UCOR 1910: Engaging Seattle

UCOR 1910 - Engaging Seattle: Pursuing a Just and Humane World

Free On-Line Course for New Undergraduate Students

August 3-26, 2020

 

Instructors:  Faculty from multiple disciplines including Arts Leadership, Biology, Communication, English, Management, and Photography.

Course Dates:  August 3 to August 26

Meeting Times:  Three options include:

  • Option #1:  Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:30 (PST) for a total of 8 sessions
  • Option #2:  Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00 to 6:30 (PST) for a total of 8 sessions
  • Option #3:  Online asynchronous (no live meeting times but online interactions with other students, faculty, and peer mentors)

Course Location:  Online via Zoom and Canvas

Deadline to Register: June 26

REGISTER HERE

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION 

During this free two-unit summer course, Seattle University faculty from multiple academic disciplines will explore some of the biggest issues facing Seattle and our nation.  Whether you’ve grown up in Seattle or have never visited, this course will provide a unique and provocative exploration of Seattle’s many contradictions. 

For example:

  • Technology: Seattle is home to some of world’s largest and most innovative technology companies and yet many of its residents struggle for access to basic wi-fi.
  • Environment: Seattle has a long history of environmentalism. In fact, one of the greenest buildings in the world, the Bullitt Center, resides a couple blocks from the Seattle U campus. Yet Seattle has some of the worst traffic in the nation, thereby contributing to increases in carbon emissions. 
  • Housing and Employment: The $15 minimum wage movement originated in the Seattle region and yet Seattle’s high cost of living has fueled gentrification and housing instability.
  • Health: Seattle’s response to the COVID crisis has been widely heralded for saving lives and yet, like other parts of the nation, the virus has disproportionately impacted people of color.
  • Education: Seattle is the most educated big city in the nation, and yet significant racial achievement gaps remain prevalent in the public school system.
  • Food: Seattle is known for Pike Place Market and dozens of other farmers markets that offer fresh organic produce, meats, fish and breads.  And yet, thousands of residents don’t have enough to eat.

Through the course you’ll also learn about the progressive and innovative ways that Seattle is facing its challenges, hear from current students engaged with local non-profit organizations, businesses and schools, and find out how you can get involved.  You’ll learn from several faculty experts and get to know your faculty section leader in more depth. Current Seattle U student peer mentors will be there to help guide discussions and share their perspective.  Finally, through discussions with your peers from across the country, you’ll start getting to know both your classmates and the fascinating place you will soon call home. 

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The learning objectives for each student to achieve by the completion of this course are to:

  • Describe key opportunities and challenges in the greater Seattle area. 
  • Identify and use academic principles to explain one or more of the tensions or issues confronting the greater Seattle area. 
  • Reflect on how the issues facing Seattle are similar to and different from issues facing their own home communities (for students from outside Seattle). 
  • Identify one or more ways they might be able to incorporate community-based experiences in their Seattle University educational journey. 
  • Articles and research on various Seattle topics provided online via Canvas
  • Videos by Seattle University faculty from multiple disciplines provided online via Canvas

 

REQUIRED TEXTS/READINGS/VIDEOS

  • Articles and research on various Seattle topics provided online via Canvas
  • Videos by Seattle University faculty from multiple disciplines provided online via Canvas

 

COURSE ASSIGNMENTS AND EVALUATIONS

There will be no letter grade for this course.  This is a credit/fail course.  To receive the two credits for this course you will need to:

  • Complete readings and review materials before class sessions
  • Participate in class discussions and activities
  • Complete several small writing assignments or other creative projects
  • Finish the full four-week course

Questions?  See the FAQ below or contact core@seattleu.edu with subject line Engaging Seattle. 

 

 

FAQ for Students and Families

 

LOGISTICS

What does it cost to participate?  The course is free for all registered incoming undergraduate students. All readings and other materials will be provided for free.

What do I need in order to participate? Students will need access to the internet for course materials and to participate in discussion groups.

When does the course start and end?   The course begins August 3rd and ends August 26th.

What times of day is it available?  Students have three options for the time of day of the course:

  • Option #1:  Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:30 (PDT)
  • Option #2:  Monday and Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30 (PDT)
  • Option #3:  Online asynchronous (class does not meet in real time)

Will I earn college credit for this course?   To receive the two credits for this course, you will need to complete all course assignments and participate in the full four weeks of the course.

How is the course graded?  There is no letter grade for the course. Students who satisfy course expectations, including completion of all assignments and participation in discussions, will receive two elective credits.  These will appear on your transcription as “CR.”  CR credits do not affect your GPA.

What if I need to drop the course or can’t finish it?   We understand that this is a challenging time and wish to provide flexibility for you and your circumstances. If you begin the class but are unable to complete it, the course will simply not appear on your Seattle University transcript. The course will appear on your transcript only if you successfully complete the course.  You may drop the course at any point by contacting the University Core (core@seattleu.edu).

When will the credits appear on my transcript? Credits will appear at the end of fall quarter 2020.

Can I opt into a section taught by a specific faculty member?  We cannot match students with specific faculty, but students in every section will have access to video lectures by faculty members representing a range of academic disciplines.

 

COURSE CONTENT AND EXPERIENCE

What is covered? This course will introduce some of the biggest issues and contradictions facing Seattle in the areas of environmental justice, technology, homelessness, health, education, food security, and the arts.  You will explore contradictions between flourishing communities and persistent inequity against the backdrop of Covid-19 and the social movements that are occurring in our country and across the globe. While course materials will focus primarily on issues and contradictions facing Seattle, you’ll have the opportunity to consider these topics in the context of your home community and in the nation.

Are all students together in one big course?  No, each student will be placed into a course section taught by a Seattle University faculty member. 

What is the size of the course sections?  Course sections will be no larger than 25 students.

What will the course sessions be like?  Course sessions will include short lectures from your faculty instructor, small group discussions and activities, large group discussions, and conversations with a current Seattle University student peer mentor.  Each session will be approximately 90 minutes in length.

How much time will I spend on homework and assignments?  You should plan to spend about 4 hours per week preparing for class, completing course assignments, and participating in discussion boards.

What is the asynchronous section option?   When a course is delivered asynchronously, students do not meet as a class in real time. Instead, faculty members prepare learning activities designed to create asynchronous student-instructor and class interaction. While this option provides the most flexibility for your schedule, it also requires you to commit to timely and consistent engagement with course materials and discussion boards in order to complete the course satisfactorily.

What will I learn?   Upon completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Describe key opportunities and challenges in the greater Seattle area. 
  • Identify and use academic principles to explain one or more of the tensions or issues confronting the greater Seattle area. 
  • Reflect on how the issues facing Seattle are similar to and different from issues facing your home community.
  • Identify one or more ways you might be able to incorporate community-based experiences in your Seattle University educational journey. 

Who are the instructors teaching the course?   Faculty members from Arts Leadership, Biology, Communication, English, Management, and Photography will teach the course.