Jump Start Courses

The Jump Start program is a partnership with UVM Admissions and UVM Orientation.

UVM first-year students attend a UVM Orientation Session and then can participate in the Jump Start program. Get a Jump Start on classes, build a network of friends, learn about UVM support services, and get to know the campus – all before the fall semester begins! Take advantage of this valuable opportunity to earn college credit at 50% off regular tuition!

Students will:

07Track A
Dates: Pre Class Learning (Online) June 16 – 20, On Campus Class June 23 – July 3, Post Class Online/Project Time July 7- 11, 2014

Sample Schedule for students taking a 3 credit course in Track A
Sample Schedule for students taking a 4 credit course in Track A

Track B
Dates: Pre Class Learning (Online) June 16 – 20, On Campus Class June 25 – July 3, Post Class Online/Project Time July 7- 11, 2014

Sample Schedule for students taking a 3 credit course in Track B


UVM Orientation Can I register for Jump Start Track A? Can I register for Jump Start Track B?
Sessions 1-4 Yes Yes
Session 5 Ideal (directly follows orientation 5) Yes
Session 6 No* Ideal (directly follows orientation 6)

*dates conflict


Track A

Description: Animals play an important role in our daily lives, from the domestic animals that keep us company, to laboratory animals advancing medical knowledge and livestock raised for meat, milk and other services. This class will introduce the disciplines of Animal Science, key advances and areas of controversy. Through a combination of self-study, lectures, and applied applications, students will learn basic concepts of nutrition and physiology, reproduction and lactation, genetics and animal behavior.

Dr._Julie_Smith_20131218150210Instructor: Dr. Julie Smith, DVM, PhD

I have been with the Department of Animal Science of the University of Vermont, as the Extension Dairy Specialist, since 2002. My background is in biosecurity and preventive animal health management (especially calf management and Johne’s disease). I’m currently working on an interdisciplinary project to better prepare farms and communities to implement biosecurity plans in the face of a highly contagious disease emergency. I also conduct research to better understand the risk of highly contagious disease spread among Vermont dairy farms. For more information about my research and my blog, please visit: http://asci.uvm.edu/?Page=faculty/smith/homepage.html

Download the syllabus

Description: This introductory course addresses the representation and construction of “race” in literature and the contributions of ethnically diverse writers to the American culture.

image005 Instructor: Sean Witters
Sean Witters is Lecturer in the University of Vermont Department of English. He teaches courses in Literary and Critical Theory, Race and Ethnic Literature, Dystopian Fiction, and 19th, 20th, and 21st Century American Literature. Dr. Witters has been at UVM since 2006. His doctoral thesis explores the interaction between the author and the “logic of the brand” in the literary marketplace. He has published and presented on writers, including Aldous Huxley, Mary McCarthy, James Baldwin, and J.D. Salinger. He is currently writing on the emergence of the “addict” in fiction, culture, and medicine and has a new essay on Aldous Huxley and surveillance forthcoming in a 2014 critical collection. He has taught at Brandeis University, Suffolk University, and the Berklee College of Music. Dr. Witters received his bachelor degree from the University of Vermont and his M.A./Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University.

Description: Calculus 1 is an introduction to calculus of functions of one variable. We will study concepts such as limits, continuity, techniques and applications of differentiation and integration. These topics will be presented in a manner that is accessible to students in the hybrid course environment, will retaining the rigor needed for pursuing degrees in technical fields such as mathematics, statistics, engineering, or the physical sciences. A strong background in secondary school algebra and trigonometry is a pre-requisite for this course. Our course is set-up in three parts:

  • June 16 – June 22 (Online) In this week, we will be studying functions and models. This chapter will cover: ways to represents a function, mathematical models, shifting/stretching of functions, exponential and logarithmic functions. Homework will be completed online through WebAssign. Learning modules will consist of videos and online lecture notes for these topics.
  • June 23 – June 27, 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:15-4:15pm (Classroom) and June 30 – July 2, 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:15-4:15pm (Classroom) In this portion of our course, we will be reinforcing ideas related to limits and developing concepts related to derivatives, including their applications. Our class time will consist of lectures, exploratory activities and labs, as well as quizzes. Generally, morning sessions will be a blend of lecture, activities and quizzes. The afternoon sessions will include time to work on homework.
  • July 5 – July 11 (Online) In this week, we will be wrapping up a few last topics and concluding our course. You will be completing your final projects in this week.

