The University Game

by Rick Shearer

Rick grew up mostly in western Canada, with a brief sojourn in Australia. After spending seven years as an undergraduate at the University of Calgary, he moved to sunny southern California. He calls his career path an unplanned voyage around the world.

Instructional Objective The players upon completing the game should be able to cite at least 10 situations which may lengthen a 4 year degree program.

Learners/Context The University Game is designed for high school students intending to go on to university and their parents. Its use is appropriate in the classroom or at home and can be played by 2 to 4 people.

Rationale The University Game is designed to provide the high school student and/or their parents with insightful information concerning the pitfalls an undergraduate student may encounter. Specifically, the game looks at issues which can quickly take a student from their intended four year degree track to a longer six year degree track. As you may expect, there are more situations which will extend a students undergraduate program than reduce it.

The players upon completing the game will have encountered up to 80 situations which may extend or shorten a degree program. The players will be aware of situations involving courses, financial aid, grades and a category labeled fun stuff.

Equipment 1 Game board

1 Die

4 Plastic Students

8 Decks of 10 cards each labeled:

Financial Aid - 4 year track

Financial Aid - 6 year track

Course - 4 year track

Course - 6 year track

Grades - 4 year track

Grades - 6 year track

Fun Stuff - 4 year track

Fun Stuff - 6 year track

The Game Board The game board has two paths or degree tracks. The 4 year track is the inside track and is broken into 8 semesters. The 6 year track is the outside track and is broken into 12 semesters. The squares on both tracks are the same for the first eight semesters (colored blue). The last 4 semesters of the 6 year track are colored red and are not related to the 4 year track.

Each square in the first eight semesters corresponds to one of the decks of cards. The last 4 semesters of the 6 year track (red) no longer correspond to the cards and have specific instructions on some of the squares. Place the decks of cards on the eight large squares in the middle of the board.

Rules The University Game requires 30 minutes to one hour to play depending on the number of players.

How to Win The first player to go around the board once and graduate wins the game. Please note that you do not have to land exactly on the "graduate" square to finish the game.

Part I - Who Goes First 1. Each player chooses a plastic student and places it on the start


2. Each player rolls the die once. The highest roll determines who goes first.

3. Play continues to the left after the first player's turn.

Part II - How to Play 1. The first player roles the die and moves the appropriate number of


2. The player then draws a card from the appropriate card stack.

*If you are on the four year track and land on "Grades" you would draw a card from the "Grades - 4 Year Track" pile.

3. The player reads the card out loud and makes the appropriate move or announces that they miss a turn.

*You role a 3 and land on the course square. You draw a card which states$"You have not been attending class regularly. You must drop 2 classes. Move to the same square on the 6 year track". You move your plastic student from the third square in semester 1 on the 4 year track to the third square in semester 1 on the 6 year track.

4. The player returns the card to the bottom of the appropriate stack. However, if the player is instructed to "miss a turn" they hold onto the card and then replace it on the bottom of the stack on the next round of play in which they miss a turn. Cards are returned to the stacks as the same fortunes or misfortunes can occur to all students at any time.

5. Play now continues to the next player on the left.

Part III - How to Play After the eighth semester on the 6 year track there is no possibility of

Beyond the Eighth returning to the 4 year track. Therefore, play continues for those on the

Semester on the 6 year track by simply rolling the die and following the printed

6 Year Track instructions on each square (red) in semesters 9 through 12.

Please note that the playing cards are no longer used once you are past the eighth semester on the 6 year track. Your path towards graduation is now strictly based on the luck you have rolling the die.