Liberal & Applied Arts
Learning Communities

Learning Communities

In the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, four separate Learning Communities are being offered to students in the Fall 2019 semester. Each of these Communities is comprised of two classes that apply to students’ core curriculum requirements and a 1-hour Introduction to Research Methods course. Each of the Communities is limited to between 20 and 25 students, and each course will be taught by experienced, engaging faculty members.

Participating in a Learning Community is a proven method to form relationships with faculty and fellow students that contribute to academic success. The 1-hour Research Methods component is included as part of a university initiative to increase students’ opportunities for hands-on learning during the course of their academic career. Applied research skills are one of the factors that make college graduates more desirable to employers across all fields and professions.

Myth and History in a Global Context

These courses will introduce students to the ways in which cultures, societies, and civilizations articulate their own stories of belonging; stories that are often embedded in myths and legends. The courses will provide students an opportunity to explore the relationship between myths, religions, and history from the early creation myths to the rise of the river valley civilizations to the age of global expansion in the 16th century.

The Past Informs the Present

Understanding the contemporary world requires an understanding of the past.  Groups, cultures, organizations, and social institutions all are governed by sets of practices and beliefs developed over time.  In this Learning Community, students will have the opportunity to learn recent U.S. History in the context of a sociological perspective on how these various components that make up a society evolved.

Hispanic Cultures: Language and Anthropology

Students in the connected Introduction to Spanish and Introduction to Cultural Anthropology courses will learn the language and take an in depth look into Hispanic cultures from around the world. We will discuss topics such as culture, family, music, art, geography, weather, and university life.

We will skype with other professionals from other Hispanic countries, watch movies and discuss them and how they relate to the world in which we live, and have talking tables.

Better Together:
Why We Need Community and Communities Need Us

Becoming free, self-governing persons demands that we figure out how to communicate and work with one another. A life well-lived requires a certain type of small group, a political community, one in which members engage in civil discourse and partake in public reason.  Just political communities encourage the virtues of reasoned conversation, collaboration, patience, tolerance, and humility.  In short, politics requires teamwork.  And the study of politics, then, overlaps with the study of communication.  Our time together this semester will emphasize this overlap, leading us to a better understanding of what a life well-lived looks like.