Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Junior Seminar


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Director: Associate Professor Katherine Kirby, PhD


Description:

Following the model of first-year seminars, Junior Seminars are interdisciplinary courses focused on critical reading, thinking, writing, and discussion, but specifically designed to give students an experience in exploring and discussing issues that impact human and/or planetary well-being. The goal is not merely to encounter texts, films, etc., that express challenging ideas, but to experience open discussion of opinions or interpretations in a context that cultivates respect and reflection. The Junior Seminar engages students to (1) interact with those who may differ in perspective, beliefs, values, or knowledge, (2) develop openness to ideas different from or in conflict with their own ideas, and (3) develop interpersonal skills that allow effective functioning in a group of peers. Along the way, the seminar encourages students to examine their own educational progress and the broader values of a liberal arts education.

Junior Seminars also acknowledge the developmental level of their students by asking them to take active ownership of their learning and develop a learning community by contributing to the course in a collaborative way. They expect students to work on skills necessary for senior year and life after college, and they introduce them to campus, community, and web resources that can help them think about and prepare for future careers.

Students must have Junior status to enroll in a JS course, and students should have completed PH and RS 100-level courses.  Sections are limited to 18 students to encourage discussion and active learning.  

 

Junior Seminar Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability, through writing, to assess, examine, and analyze diverse and perhaps opposing perspectives on issues that impact human and/or planetary well-being, including connections, contrasts, and comparisons between and among disciplines.
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage in civil discussion about issues that impact human and/or planetary well-being, practicing openness, attentiveness, commitment, respect, and mutual support in a community of peers.
  • Complete a piece of independent research and/or analysis.
  • Present independent work to peers and facilitate discussion of that work.
  • Complete a piece of work that engages them in examination of their own educational progress and the broader values of a liberal arts education.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with campus, community, and web resources that can help them think about and prepare for future careers, and/or demonstrate skills necessary for senior year and life after college.

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