|Many students entering
Southwest this fall will enroll in the
Associate Degree program because they are seeking a broader program
of study before settling on a specific career direction.
These freshman will be served well by a wide variety of academic classes and schedule choices, but often they will find themselves amidst a different group of students in each class, making it difficult to establish new and on-going friendships with fellow students.
The General Studies Learning Community was formed six years ago by Humanities Division faculty to address the problem of students in the program sometimes feeling lost in a wave of changing faces and personalities in the classroom environment. The core feature of the Learning Community is the Humanities Seminar, offered every Fall Semester and open to all students enrolled in General Studies and Liberal Arts programs.
The Seminar class, offered this fall at SWCC, is HUM 241-01,
Interdisciplinary Principles of Humanities, class # 36709. It is a three-credit
class and will satisfy the General Studies Associate degree requirement for
taking three credits in a Humanities Elective. The Seminar is basically a
discussion class based on film showings and readings pertaining to a specific
topic, which this year is entitled “Getting to Know the ‘Other:’ How
Stereotyping Diminishes Understanding.”
The course, which meets once weekly on Wednesdays from 12:15-2:55 PM in Buchanan Hall (Room TBA), serves as the foundation for bringing together students enrolled in the General Studies program as learners willing to share diverse viewpoints in an informal and non-threatening educational “community.” This class engages the student in critical thinking and the sharing of ideas with faculty and fellow students. It also brings together General Studies students in a friendly, informal environment from which long-lasting friendships often evolve.
Ellen Elmes, the facilitator for the fall term HUM 241-01, believes that
meaningful learning often comes more from asking questions than from determining
Under this year’s umbrella theme, “Getting to Know the Other,” students and teachers will examine stereotyping and how it affects human relationships, community life, and personal perceptions. The class will discuss how people are often defined as a stereotypical “group” by their physical or mental limitations, ethnicity, political or religious beliefs, gender, age, geographic location or a host of other aspects of being, rather than as multi-dimensional individuals.
Varied personalities with varying viewpoints will be both visitors and participants within the class, and suggested readings will be made available to students wishing to explore the seminar topic more fully. Such an in-depth study can be formalized for the student wishing to receive honors credit for graduation by taking the seminar with extra requirements and contacting April Hess for further details. A one–credit version of this class, HUM 198-01, #27880, “Seminar and Project in Critical Thinking,” is also being offered on Wednesdays at 1:40 PM until 2:55 PM.
For further information on the General Studies Learning Community 2012 Fall Seminar class, contact Ellen Elmes at 276.881.8941, April Hess at 276.964.7209, Dr. Cathy Smith-Cox at 276.964.7340, or Tammy Austin at 276.964.7229.