Course Examples

Examples of Current Community Engagement Courses
Factors considered for the classification as a Community Engagement course will vary with field, co-curricular involvement, and type of research. For example, research can serve multiple aims; it can contribute to intellectual vitality and the general pool of knowledge, but also be developed by students, faculty, and community stakeholders to address pressing social needs at local, national, and global levels.

Anthropology 204: Anthropology of Education
    •    A study of the cultural contexts of education, which includes both the formal learning settings of schools and classrooms, and the informal learning settings of families and youth cultures around the world. Students read ethnographic and theoretical texts, and also conduct their own ethnographic field studies in local schools and other learning settings. Course topics include literacy, social class, multicultural education, and adolescence. (Credit, full course.) Wallace

Anthropology 310: Topics in Archaeology and Historic Preservation
    •    The seminar format involves student research and presentations on selected topics in American and Old World archaeology and historic preservation, instructor and guest lectures, and field trips. Topics, which vary with student experience and interest, include preservation archaeology, campus heritage preservation and management, historic preservation law, archaeological research design, the archaeology of early Spanish contact and trade, the archaeology of the Domain of the University of the South and other Tennessee locales, prehistoric lithic technology, cave and rock art, peopling of the New World, and Mississippian chiefdoms.

Anthropology 357: Field School in Archaeology
    •    Conducted on the University Domain or other pre-eminent sites in Tennessee, The Sewanee Field School in Archaeology provides, in an intensive one-month period in the summer, training and experience in the process of conducting research on highly significant archaeological resources. While the fieldwork is the primary component, guest lectures, consulting, and field trips are provided by other Southeastern archaeologists. The course does not fulfill a laboratory science requirement.

Anthropology 411: Research Seminar: Campus Life and Academic Culture
    •    How do social and academic life interact on our campus? Using interviews, observation and other anthropological methods, the class explores how enduring academic traditions interact with changing collegiate experience and American culture. Specific foci include spatial culture; styles in studying, writing, class participation and academic engagement; and various discipline/indulgence scenarios like the “work hard, party hard” attitude. Those in the course also consider how students choose and adapt to majors, and how majors differ in work culture and value orientation. Working collaboratively, students contribute to ongoing research as well as generate individual research papers.

Art 263: Intermediate Documentary Projects in Photography syllabus
    •    The course introduces students to documentary methods and issues pertaining to photography and related media used in the making of photo-documentaries.  Class projects and discussions examine the cultural and socio-political impact of this genre, as well as the genre’s core triangulation points of subjectivity, objectivity and truth.

Art 363: Advanced Documentary Projects in Photography syllabus
    •    The course builds on Art 263 and consolidates methods and issues pertaining to the making of photographic documentaries.  Class projects and discussions examine the cultural and socio-political impact of this genre, as well as the genre’s core triangulation points of subjectivity, objectivity, and truth.

Asian Studies 110: Asian American Experience
    •    This course provides an overview of social-cultural experiences of Asian Americans, considering various influences that shape the identity and social position of individuals in this diverse population group. Through readings, films, guest lectures, and field experiences, students explore the heterogeneity of Asian American experiences in the United States while integrating theoretical and methodological concerns including concepts of race, ethnicity, migration, identity, power, class, generation, gender, and community.

Biology 107: People and the Environment
    •    An exploration of how human activities such as food and energy production, resource extraction and waste disposal affect our natural environment and other organisms living in it. Students learn about how the earth works, how we are stressing the earth's life support systems, and how to deal with the environmental challenges humans face. Specific topics include biodiversity loss and conservation, agriculture and biotechnology, toxicology and environmental health, air and water pollution, and climate change.

Biology 109: Food and Hunger: Contemplation and Action
    •    A study of food and hunger from a biological perspective. The interactions among scientific, ethical, and cultural aspects of hunger are also examined. The readings, lectures, and discussions in the course are supplemented with work with local aid organizations and exploration of the contemplative practices that motivate and sustain many of those who work with the hungry.

