taking this course may not receive credit for FRX 101 or FYS 101. Credits: 1 (1,0) 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Discern foundational theories in the social sciences in relation to their personal and academic growth
  • Think critically about their personal and academic goals and have developed skills that lead to academic success
  • Communicate effectively through written reflections, collaborative group work and formal presentations


Required Texts

  • Off to College: A Guide for College Bound Students, 2019 Edition Published by Off to College/Dees Communications, Copyright 2019

Required Web Resources

  • Assigned TED Talks
  • Assigned articles posted on Blackboard

Course Breakdown by Week/Date



Topics and Assignment



Topic: Intro to Course & RAM Program

Homework – Due Week 2:

a)      Writing Assignment: Reflect on your expectations about coming to college. Include your goals, aspirations, fears, and concerns.



Topic:  Robert K. Merton’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Theory - Being a RAM                              Scholar vs. a Regular Student

Homework – Due Week 3:

a)      Writing Assignment: Reflect on what it means to be successful in college and the application of self-fulfilling prophecy to your past and future experiences.

b)      Complete Dr. Richard Felder’ NC State learning styles assessment, print out your results and bring them to the next class.



Topic: Learning Theories and Study Styles 

Homework – Due Week 4:

a)      Writing Assignment: Reflect on the learning theories discussed in class and your preferred learning style.  How can your preferences lead to academic success?



Topic: Active Listening and Critical Thinking  

Homework - Due Week 5:

a)  Writing Assignment: Reflect on how you can utilize active listening techniques and critical thinking skills to help you creatively solve problems. 



Topic: Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Theory - Applying Self Awareness to                your Academics     

            *****Meet in Greenley 105


a)      Connect with your group for Class Presentations



Topic: Effective Communication

Homework - Due Week 7:

a)      Writing Assignment: Reflect on how you can incorporate effective communication techniques in working with your groups.



Topic: Writing Center Workshop

             *****Meet in Greenley 220

Homework - Due Week 8:

a)      Reading: Off to College – Time Management Skills pgs. 24-25



Topic: Goal Setting

Homework - Due Week 9:

a)      Video Assignment: View Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk, “The Key to Success? Grit”

b)      Writing Assignment: Write a reflection on what “grit” means to you. Does everyone have grit? What do you think about the idea of grit as presented in the TED Talk?



Topic: Success Theories - Angela Lee Duckworth’s and Carol S. Dweck’s Research on Grit and Growth Mindset

Homework - Due Week 10:

a)      Writing Assignment: Write a reflection on the various dimensions of your identity.  Do the perceptions of others sometimes differ from how you identify yourself?



Topic: Kimberlé Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality and Bob Covert’s Circles of My Multicultural Self in Relation to Identity - Academic Purpose, Passion and Career

Homework - Due Week 11:  

a)      Reading: Off to College – Is this Major Right for Me pg.56



Topic: Financial Literacy


a)      Continue to work with your group for class presentations



Topic: James MacGregor Burns’ Transformational Leadership Theory and Robert Greenleaf’s Authentic Leadership Theory - Role Models

Homework - Due Week 13:

a)      Follow up with group and work on 5 minute presentation for next week



Topic: Student Presentations

Grading Rubric

  • Class attendance 25%
  • Participation 25%                     
  • Homework, Reading and Writing Assignments 25%
  • Class Presentation 25%

Student responsibilities, classroom policies and expectations  

Students are expected to arrive on time to class, ready to learn and participate in class discussions. Since RAM 101 relies heavily upon active learning, student engagement and interaction in class is not only encouraged, but expected. Disturbances of any kind will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, talking while the instructor or another student is talking and all cell phone interruptions. If a student receives repeated verbal warnings from the instructor concerning cell phone use during class, this will have an effect upon that student’s participation grade. Students unable to meet these expectations may be asked to leave. Reading assignments are to be completed before coming to class and will serve as the basis for in-class content and discussions. Students are expected to maintain respectful standards of communication amongst themselves and with the instructor at all times when in the classroom and expressing opinions related to course content.

Course Requirements

Students are responsible for all assigned readings and writing assignments, all material presented in class, in-class participation and attendance. Students are also expected to develop and maintain their Digital Roadmap, working closely with their Academic Counselors, which will make up a significant portion of the final grade for the class. All class assignments should be submitted on time and late assignments will not be tolerated. Note that the syllabus is subject to change. Students should check their FSC email accounts frequently for notices or communication regarding RAM 101 and the RAM program. It is recommended that students check their Farmingdale email at least once every day.


Attendance Policy 

Class attendance-- Students are expected to attend every class and arrive on time and prepared. If something urgent comes up that will affect your ability to attend a class, it is expected that you make every effort to contact the instructor ahead of time and make up any missed work. Absolutely no more than two absences will be excused throughout the duration of the course.

Seminar Attendance—Students in the RAM Program are encouraged to attend at least two seminars per semester.  Attendance of additional seminars can be used as extra credit in instances of missed classes or work, on a case-by-case basis.


Course material will be made accessible on Blackboard. Additionally, although this is not an online course, students should check Blackboard regularly for communication and announcements from the instructor.

Late Assignments

No late assignments will be accepted without prior approval.


The RAM Program encourages the use of technology to further the learning experience. Please remember that even when online, you are still in an academic setting. Refrain from using inflammatory and hurtful language and maintain the same standards of respect for your professors and classmates that you would in a traditional classroom setting.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism is a serious academic and ethical violation that can result in serious disciplinary consequences. FSC’s policy on academic honesty reads: “Plagiarism is using someone else's thoughts or words and passing them off as your own original ideas. Academic classwork and writing constantly refers to the ideas and research of others who have contributed to your field of study. You will need to mention these established sources when you write your own papers, but you also need to distinguish between the ideas of others, and your own. Most plagiarism is unintentional, and results from students who are confused about how to refer to others' work. In general, you need to document your sources when:

  1. You use material quoted directly from another's work.
  2. You summarize or paraphrase material from another's work.
  3. You use an idea from a known and identifiable source.
  4. You use any fact or date that is NOT common knowledge and was found in another's work.”

For details about what constitutes plagiarism, and FSC’s procedures for handling violations.


Students with Disabilities

If you believe you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, qualified individuals with disabilities will not be discriminated against in any programs, or services available at FSC University. Individuals with disabilities are entitled to accommodations designed to facilitate full access to all programs and services. SSD is responsible for coordinating disability related accommodations and will provide students with documented disabilities accommodation letters, as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact SSD as soon as possible. All students are responsible for providing accommodation letters to each instructor and for discussing with him or her the specific accommodations needed and how they can be best implemented in each course. For more information on services provided by the university and for submission of documentation, visit http://www.farmingdale.edu/campuslife/studentsupportservices/supportservicesstudentsdisabilities/   

Religious Absences

If you are unable to attend class on certain days due to religious beliefs, please consult with your instructor well in advance of the absence so that appropriate accommodation can be made