Building Resilient Communities


Fall 2013, Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Taught by

academic and creative writing, U.S. literature, research methods in the humanities
sociology, education

"Placing yourself in the changing world is a worldchanging act," writes Edward C. Wolff, researcher and specialist in the natural history of global change.  In Building Resilient Communities we will learn the integrative skills needed to influence and adapt to change as we consider selected social and ecological paradoxes facing us and future generations. Program participants will have multiple opportunities to develop the habits of mind of analytic, creative, and resilient thinkers who take the time to formulate problems before seeking solutions and who work with others to create life-affirming choices.  Clear and thoughtful writing and opportunities to develop personal perspectives on cultivating a culture of resilience and community-building across significant differences will be essential components of our work together.


Throughout the program, we will place ourselves in the swirl and mix of complex problems. Program participants will discover hidden dimensions of the "familiar" as we rely on close observation and current qualitative and quantitative research to help us first envision and then move toward communities in which all people thrive. Research in winter quarter will deepen our understanding of the challenges facing local communities and how government, non-profit organizations, and the "public" engage with them. Spring work will focus on dynamic community-building, including planning, decision-making, and collaborative action. Students in spring will also work through a complex problem of their choice, integrating theory and practice.


In all program efforts, we will be especially attentive to the following lines of inquiry and their implications: how best to address inequities and complexity within community-building efforts, how to gather and use public information to serve the common good, and how to steer present change into a sustainable future.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

government and public service, education, sociology, social work, non-profit management, community development and organizing

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule: 6-9:30p Mon/Wed plus 9a-5p five Sat (fall:Oct. 5, 19, Nov. 2, 16, Dec. 7; winter: Jan 11, 25, Feb 8, 22, Mar 8; spring: Apr 5, 19, May 3, 17, 31)


Buy books for this program through The Greener Store.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Internship Required

Community service hours and/or internship required in winter and spring quarters


Date Revision
October 23rd, 2013 Spring Quarter Saturday dates added.
September 27th, 2013 Winter Quarter Saturday dates added.

Registration Information

Credits: 12 (Fall); 12 (Winter); 12 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 35


Course Reference Number

(12 credits): 10011

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number

(12 credits): 20004

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

(12 credits): 30003
(16 credits): 30564

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