Do humans act in their best interests? How can citizens in a developed or developing society evaluate and favor scientific evidence over beliefs, assumptions, and myths? How do individuals balance demands from various communities—families, schools, workplace, neighborhoods, cities, regions—to which they belong? As we create new solutions, we are often confounded by both expected and unpredictable problems that arise.
This course aims to examine contemporary issues of life and death through multifaceted approaches to problem solving and ethical dilemmas. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of challenges we face in the 21st century and, in teams, will develop a researched action plan in response to a societal problem.
For fall semester and spring semesters topics for study and class discussion will focus on local, national, and global issues: poverty, homelessness, and social services; vaccines and public health; opioid crisis; globalization and cheap labor; debt and higher education; jobs and wages; global climate change; population growth and sustainability.
There is no textbook for these courses; readings will be available on Canvas.
In our discussions we will consider the following questions:
Grading and Assignments
Undergraduate Experience Map 5
Library Classes 10
Team Action Plan and Presentation 15
Critique and Self-Reflection 15