Hoping for plenty of a-ha moments this fall semester

Rereading America

Fall 2012 has landed with a whole new set of classes to teach and fresh students to guide this semester. In addition to leading a freshman cohort, I’m looking forward to reading the anthology Re-reading America, Jonathan Kozol’s Shame of the Nation, and David Shipler’s The Working Poor for L&CS 121: Culture and Civic Responsibility along with helping to steer seniors toward strong portfolios and presentations for L&CS 124: Senior Assessment & Portfolio. Should anyone have suggestions on exercises and documentaries to cover this year’s presidential election, by all means, please send them my way. November 4, 2012 will be a spotlighted in L&CS 121. Here’s hoping for a good head-smacking academic year with lots of a-ha moments for the students and myself.

Here’s the course descriptions to pique your interest:

F.Y.A.C. L &CS EDUC-070-36 (54159)

Welcome! This class is designed to help you, as a newly minted college professional, become effective agents by prompting how to ask good questions, how to practice life-long learning, and, finally, to increase the capacity to take charge of your own academic career. Consider this a strength-training course to strengthen your critical skills and support you in your transition to college life, combining class discussions with co-curricular activities, and a variety of workshops so you may achieve your highest potential. You will be provided with access to a faculty and academic advisor, who will serve as a resource and mentor to guide you through the many learning and living experiences at Saint Mary’s. Consider your faculty advisor as a physical therapist, here to ensure you are fit and toned for your college profession. I look forward to learning and training with each of you.

Liberal & Civic Studies 121: Culture & Civic Responsibility

Course Description

Welcome to L&CS 121, the first of five Liberal and Civic Studies courses that together comprise the core experience for students pursuing this program of studies. Within the broad framework of culture and civic responsibility, this course introduces you to the seven central emphases and themes of the Liberal and Civic Studies Program: 1) Service-Learning, 2) the Arts, 3) Diversity, 4) Ideas from the Great Conversation, 5) Critical Thinking, 6) Integrative Thinking and 7) Self-Assessment. (NOTE: These themes and emphases are explained in the introductory pages of your Guide to the Liberal and Civic Studies Program.) In addition, the course gives special emphasis to the theme of American society and culture—its roots, development, nature and impact. Throughout the course, we will explore possible answers to the question: Can we create here in America the kind of “Beloved Community” envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King?

Liberal and Civic Studies 124/100 Fall 2012 – Senior Assessment & Portfolio

Course Description

Welcome to L&CS 124, and congratulations on entering your senior year! This course is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what you have learned & experienced, and how you have grown over the course of your L&CS education.  As an interdisciplinary program that seeks to educate the whole person, and strives to develop self-awareness, ethical values, and habits of social responsibility, it is important for our students that they have time to assess their development.