Download the Syllabus>>
CaptureInstructor:  Catherine Bliss
Catherine Bliss holds a M.S. and Ph. D. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Vermont. As a Mathematics instructor in small liberal arts colleges and international schools in the Caribbean and South America, Catherine’s teaching experience spans several years and diverse environments. She has taught a range of undergraduate Mathematics courses, including such courses as Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Statistics, Math Modeling and Discrete Math. In all settings, she is committed to student success and her teaching style embodies student centered learning and active learning approaches.

In 2009, Catherine was recruited as the inaugural recipient of the Complex Systems Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research lies within the areas complex networks, particular social network analysis. She is interested in information spreads through social networks and how such networks evolve over time. More information about her research and publications can be found on her webpage: http://www.cems.uvm.edu/~cabliss/

In addition to interests in Mathematics and Complex Systems, Catherine has interests in ecology and environmental science. She has engaged in several research projects in community ecology,
parasitology, and modeling invasive species at the University of Vermont and has also studied tropical marine biology in Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas. One of her most treasured experiences was a cultural immersion program in East Africa (Zanzibar – Coastal Ecology). In addition to hear Mathematics degrees, Catherine also holds a M.A. degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. She has served as the academic and field leader for a Sea Turtle Studies study-abroad program in Costa Rica.

One of the reasons why Catherine enjoys teaching Mathematics is that she has the opportunity to infuse applications from a wide variety of fields into the courses she teachers.

Description: In this course students will study the standard guidelines to select foods that maximize human health and the functions of the essential nutrients needed to sustain human life.

Prerequisites: High school chemistry and biology.


Instructor: Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson is a well-known expert on national nutrition policy, pediatric nutrition, dietary intake methodology and energy metabolism. She serves as Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. She is the former associate provost of UVM and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Rachel gained national attention for speaking out against Americans’ high consumption of added sugars when she was a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advisory committee. She was also vocal about the 2005 updated guidelines and food guide pyramid. Her research on the effects of both flavored milk and soft drinks on children’s diets has been published in the academic and popular press, as has her work on caffeine use.

Sarah-AminInstructor: Sarah Amin
Sarah Amin grew up in North Attleboro, MA and attended Wheaton College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in biology. She went on to receive her masters in public health at Brown University in 2012. Sarah is entering the third year of her doctoral studies in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at UVM. Her research interests include dietary intake methodology and nutrition policy. Sarah’s current project focuses on ways to employ digital imaging methods to measure fruit and vegetable consumption in elementary school children. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys running, swimming, and exploring the great outdoors.

Download the Syllabus

Track B


Description: This class offers students an introduction to a range of disciplinary approaches, from Natural Sciences to Social Sciences and Humanities/Fine Arts. Students will combine self-assessments and reflective assignments with readings and exercises that demonstrate academic approaches in different fields and introduce them to departments, offices and resources throughout the college. The class is specially designed with undecided majors in mind, with the goal of helping students begin thinking about their college career and life beyond in a strategic way. This engaging class will help students “find their place” in the college of Arts and Sciences!

*This course is for College of Arts and Sciences students only.

