During the 2021-2022 academic year, USEM courses will teach these skills while focusing on the following topics.
This course serves as a transition course for university-level writing. Learners will be introduced to writing expectations and to the skills needed for academic success. The course will focus on communication skills (both written and oral), thinking skills, and research skills applied in both small group discussions and written assignments. Designed to strengthen learners’ skills and proficiencies and build confidence, learners experience many opportunities to practice skills and to receive feedback in preparation for the work to be accomplished in the Seminar sequence of courses. Repeatable up to 8 credits.
CRN 1503, University Seminar 100, MW 1:30 – 3:20 pm
*USEM 100: Grade options A-F or P/NP. Opportunity to proceed (with recommendation from instructor) to USEM 102 upon mastery of USEM 100.
In this section of University Seminar, students will explore why they are pursuing higher education, what value and purpose education serves, and how to gain the most from their own educational opportunities. Students will read and analyze a variety of texts on related issues, including poetry, short stories, novels, essays, and film, in order to develop skills in reading, critical thinking, and argumentative writing.
CRN 2253, University Seminar 101, MW 1:30 – 3:20 pm
Explore the historical and literary background necessary to engage in a discussion of war and understand the impact war has on cultures, communities, families, and individuals. Delve into poetry, short stories, novels, and films to explore the many facets of war. Consider what lessons we might learn from earlier conflicts and how past wars have contributed to the modern understanding of war. Read and analyze a variety of early war writings beginning with the American Civil War (Fall), the two World Wars (Winter) and culminating with the Vietnam and Iraq Wars (Spring).
CRN 1508, University Seminar 101, TR 1:30 – 3:20 pm
What is love? Why do we humans love? How does love begin and how does it change? How does it endure? How does love go wrong? Why are people unfaithful? Can or should relationships that founder ultimately be saved? How can a broken heart be survived? We survey the many external and internal challenges to love. To explore these many and varied ideas, we will use a humanities approach as we look at research, literature, movies, and music.
CRN 2269, University Seminar 101, TR 10:30 am – 12:20 pm.
“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh the stuff that you will learn! The most wonderful stuff!” Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) writes. Dr. Seuss was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker. From Hortons to Cats in Hats, to the famous Lorax, we mash up quotables, notables, arguables, and laughables (including some controversies!). What is schooling without a little rhyme-bending re-ruling? Gain an in-depth look at life through the works, wisdom, and witticisms of Dr. Seuss. Moreover, Dr. Seuss can offer a sane, sensible, and hilarious approach to personal wellbeing. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!”
CRN 1536, University Seminar 101, TR 1:30 – 3:20 pm.
Explore the mysterious unknown! Does the unexplained, wondrous, or just plain spooky intrigue you? Do creaky floors and ghostly whispers startle you? Have you hunted for vampires, Bigfoot, hoaxes, or aliens? For the curious, unanswered questions and haunting stories draw us in. Creatures and legends both terrify and thrill us, but they may also offer important clues to underlying social issues cached deeper within many societies. Our detective work begins by pulling out the magnifying lens of Skepticism and digging into the archives of music, film and literature to explore the haunts of the human psyche. Join us to “unmask” these cultural creepy creatures and wonderful worlds.
CRN 1537, University Seminar 101, MW 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
This class explores video games as vital forms of art, culture, and commerce. Topics include game design, diversity in gaming, indie and experimental games, cosplay and fan culture, career paths in the gaming industry, and e-sports. Over the course of the year, students develop their own research topics, including suggesting readings for the rest of the class.
CRN 1656, University Seminar 101, TR 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Today Shakespeare’s plays are widely admired and popular, but were they always so? What did audiences think of Shakespeare and his friends back in the day? What influence has the playwright’s work had on others as it travels through history? Using close textual reading, character analysis, direct observation of the plays, and the juxtaposition of his plays with those of others, we will determine just how far Shakespeare’s reach extended–first in the Elizabethan era and then beyond.
CRN 2235, University Seminar 101, MW 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Contemplate the qualities of a fulfilling life and the nature of compassion through the lens of scholarly research, spiritual practice, and cultural traditions. Explore what it means to sustain the qualities we value in our lives and future. Follow your curiosities to better know the world and understand what sustains a meaningful and joyful life. Discover connections between compassion, spirituality, meditation, flow states, and well-being. Consider how increased knowledge builds understanding and empowers positive action and personal, social, or global change.
