Fall 2014 Cornerstone Learning Communities

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. 

There are nine total Cornerstone Learning Communities to choose from. For more information about each Learning Community and the courses offered you may click on one of the following or scroll through the page.

Fall 2014 Learning Communities

  1. The Explorers: Cultural Anthropology and Global Citizenship
  2. EnviroMedia: Environmentalism in the Age of Big Media
  3. Going Global: Politically Punctuating Your Perspective
  4. Monkey in the Mirror:  The Science and Ethics of Studying Ourselves
  5. New World/Alternate Realities
  6. Progress & Particles: Physics, History and the West from 1650
  7. Scrubs & Scholars: Community Support in Navigating Your Path to Nursing School
  8. Stretching Your Mind
  9. Law & Politics

1. The Explorers: Cultural Anthropology and Global Citizenship

Courses:

Description

Using the classroom as a portal, students will investigate the diversity of different ethnicities, cultures, and societies and explore how societies create their own social, cultural, and political norms. This learning community will specifically focus on themes of coming of age, survival, social justice, displacement, crisis and other events that help to shape cultural and personal identity, perceptions, and adaptations, including adapting to college life. Through reading literature and texts, viewing documentaries, engaging in discussions, and participating in projects, students will also be challenged to enhance their understanding of their own cultures and identity, to confront their own cultural bias, and to consider their roles as global citizens. Students will participate in a low ropes challenge course, at least one field trip, and service learning projects.
*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 5 or better) or plan to take the IB HL exam for Anthropology.

2. EnviroMedia: Environmentalism in the Age of Big Media

Courses:

Description

The environmental challenges facing us today are great, ranging from climate change and rising sea levels to loss of global biodiversity. Yet, we also have a greater opportunity than ever before to meet these challenges head-on. Media has the potential to educate us about environmental issues regardless of where we are in the world. They can energize, empower, and organize us toward solutions to these issues. Media can serve to persuade and even drive public opinion and environmental policy. On the other hand, media often fail the environment through omission, misinformation, propaganda and even deception. Exposure to media is so pervasive that most of us are relatively unaware of the power that they have in shaping our lives. This is the focus of "EnviroMedia – Environmentalism in the Age of Big Media". Using a hands-on approach, we will look at the science behind environmental issues through class discussions, field trips, and service-learning experiences. This will provide us with the foundation for critically examining how the media present environmental issues, whether in news, documentaries, feature films, or the simplest of blogs. The class will also create media about environmental issues addressed in the learning community through developing our own web pages, video, photographs, and blogs. Together, these will be shared via social media that will represent the work of the class.
*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better on the AP or a 5 or better on the IB HL) or plan to take the AP or IB HL exam for Environmental Science.

3. Going Global: Politically Punctuating Your Perspective

Courses:

Description

With the ever-changing international community, it has become clear that Americans cannot remain isolated from the rest of the world. The conjunction of ENG 100, PLS 111 and UNI 101 offers students an opportunity to experience the world through a different lens. We often become so focused on our local community we forget to look at the world in a global perspective. These courses will challenge students to examine their link to the international community. We will thoughtfully reflect on various cultures, political systems, and global issues and how these connect to self. In ENG 100 students will examine the diversity of our world and the many interconnections that exist. Focusing on rhetorical analysis aimed at enhancing global awareness, ENG 100 develops students' ability to read, write, and critically think outside what is innately familiar. PLS 111 offers students an insight into comparative politics and international relations. We will attempt to answer questions such as: What do we mean by politics? What is power? What is government? Why are some nations successful while others are not? And ultimately, why should we care? These three courses will provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to become educated global citizens. They will engage students in thoughtful discussions, group activities, and personal reflections with the goal of truly enhancing knowledge and understanding of the global community. Guest speakers, engaging projects, field trips, as well as service learning opportunities will be a dynamic part of 'punctuating your perspective.'  
*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better on AP or 6 or better on IB HL) or plan to take the AP or IB HL exam for either English Language or English Literature or are transferring in credit for an English composition course. This is also not an option if you had high verbal scores on your SAT (610 or higher) or ACT (28 or higher).