Biology 209: Advanced Conservation Biology
    •    A study of the scientific basis for conservation of biological diversity. A case-study approach is used to address problems relating to species decline, habitat loss, and ecosystem degradation at local, regional, and global scales. Course emphasizes population modeling and GIS applications.

Biology 210: Ecology
    •    A survey of the principles and applications of ecological science. Lecture covers the ecology of individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Lab emphasizes field experimentation in the local environment.

Biology 232: Human Health and the Environment
    •    This course incorporates concepts of environmental and health science with emerging issues associated with environmental threats to human health.  Topics include human population growth and food security, toxicity and toxins, food borne illness, emerging disease, waste and wastewater, air pollution and assessing human risk.  Field trips provide applied learning experiences in the science underlying environmental stress and disease.  To explore the interaction of poverty, environmental degradation and disease firsthand, students take a one-week outreach trip over spring break to a developing country and participate in projects addressing local environmental problems.

Biology 309: Ecology and Biodiversity Seminar
    •    An examination of the disciplines of Ecology and Biodiversity through readings from the primary scientific literature, presentations from research scientists, and engagement with advanced field and laboratory techniques.

Biology 313: Ecosystems and Global Change
    •    A study of how the cycling of elements among the atmosphere, soil, water and living organisms sustains ecosystems, and how disruptions in these cycles, both natural and human-induced, bring about environmental change. The course examines environmental consequences of alterations in regional and global biogeochemical cycles, such as loss of ecosystem productivity and diversity, degradation of air and water quality, and global climate change. Field labs allow students to evaluate the sustainability of land use locally by quantifying elemental cycles in natural and human-altered ecosystems.

Economics 335: Environmental Economics
    •    A study of the causes of and solutions for pollution and environmental degradation weighs the value of ecosystems and their role in sustaining economic activity. Applies cost/benefit analysis to environmental issues and provides an introduction to economics of nonrenewable and renewable resources such as mines, forests, and fish.

Economics 347: Micro-finance Institutions in South Asia more information
    •    The course provides an overview of the microfinance industry: its origins, evolution, theoretical underpinnings, and empirical evidence. It focuses on both the tools of microfinance operation such as financial management and lending methodologies, and on the basic issues and policy debates in microfinance, such as impact assessment, poverty targeting and measurement, and sustainability. The course cannot be used in fulfillment of the general distribution requirement in social science. This course is being offered as part of the Summer in South Asia Program.

Education 161: Introduction to Educational Psychology
    •    An introduction to psychological theories of learning and development with a focus on their application to teaching and parenting. Includes study of moral, personality, language and cognitive development, learning styles, intelligence and creativity and cognitive and behavioral learning theories. Includes observation in local schools. An active learning experience.

Education 204: Anthropology of Education
    •    A school-based research course through which we study the cultural contexts of schools and classrooms, families and youth cultures, multiculturalism and diversity. Also includes service learning in a classroom and reflection on responding to diversity.

Education 205: Introduction to Environmental Education
    •    An introduction to the philosophy, goals, theory, and practice of environmental education. The history of environmental education, as it pertains to environmental literacy, implementation, and professional responsibility, is explored through hands-on learning activities as well as use of texts. Educational models which promote ecologically sustainable behaviors are considered as well. This course includes some field trips.

Political Science 346 Social Movements
    •    This course studies the ways in which ordinary citizens come together, create more or less formal organizations, and mobilize politically to demand social and political change in society. The study begins close to home with an examination of political organizing and social change on the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachia. Then students proceed to study a wide range of political movements including labor and economic justice movements, the gay rights movement, the Christian conservative social movement, and the global justice/anti-globalization movements.

Political Science 410 Politics of Poverty
    •    An introduction to the study of a significant social problem: poverty. Course topics include the development of an economic underclass in the United States and the programmatic response of government, the feminization of poverty, the causes of persistent rural and urban poverty, race and poverty in the South, and the connections between poverty in the U.S. and the international trade regime.