Preparing student-citizens to understand, appreciate, and engage with diverse global communities and their unique challenges.

Director: Dr. Kristen Coopie, Political Science/Pre-Law Center


Fall 2021

POSC 105C American National Government (TR 10:50am) Kristen Coopie (Political Science/Pre-Law)

This survey course is designed to provide students with a foundation for understanding and critically assessing American political processes, institutions, and public policies.

The course aims to help students recognize the ways in which government is meant to protect and support its citizens, despite the great diversity of demographics and ideology present in society. Students are encouraged to become informed, active, critical, and inquisitive citizens by being given knowledge of the institutions and activities of governments at the federal, state, and local levels.

 COMM 102C Public Speaking (MWF 11:00am) Rodney Lyle (Comm. & Rhetorical Studies)

Develops communicative skills necessary to analyze verbal discourse and to perform effectively in public speaking situations that confront the educated person. Emphasizes the importance of standpoint and worldview in understanding, developing, and articulating positions.

This course prepares students for a key task of engaged citizenship: creating and delivering messages in the form of public speeches informed by worldview and faith commitments, and supported by reasoning and evidence.

 BRDG 101C Writing and Analysis (TR 1:40pm) Chad Szalkowski-Ferrence (English)

This course is designed to serve as an important bridge between the reasoning and writing that make a successful secondary experience and the reasoning and writing that are expected in college. For Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channel, editors of a popular college text, The Aims of Argument, the difference boils down to the following: "Like the high school research paper, college writing requires research. Unlike the high school paper, which typically requires that you obtain information, organize it, and restate it in your own words, most college assignments will require inquiry into sources"(168, emphasis in text). This emphasis on closely examining and evaluating sources is essential for writing that is informed by knowledge of four types of argument: 1) arguing to inquire, 2) arguing to convince/persuade, 3) arguing to establish causality, and 4) arguing to propose. Together we will explore timely and relevant examples of all four types of argument and develop greater skill in employing them in the critical reading and informed writing that we undertake in this course and beyond. In addition, we will address a variety of technical issues, using the course handbook as our guide. Overall success in this course depends upon a willingness to think critically, carefully consider the thoughts of others, and communicate effectively in conversation and writing.

This course is part of the CIVITAS Learning Community and is closely connected to the community engagement experiences that we will be involved in this term. The theme of CIVITAS is "Engaged Citizens in their Communities, their Nations, and the World." Many of our readings and writing choices will connect to this theme.