4. Monkey in the Mirror: The Science and Ethics of Studying Ourselves

Courses:

Description

The tools of science are designed to filter out our biases and give us an objective, evidence-based understanding of the world. However, objectivity is a lot easier to achieve when we study, say, astronomy than when we look in the mirror to study ourselves (and our closest living relatives). Also, when we study astronomy, we don't risk harming or abusing the rights of stars and galaxies; while the human sciences pose many ethical dangers. Students in this learning community will explore the methods, results, and difficulties of investigating human nature in ANT 105, studying human behavioral and cultural diversity from biological and evolutionary perspectives. While investigating what anthropologists and philosophers alike refer to as "the human condition", students will learn how ethical theories are drawn from an understanding of human nature and develop the basic skills and methods of ethical reasoning in PAR 115. In addition to the research in theory and practice, students will conduct a joint class project where they examine accusations of unethical research in anthropology and formulate their own evaluation of a case study on both scientific and ethical grounds.

5. New World/Alternate Realities

Courses:

Description

Ever get tired of the real world? Long for something different, unlike anything else you have known? The worlds of literature, film, and the visual arts offer you entries to alternate realities that can be explored through your mind.  This learning community will use the concept of alternate realities, as discussed in this year’s Synergy selection, Ready Player One, as a starting point to investigate the ways in which our understandings of what is real and what is an illusion are challenged by works of art, films about artists, and books.

6. Progress & Particles: Physics, History and the West from 1650

Courses:

Description

This learning community examines the connections between science and technology and the historical development of western civilizations.  This community includes a History course (HST 102) which introduces you to critical ideas and events of western civilization from the wars of religion up to the atomic age.  At the same time, you will take a Physics laboratory course (PHY 105) exploring the scientific content of some of the great advances of the last 400 years.  You will investigate the thesis that the growth of scientific knowledge and its application in the form of improved technology is what distinguishes the west from other human civilizations.  You will also learn that science, far from being a dry and value-free subject, is practiced by humans - ones who have quirks, faults and passions just like the rest of us.  This learning community will include an evening guest speaker, a field trip to a nuclear power plant, astronomical viewings, and laboratory re-enactments of some of the most important early physics experiments. 
*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better on AP or a 5 or better on IB HL) or plan to take the AP or IB HL exam for European History or are transferring in credit for a Western Civilization History course. Also, this is not a good option if plan to major in one of the sciences – this Physics is for non-science majors.

7. Scrubs & Scholars: Community Support in Navigating Your Path to Nursing School

Courses:

Description

This learning community offers students the opportunity to begin their intensive study of the sciences as well as their personal preparation for a career in health care from the first moments of their college experience. This community is specifically designed for potential nursing students ONLY. Admission to nursing programs is highly competitive and includes having an outstanding academic profile as well as refined personal qualities and skills in the realms of communication, teamwork, social awareness, humanitarianism, and leadership. Members of this learning community will begin preparation for their desired professional paths immediately by building their foundational scientific understanding, participating in the UNCW and Wilmington communities, and growing their individual skills through self-reflection, critical thinking, and investigation of career opportunities.
For this learning community, students will be in regular, larger sized CHM and SOC lectures but their CHM lab and their UNI 101 course will only have their learning community classmates in them. The CHM and SOC courses will be taught in the regular academic buildings and the seminar course will be taught in Cornerstone.
*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better on AP or a 5 or better on IB HL) or plan to take the AP or IB HL exam for Chemistry or are transferring in credit for a General Chemistry college course or an Introductory Sociology course.

8. Stretching Your Mind

Courses:

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 Hatha Yoga techniques.   In the PED 101 class, students will receive an introduction to the various aspects of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga postures, breathing techniques and deep relaxation.  They will also develop their skills as informed health consumers and engage in the application of healthy choices regarding fitness, nutrition, personal safety, stress management, and weight management for the purpose of wellness, chronic disease prevention and 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 or a 5 or better on IB HL) or plan to take the AP or IB HL exam for Psychology or are transferring in credit for an introductory Psychology course or a Physical Activity and Wellness course.

9. Law & Politics

Courses:

Description

This Learning Community explores the development and administration of law through the lens of politics and government.  The learning community joins American Government (PLS 101), Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRM 105) and the First-Year Seminar (UNI 101) to explore the intersection of law and politics.  Students learn how law is made, implemented, enforced and evaluated by political and legal institutions.  Course readings and assignments will be linked in such a way as to deepen the students’ knowledge of the subject and co-curricular activities may include visits to and with law making and enforcement officials and organizations.
*You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 3 or better) or plan to take the AP test for US Government and Politics or are transferring in credit for and Introductory Criminal Justice course or an American National Government course.


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