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University 201 Sample Course Descriptions

Exploring the World of Work
Work occupies the majority of your waking hours and is one of the most significant factors in determining your quality of life. This course will challenge students to identify their interests and actively explore how contemporary society and the global economy is impacting the workplace and shaping today’s new knowledge workers. Students will identify why experiential education and skill development are critical components of career preparation. This course will utilize critical thinking, problem-solving and provide practical tools for workplace preparation and performance. 

Inquiry of Global Climate
This course is designed as an introduction to the historical foundations, ethics, essential components, and methodologies of inquiry within various academic fields. In this section, we'll use a series of short case studies to introduce the challenges of scholarly inquiry. We will then use the issue of global climate change as a basis for studying these problems, beginning with some investigation of the history of efforts to study the earth's climate, then moving on to investigating the ways in which scholars have tried to understand the questions involved. While the study of global climate initially appears to be a highly obscure, technical question, it has evolved into a broader issue, with profound economic and political implications. As a result, many types of inquiry are now involved, ranging from technical investigations to fictional portraits of the possible implications. In this class, we will examine the full range of these concerns.

Ever Wonder Why????A Look at Positive Human Behavior
The plan for this class is to combine the classic English University Approach to education with that of traditional American Universities’ educational approaches to learning, a blending of independence with structured classroom time. Students will experience considerable one-on-one time with the professor as well as time with peers. Bring questions of interest regarding your fellow humans and we will explore a way to addressing your questions in an empirical way. For the student wanting to add to his or her resume, efforts will be made to prepare the student to make a presentation at USC Discovery Day.

Find What Interests You and Explore
This class will provide an opportunity to conduct a focused area of investigation about an area of curiosity or interest to participants. Some time will be spent on what constitutes interest, what is meaningful, how to determine a reasonable breadth of subject, and various ways of collecting, compiling, and communicating the results. Some attention will be given to the role visual images play in information collection and distribution and the class will meet and work with ARTS 370X, a computer based course in visual investigation. In short, it is an opportunity to be curious, find meaningful ways to pursue that curiosity, and give it substance, meaning, and purpose in an academic setting. The areas of investigation may be as broad and unusual as the interests of those in the class. Participants are often surprised at what they discover about what they really care about and what value those interests have for a broader public. These experiences can be the foundation of more extensive university research and related support.

Movies and Motives
What’s the use of studying movies? Aren’t they merely entertainment, fun but hardly fundamental ways of asking serious questions about what matters in higher education? Think again. Programs in film studies abound in today’s universities, and movies are a means of inquiry in many fields – literature, philosophy, history, anthropology, etc. This course aims to find out why. What are the motives of inquiry in such fields? Why do movies serve them so well in so many ways?

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Why did this novel stay on the top of The New York Times bestseller list for over three years? Find out in this section. In his novel, Dan Brown states that “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” Is this true? Make an inquiry by conducting research into any one aspect of the novel you want to study more extensively. The book opens up a wide list of possibilities to choose from including: Art, Leonardo Da Vinci, Architecture, the Knights Templar, Paris, London, History, the Renaissance, Symbols in History and Religion, Mathematics, Statistics, Biology, English, Music, Religious Studies, Women’s Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Egypt, France, Italy. The topics are endless and might include how the book was put together. All each student needs to do is read the novel, choose a topic to study, participate in class, research a topic of their choosing, and report on it to the class.

James Bond & Cultural Inquiry 
This course introduces undergraduate students to the process of Inquiry Based Learning. Using novels, scripts, and films, participants will compare the various cinematic versions of Casino Royale with the scripts and novel. Participants will further investigate an area of personal interest in sociological, political, literary, pop culture, women issues or technological innovations as they evolved throughout the twenty-two feature films and forty-nine years of James Bond film production.