Student Studying in Wisconsin Historical Society Reading Room

“A Wisconsin Experience Seminar” (CP 125)

A Wisconsin Experience Seminar, Counseling Psychology 125 (CP 125) is a great way to begin your college experience at UW-Madison.  CP 125 is a one-credit semester-long class that encourages students to consider intentional ways of shaping their Wisconsin Experience through exploration and understanding of the Wisconsin Idea, liberal education, and research in a research institution. The course engages students in the academic experience early in their college careers through individual conversations with instructors and facilitated dialogues with classmates. Critical thinking and written and oral communication skills are practiced and sharpened through thought provoking writing assignments, readings, and experiential assignments. The course is intended to create an appreciation for and sensitivity to diversity and inclusivity in a developmentally and educationally purposeful way.

The course is team-taught with a professional staff Instructor and an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow. Each section has up to 20 students and enrolls new freshman or transfer students in designated sections.  Classes meet once a week for 75 minutes and are scheduled throughout the day.

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to explain and discuss the purpose of a liberal education, the Wisconsin Experience, the Wisconsin Idea, and a research university.
  • Identify and reflect on some of the things or people that influence your identity and in what ways.
  • Be able to reflect on and discuss how you contribute to campus climate.
  • Reflect on the development of your critical thinking skills. Demonstrate growth through class assignments.
  • Reflect on the development of your communication skills. Demonstrate growth through class assignments.
  • Be able to identify campus resources and experiences that can help you achieve your personal and academic goals.


Sample Syllabus for Freshmen Sections

Transfer students



More information for prospective Undergraduate Teaching Fellows

More information for prospective Instructors

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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