First-Year Learning Communities

Fall 2019 Seahawk Explore Learning Communities

Students on ropes course

Please Note: While some of the experiential opportunities with each learning community will be mandatory, others may require both permission forms and a small fee. Those opting out of extracurricular activities that require additional fees or because of extenuating circumstances will be given alternative activities to meet the learning objectives.

You will see some information in bold below some communities to let students know if a community is not an option due to possible AP or IB (higher level only accepted) exams or transfer credit.

These offerings are still pending. For more information about each Learning Community and the courses offered, you may click on one of the following or scroll through the page.

  1. Global Waves: Study and Exploration of Surfing and Surf Culture 
  2. Social Consciousness and Psychology: "Coloring Between the Lines"
  3. Philosophy and Contemporary Media: Skepticism for the Digital Age
  4. Mindfulness and Yoga
  5. Yoga and Psychology: Stretching Your Mind
  6. Criminology and Literature: Free Expression, Protest Literature, and Related Campus Issues
  7. Exploring Business: Economics and Ethics

 

  1. Global Waves: Study and Exploration of Surfing and Surf Culture

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

OCN 150

Introduction to Oceanography

Dr. Joseph Long

3

Scientific Approaches to the Natural World

ENG 290

Themes in Literature

Andy Tolhurst

3

Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

Peter Fritzler

3

Foundations

Description: As a prominent coastal university with a history of surfing, UNCW has the unique opportunity to offer applied learning and study to a growing transnational culture. The search for a destination satisfying the surfer ethos is marked in numerous guides of surf exploration as well as traditional travel guides. It is the subject of countless travel narratives, memoirs, films, and works of art. Its history and current context include forays into engineering, environmental science and protection, international politics, social causes, travel, and trade. An 80 billion-dollar-a-year industry, surf culture is more than just palm-drenched beaches and sunsets-in-tropical-paradise. Traveling surfers and the local society participate in the economic, social and cultural landscape in coastal communities, creating new cultural identities— both a local and global culture of surfing—based on surfer ethos, consumerism, politics, and, of course, the search for a few good waves. The industry, the art, and the ethos are alive and growing.  This Learning Community explores the cultural exchange and touchpoints offered through the lens of surfing and engages in ethnography, sociology, anthropology, physical sciences, market economy and the humanities. The interconnectivity of the genre allows for original student projects and avenues of inquiry. In ENG 290, students will inquire into the written, spoken, visual and ethnographic study of surf culture.

  1.    Social Consciousness: “Coloring Between the Lines"

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

AFN 130

African American Studies

Sean Palmer

3

Living in Our Diverse Nation

PSY 105

General Psychology

Tracy Peña

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

Emmanuel Harris

3

Foundations

Description:

With even a casual examination of today’s world, we are inundated with subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which the color of a person’s skin becomes a factor. Even with those who espouse a colorblind society, race and racial issues actively influence how people interact. The Learning Community, Coloring Between the Lines explores the intersectionality of race among social, psychological, political, literary and historical lines and others. The class emphasizes those of African descent as it incorporates salient issues and themes from Trevor Noah to Wakanda to the Americas.  Immigration and the pathology of our perceived differences will also be explored. Emmanuel Harris II leads the UNI course in this learning community, the title of which derives from his doctoral research. He’s teamed with psychology instructor Tracy Peña, and Upperman African American Culture Center director, Sean Palmer who will be leading the Africana Studies course.   This learning community’s objectives are not to separate, segregate, or alienate, but rather to recognize commonalities that exist between diverse peoples and to help us better appreciate race issues in our communities.*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better) on AP Psychology or a 5 or better on IB HL, or are transferring in credit for an introductory Psychology course.

2. Philosophy and Contemporary Media: Skepticism for the Digital Age

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

COM 160

Engaging Contemporary Media

Chadwick Roberts

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

PAR 101

Invitation to Philosophical Thinking

George Felis

3

Historical & Philosophical Approaches

UNI 101

First-Year Seminar

 

3

Foundations

Description:

In the age of 'fake news' and social media, how do citizens engage with media? Equally – perhaps more – importantly, how *should* citizens engage with media? How does our engagement with media connect to all the other ways we need to distinguish what we believe from what we actually know? In this Learning Community, students will answer these questions with input from communications studies and philosophy. Students will explore the structures, systems, effects, conventions, and genres of contemporary media in Communication Studies 160. The emphasis of this course is on improving media literacy to foster critical and educated consumption of media. In Philosophy 101, students will learn general principles of thought and argumentation that can help them apply the same critical rigor more broadly to life. The goal of this CLC is to foster and create critical media literacy and thoughtful citizens for the 21st Century.

