Fall 2011, Winter 2012 and Spring 2012 quarters
- Suzanne Simons writing, journalism, sociology , Carolyn Prouty (F,S) health science, public health, bioethics , Stephen Buxbaum political economy, community development and planning
- Fields of Study
- community studies, geography, history, leadership studies, sociology and writing
- Preparatory for studies or careers in
- government and public service, leadership, management, education, media, nonprofit organization, public health, social services
The purpose of this year-long program is to help students develop the skills needed to assess their communities, capture their observations, and articulate them in a useful form. Program participants will work to improve their written and verbal communication skills, ability to collect and analyze data, and think critically as they explore what makes communities work.
We start with the proposition that success – professional or personal – is dependent in part upon being able to tell our story. Whether we are writing a business plan, a novel, or a job application, we need to get our message across, be understood, and hopefully motivate our audience to respond positively. The ability to explain ourselves, ask clearly for what we want, establish purpose, or give direction all involve telling a story. To explain, ask, and direct are all examples of relational activities that also help communities to function.
Communities also have stories, as do communities within communities. We will examine who gets to construct and tell the meta-narrative of communities and why, how multiple and sometimes conflicting narratives of community develop, and strategies for developing more equitable access to constructing the story of community. The term “community” literally means a collective sharing of gifts (from the Latin: communitas: cum, "with/together" + munus, "gift"). Our class will itself become a community, in this case a learning community: a group of supportive individuals engaged in collective inquiry and analysis about what makes communities work. Students will work in teams as they learn research skills, participate in field activities, and keep a record of their progress through a variety of assignments, such as mapping, journaling, oral histories, and data analysis.
Just as a story – and a community – has a beginning, middle, end, and sometimes a re-birth, this program will follow a similar pattern in its structure. Fall quarter will focus on how relationships start and how communities begin. Working from observations made from individual to collective levels, we will use literature, theoretical models, and system thinking activities to explore how formative experiences and events determine the structure and function of a community. During winter quarter, students will explore the practical day-to-day functioning of a community. Field research will involve exploring diverse experiences and multiple meanings embodied in a single community. This will involve the use of mixed media, interviews, and extensive writing to map and record the workings of a community. Students will test theoretical models of how systems work against the lives of community members interviewed, and what they can observe and record themselves. Spring quarter will focus on what causes communities to stop functioning. Using literature, primary source material and field research we will explore what keeps communities from sustaining themselves. Students will investigate the challenges communities face as they attempt to weather social, economic, geographic, and environmental changes.
Students in the 12-credit option will choose a community-based organization that compliments program themes and do an in-program internship of 10 hours per week, plus a weekly thematic journal and final synthesis project integrating their community and academic work. Students will be responsible for selecting and contacting an organization to set up the internship with activities that serve the organization and student skills, goals, and interests.
- Advertised Schedule
- 9:30a-5:30p Sat (First Saturday of each quarter, class meets on the TESC Olympia campus. All other Saturdays, class meets at Grays Harbor College.)
- Campus Location
- Grays Harbor
- Online Learning
- Enhanced Online Learning
- Greener Store
- Offered During
|June 29th, 2011||Updated schedule to note meeting locations.|