Global/Local Realities and Alternative Visions

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Spring 2019
Daytime Evening
Day and Evening
Class Size: 200
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

law, creative writing, literature
Paul Goldberg square
mathematics, 3-D modeling
sociology, cultural and media studies
Anthony Zaragoza square portrait
political economy
Mingxia Li
biology, Chinese cultural studies, molecular pharmacology

The world is undergoing massive transformations in the 21st century in its environment, economy, politics, culture, societal structure, aesthetics, and more. How can we understand these changes on both a local and global level? How can we respond to and help shape these changes? How do we view human migration around the world? How do we connect our neighborhoods to other parts of the world? How do we share resources equitably in an increasingly crowded and automated world? How do we relate to one another in an increasingly digitally mediated world? How shall we prepare ourselves and our children to face these new challenges? These are some of the questions this program will examine and explore. The global/local reality of the 21st century and beyond will be our intellectual playground and imagination laboratory. Drawing on an interdisciplinary perspective, we will consider various definitions and theories of globalism and humanism. By the end of the program we will be able to offer concrete recommendations to develop global and local connections that can overcome nationalism, sectarianism, and tribalism and help us to embrace alternative visions of global/local reality.

Our fall theme will be identifying the problem and clarifying the question. This quarter will be used to lay the foundation for the rest of the year, both substantively and in terms of the tools necessary to operate effectively in the learning community. We will explore the concept of connectivity, historically and in contemporary context, as it is explicated in theory and practice. In seminars we will read and analyze documents, artifacts, and secondary texts to decipher in what ways connectivity has existed and persisted throughout human history. Students will examine their personal experience with human connectivity by constructing an autobiographical memoir. Our work will be supplemented with a series of courses designed to assure literacy with words, numbers, and images. Students will have the opportunity to hone their skills in critical reasoning, research, and the use of multimedia and computers.

Our winter theme will be researching roots, causes, and potential solutions. We will look at specific contemporary societal issues in human connectivity from a variety of institutional perspectives, most notably in trade, migration/immigration, public health, law, education, government, and domestic and foreign politics. Students will investigate specific issues of interest with the purpose of identifying a particular problem, defining its dimensions, determining its causes, and establishing action plans for its remedy.

In spring the theme will progress to implementation. We will focus on the design and implementation of projects aimed at addressing the issues of global/local reality identified in winter. Seminar groups will combine their efforts to assist the community in facing challenges of the global/local reality. The projects may take the form of educational events, publications, multimedia presentations, or art installations to help the community find higher levels of connectivity with the rest of the world. Courses will assist in the successful implementation and evaluation of student group activities.

Topics include social and environmental justice, political and economic fairness, geography, foreign policy, public/global health, historical and artistic representations of various parts of the world including local regions in media, as well as concepts of equity, cultural competence, and diplomacy.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

community development, organizational development, law and public policy, education, social and human services, public administration, communication and media arts, environmental studies, and public health


Credits per quarter


To be formally admitted to the Tacoma Program, prospective students must meet the following criteria: 1) Complete a minimum of 90 transferable college credits or a transferable associate degree. You will start at the Tacoma Program as a junior or senior. 2) Complete an in-person intake interview at the Tacoma location. You can interview either before or after you begin the online application, but your application will not be processed until after your interview. To schedule an interview, call the student services coordinator at (253) 680-3005 or send an email to .

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

$10 per quarter for entrance fees.

Class Standing: Junior–Senior
Class Size: 200
Daytime Evening

Scheduled for: Day and Evening


Located in: Tacoma