4.   Mindfulness and Yoga

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

PAR 232

Asian Religions

Beverley McGuire

3

Historical & Philosophical Approaches

PED 101

Yoga

Laura Siljander

2

Lifetime Wellness

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

Jacquelyn Lee

3

Foundations

Description: What is the relationship between our minds and bodies? How do our thoughts and actions contribute to our sense of happiness and well-being? What is the value of mindfulness and yoga, and what role have such practices played in religious traditions in the past and present? This Learning Community will discuss such questions through a combination of Physical Activity and Wellness (PED 101), a Special Topics UNI focused on mindfulness (UNI 101), and Asian Religions (PAR 232). In all three courses, students will engage in mindfulness practices that involve paying attention in the present moment with curiosity and care. Mindfulness has been shown to improve one's cognitive development, self-management, emotional intelligence, happiness, and empathy. In PED 101, students will learn how the mind-body connection facilitates peace and happiness both on and off the yoga mat. In UNI 101, students will explore mindfulness in theory and practice. In PAR 232, students will explore the roots of yoga and mindfulness in Asian religious traditions.

5.   Yoga and Psychology: Stretching Your Minds

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

PED 101

Yoga

Jessica Hartmann

2

Lifetime Wellness

PSY 105

General Psychology

Colby Jones

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

Leah Colvin

3

Foundations

Description: How can we achieve balance in our lives? What can we do to enhance our health in every aspect; mind, body, and spirit? How does our environment influence our choices? How can we develop behaviors that will serve us well as we age? This Learning Community seeks answers to these questions and many more through the combination of General Psychology (PSY 105) and Physical Activity and Wellness (PED 101) with a concentration on Yoga techniques. In the PED 101 class, students will receive an introduction to the various aspects of Yoga, including Yoga postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation and meditation. Students will also increase their awareness and development of the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and intellectual components of wellness, become informed health consumers, and practice applying healthy lifestyle choices for improved quality of life. In PSY 105, students will be provided a sampling of the major subject areas of psychology, with an emphasis on the general principles and methods of psychological study. It is hoped that, as they explore the wide range of psychological research and learn the disciplines of yoga, students will increase their own self-awareness and their understanding of the determinants of their own behavior. *You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better) on AP Psychology or a 5 or better on IB HL, or are transferring in credit for an introductory Psychology course.

6.   Criminology and Literature: Free Expression, Protest Literature, and Related Campus Issues

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

CRM 110

Issues in Criminal Justice: Freedom of Expression

Babette Boyd

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

ENG 290

Themes in Literature

Andy Tolhurst

3

Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

John Scherer & Jim Koebel

3

Foundations

Description: Speech. Expression. Assembly. Debate. Protest. Activism. Revolution.  The First Amendment is the source of what are perhaps our most cherished, yet controversial, rights. Throughout its history, our nation has witnessed countless iterations of the exercise of those rights by people and organizations and for causes across the political, religious, and social spectrums. How have our rights under the First Amendment evolved? What role does the college campus play? How do we exercise and protect these rights in society and on a college campus? In this Learning Community, we will explore the exercise of free speech through landmark Supreme Court decisions, historical and contemporary American protest literature, and the unique lens of the college experience. In ENG 290, students will inquire into the written, spoken, and visual language of protest. In CRM 110, students will learn how First Amendment expression has been formulated and shaped by court decisions, primarily those of the U.S. Supreme Court.  We will use a case study method to gain a legal and historical perspective of how the courts have attempted to strike a balance between the interests of the government and those of the people at the intersection of the First Amendment and the Criminal Law. In UNI 101, students will examine the intertwining freedoms and restrictions of the government, university, faculty, visitor, student, and listener related to free speech and expression. This Community will emphasize critical thinking to enable students to approach these issues from sociological, legal, literary, and practical perspectives.

7. Exploring Business: Economics and Ethics

Course

Title

Instructor

Hours

General Studies Category

ECN 221

Principles of Economics-Micro

Brandon Brice

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

PAR 115

Introduction to Ethics

Scott James

3

Historical and Philosophical Approaches

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

Thad  Leister

3

Foundations


Description: Success in the modern business world requires quick-thinking, adaptation, building personal relationships, a competitive spirit, and understanding how to provide value.  This Learning Community creates a dynamic space to foster these skills, improve critical thinking, and contemplate contemporary moral issues.  In ECN 221, students will study actual human behavior.  Everyone, from consumers to politicians, act purposefully and respond to incentives in predictable ways. We all weigh the benefits and costs of our decisions and must live with the consequences of our choices.  Students will gain the tools necessary to improve their decision-making in business, and life in general.  While an economics education provides a positive analysis of human behavior and markets, PAR 115 tackles contentious normative and ethical issues in the modern business landscape.  Students will have an opportunity to openly discuss moral dilemmas while improving their own ethical positions.  In the end; participants will be more informed, well-rounded, and business savvy. *Due to the ECN 221 prerequisite, students must have completed a college level algebra course, or have earned an ACT Math score of 27 or better to participate in this learning community.