image004Instructor: Jennifer Dickinson
Dr. Jennifer Dickinson received her B.A. in 1992 from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in Anthropology and Russian, and two M.A.’s, one in Anthropology, and another in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Michigan (1995; 1996). She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialization in Linguistic Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1999. She has done research in several regions of the former Soviet Union, and currently focuses on Eastern Europe, and in particular, Ukraine. Her broad academic interests cover many areas of cultural and linguistic anthropology, including storytelling, conversational pragmatics, language ideologies, the anthropology of Eastern Europe, material culture studies, and the anthropology of work. Dr. Dickinson’s dissertation, entitled “Life on the Edge: Understanding Social Change through Everyday Conversation in a Ukrainian Border Community,” combined these broad interests, exploring the ways in which everyday conversational interactions among members of a dialect-speaking border community contributed to these villagers’ emerging understandings of social and economic change in post-Soviet Ukraine. One of the main foci of her dissertation, and of her continuing work in linguistic and cultural anthropology, is the nature of conversational storytelling, from the level of grammatical structure to the nature of topic shift and the role of storytelling in creating social cohesion and social meaning. In addition to continuing to study the role of personal narrative the transformation of working life in the Zakarpattia region of Ukraine, Dr. Dickinson has established a separate line of research into the linguistics and semiotics of advertising. Her most recent project focuses on alphabet mixing and graphic design in Ukrainian outdoor advertising, offering a linguistic anthropological approach to the transformation of public space in the city of Lviv. Her blog “Language, Culture and Smak” explores topics related to language, culture and food in Eastern Europe. Dr. Dickinson also serves as the faculty Director of UVM’s Center for Teaching and Learning and Director of Russian and East European Studies.

Description: Race and Racism in the U.S. is a general education course offered in the College of Education and Social Services to undergraduate students majoring in education. The course is premised on the fact that principles of equality and justice are enshrined in the U.S. constitution, yet racial inequality and social injustice are still an all too present reality in the U.S. In this course students get to examine and analyze the origins, incidence, and consequences of racial inequality, in relation to other forms of oppression. Students eventually get to challenge themselves to consider ways of using their intellectual power and privilege both as college students, and future classroom practitioners to interrupt systems of race-based oppression.

image002 Instructor: Vincent Mugisha
Vincent M. Mugisha was born and raised in Uganda, East Africa. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont, in the United States where he is now a permanent resident. He has a big passion for languages and culture, which is why his general research interests are multicultural perspectives on education and social development. He has traveled extensively for study abroad in Germany, Spain, France, England and Austria; for professional development in Japan, the Netherlands, and Sweden; and later on for assignments of varying lengths in educational development and humanitarian assistance in countries as diverse as Haiti, Guatemala, Morocco, Burma/Myanmar, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. He was a high school teacher and examiner of international baccalaureate (IB) and international general certificate of secondary education (IGCSE) courses in German, and international studies for five years at the International School of Uganda in Uganda, his home country. After graduating with a master’s degree in development studies in the U.S., he worked in Washington, DC and Ottawa, Canada where he managed various donor-funded international education and training programs. He recently participated in an educational trip to New Zealand where he conducted research on culturally responsive instructional leadership in mainstream schools that are heavily attended by Maori and Pasifika students.

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Ryan_MorraDescription: In this course, we will study of the relationships among ecological, physical, and social processes within a particular area. We will use the lens of landscape ecology to focus on the concept of “place” as the geographic setting where nature and culture intertwine and unfold through time. Using the Burlington landscape as our classroom, we will spend this field-based course building up our understanding of the biophysical landscape – from bedrock geology to soils, plants, animals, and climate. We will concurrently explore how our human actions both past and present impact other the biophysical system, and reflect on how we can live sustainably within our places. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the natural and cultural history of the Burlington area, and will have the tools to explore landscapes in other regions. We will build skills to be able to use online and library references to explore site-specific characteristics of the landscape.

Instructor: Ryan Morra

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Description: Designed so that students critically reflect upon their own learning experiences, learn educational theory, and clarify their motivation for entering the field of education. Using emerging educational techniques and technologies to expand student engagement and prepare for the horizon of education. This course will culminate with the construction of a multi-media website where students incorporate methods and theory to describe their personal educational experience to date as well as create a personal statement of their viewpoint of her/himself as an educator.

Instructor: Diana Gonzalez

Diana McArleton Gonzalez is currently pursuing her Ed.D at UVM and received her Masters degree from the School for International Training. Her research interests center on social justice, experiential, and collaborator learning. At UVM she has taught intergroup dialogue, leadership and facilitation, and health education. She is also a former high school and elementary school teacher, as well as a former coordinator of a middle school peer mediation program. In addition to this work, she is a certified yoga instructor and mediator.

Download The Syllabus>>