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Incoming Students to Confront Global Change in Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions

For much of prehistory and the history of humans, global conditions and climates were relatively stable. 

No longer. The conditions and climates on Earth are changing, and the rate of those changes is accelerating. 

It is time to consider, together, this global change. We’re inviting all incoming NC State students to understand and explore the many dimensions of global change in Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions (WPWS), and to become part of the NC State community of scholars that works to solve these problems together. 

Spearheaded by Senior Vice Provost Louis Hunt, Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions is an online multidisciplinary course specially created for all incoming first-year and transfer students and their families. 

To make sense of the world in which we live, we each need to understand the nature of global changes, why they are occurring and how quickly, and who they are most affecting. The course will discuss the ways in which these changes are depicted in art and literature, how we tell the stories of our time, and, importantly, how we can work together to slow these changes and solve the problems they create. In doing so, we recognize an important reality of global change, namely that it cannot be solved by individual disciplines. 

“Engineers alone can’t solve the problem. Nor can writers. Nor can biologists. Nor even can the cleverest of physicists. Instead, we need to work together across disciplines to find solutions, solutions that are apparent only through interdisciplinarity,” says William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Rob Dunn, who is one of the faculty members for WPWS. 

Students will learn about global change, its history and its consequences directly from fifty NC State faculty and other experts who are together leading the way to find diverse solutions around the world. Ancient life, urbanization, economic change, climate literature and modern justice movements are just a few of the topics this course will cover. 

The course will run for five weeks over Summer Session II from June 28 to July 30, 2021. Students who complete the course will earn two NC State credit hours at no cost. Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions has been approved as an Interdisciplinary Perspectives course. 

Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions consists of videos, podcasts and weekly livestreams with experts in Global Change.

All incoming first-year and transfer students are invited to join the course; all they have to do is access the course in WolfWare to get started. Students can earn their two credit hours by completing the course activities and assignments. They will also have the option to complete an at-home citizen science activity. The credit hours will be added to the student’s Fall 2021 transcript (similar to the way NC State awards Advanced Placement credit) upon completion of the course; they will not earn a letter grade.

While the course is not required, it’s an excellent way for incoming students to launch their journeys at NC State, explore a variety of subjects, learn how to use our academic technologies, and build relationships with instructors and peers. Students who choose not to take advantage of this opportunity don’t need to do anything. If they don’t complete the course, they will have opted out; it will never appear on their transcript and will not impact their GPA.

For more information and updates about Wicked Problems, Wolfpack Solutions, visit our website and our FAQ page. Students can receive the latest updates by checking their official NC State email. 

We encourage all incoming students to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity created just for them! WPWS will better prepare students to think about the decisions they make tomorrow –– at NC State and around the world. 

We can’t wait to see what our students Think and Do!