CRN 1453, University Seminar 101, MW 10:30 am – 12:20 pm (or)
CRN 1456, University Seminar 101, MW 3:30 – 5:20 pm
Adventure with Bigfoot, UFOs, witch hunts, lobotomies, raves, beatniks, and lawyers. Is irony more persuasive than argument? What is the impact of our superstitions, customs and laws on the ways we make a point? How do we know what’s real in a world full of fake? Learn about mechanisms of deception and logical fallacies that trip up human reasoning. Analyze groundbreaking court cases, infamous poetry, media, art, and folklore. Be a skeptic and dare to seek the truth!
CRN 1460, University Seminar 101, TR 10:30 am – 12:20 pm (or)
CRN 1464, University Seminar 101, TR 3:30 – 5:20 pm
Explore current issues of health and illness. What does “being healthy” mean? What are barriers to health and promoters of illness? How do environment, heredity, emotions, behaviors, and beliefs affect our wellbeing? Examine health myths, fads, and follies. Analyze health and medical controversies and examine how competing views of health and illness are shaped by evidence and values, as well as by scientific, political, and social agendas. Evaluate the ways personal health connects with community health during a global pandemic. Learn about evidence-based health practices and how to apply them to your own life.
CRN 1498, University Seminar 101, MW 1:30 – 3:20 pm (or)
CRN 1500, University Seminar 101, TR 10:30 am – 12:20 pm (or)
CRN 1501, University Seminar 101, TR 3:30 – 5:20 pm
At its best, education is an adventure of discovery. Higher learning can help make a living, but it can also help make a Life. Explore life questions that are relevant, purposeful, and worthwhile. We practice essential skills, build critical perspectives, and nurture the wise dispositions that lead to self-empowerment, following a path many great thinkers have revered: know thyself (USEM 101), think globally (USEM 102), and act locally (USEM 103). Our boundary-crossing, interdisciplinary approach to inquiry and analysis is appropriate for all students interested in contemporary issues and who aspire to think new thoughts and see themselves and the world with fresh eyes.
CRN 1470, University Seminar 101, TR 8:30 – 10:20 am (or)
CRN 1471, University Seminar 101, TR 1:30 – 3:20 pm
*USEM 101: begins a three-term sequence and is followed by USEM 102 and USEM 103. USEM 101 engages University Studies learning goals [A, B, C]. Grade (A-F) only.
Explore the role of creativity and nurture your capacity to create your future. Deepen awareness of creativity, play, and ingenuity via dialogue, writing, research, and experiencing the arts. Follow your curiosities to better know the world and understand what sustains a creative life. Engage with creative works, become familiar with the science of creativity, nurture personal perspectives, and participate in creative play–ultimately growing as writers, speakers, and logical and creative thinkers.
CRN 1458, University Seminar 102, TR 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
Investigate relevant evidence, weigh the facts, and persuade a jury of your peers. Analyze the tensions between logical reasoning and raw emotion. Compose arguments in the legal tradition to make your case! Evaluate complex issues related to mass hysteria, freedom of expression, media bias, and satire. Course concepts easily apply to many areas of study and are not just within the confines of the law, but we do have fun exploring the law!
CRN 1466, University Seminar 102, MW 1:30 – 3:20 pm
*USEM 102 continues a three-term sequence beginning in USEM 101 and ending with USEM 103. USEM 102 engages University Studies learning goals [A, B, C]. Prerequisite(s): Completion of USEM 101 with a C- or better or transfer credit of WR 121 or equivalent. Grade(A-F) only.
The American Dream is a complex ideal that includes the values of equality, opportunity, democracy, freedom, and personal rights. In the mix, we also find economic upward mobility and a fair and just society. The American Dream is a constellation of values that are constantly changing, shifting, evolving. What is the real American Dream for our contemporary times? What can it be? What do you want it to be?
CRN 1670 University Seminar 103, M/W 3:30 – 5:20 pm
Romantic Love. It conquers all. No matter how hard we work or how much money and power we acquire, if we lack love, for many of us life is unfulfilling. Romantic love is our conduit to happiness; it is also our conduit for learning. Our theme is Romantic Love: Love Lost and Lost Love Recovered. How does love go wrong? Why are people unfaithful? How can a broken heart be survived? Can—or should—relationships that founder ultimately be returned to, rediscovered and saved? To explore these many and varied ideas, we will use a humanities approach as we look at research, literature, movies, and music.
CRN 1669, University Seminar 103, T/R 10:30 am – 12:20 pm
*USEM 103 is the last course in a three term sequence. USEM 103 engages University Studies learning goals [A, B, C]. Prerequisite(s): Completion of USEM 102 with a C- or better or a transfer credit of WR 122 or equivalent. Grade(A-F) only