The following courses fulfill the core-curriculum requirements for the Engagements with the Common Good.
ECG 200 Courses
ECG 200A (10040) Watershed Citizenship 3 Credits, Wednesdays, 4:35 – 6:05 p.m., Dr. David Dunbar
This course will involve community-based research at an interdisciplinary level, bringing together biological and psychological perspectives on current environmental issues, namely those involving local and global watersheds. Students will engage in a variety of interactive, interdisciplinary and scientific activities, including interviewing community members and reporting qualitative data. Along with the Stroud Water Research Center (SWRC), students will sponsor and attend a Speaker Series, highlighting invited members from various constituencies within the community.
This course provides valuable exposure and experience to community-based, interdisciplinary undergraduate research opportunities by working alongside the Valley Creek Restoration Partnership (VCRP), the SWRC, and the local Valley Creek Watershed residents, to name a few. Projects and materials presented from both a life and social science help students integrate various perspectives of the watershed impact.
This course also provides an opportunity for sustained contact and work with the various partnerships begun during the course through the potential for summer internships, and through the continued series of courses (annually). ECG 200B (10084) Our Interconnected Hemisphere 3 Credits, Mondays & Fridays, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Dr. Cynthia Halpern
The Our Interconnected Hemisphere seminar is designed for Spanish minors and interested majors. Students will continue their involvement with the established community-based partnership (Norristown Area High School) and lay foundation for a participatory action research project that will come to fruition in the ECG 400 capstone course.
This seminar will strengthen the relationship established by the mentor/mentee project launched in the fall ECG 200 and sustained through the following spring and begin to assess concrete evidence in the following areas -academic assistance, family outreach efforts and mediating needs with the District.
Students will work to sustain and build the capacity of Latino students by advocating for interventions known to improve academic performance and support their efforts toward the completion of their secondary education requirements. Students will study the power and lure of the American Dream for many people around the world and then look at how the promises of such a dream impact the Hispanics living in the United States, both as newly- arrived immigrants and in subsequent generations.
Students will improve their ability to look at complex issues from a broader and multifaceted perspective, and work in conjunction with the District and other community entities toward the implementation of nationally proven interventions. The knowledge gained on successful strategies to improve retention and graduation will also be used to advocate for systemic changes in order to bring about greater educational equity in the community. ECG 200C (10091) Democracy & Diversity 3 Credits, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:05 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Dr. Sharon Schwarze
Democracy and Diversity is a course in which we will be concerned with the problems that countries, and in particular democracies, have in making one country out of diverse social, ethnic, cultural, economic, and religious groups. Here in the United States that has been an especially interesting problem since most Americans are immigrants or are descended from immigrants and these immigrants were not all alike!
The United States has been amazingly successful at creating a democratic society from such diversity when compared to other countries like Iraq, for instance. But there are many tensions and even injustices in the United States that have their origin in the differences between various parts of the larger population.
Making one out of many or, as it says on the penny, "e pluribus Unum," is a continuous process that we in the United States have done with deliberateness and with difficulty at times. ECG 200D (10195) Community Arts & Education 3 Credits, Mondays & Wednesdays, 8:15-9:30 a.m., Nancy Waterson
“Never doubt that a small group if thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Anthropologist Margaret Mead’s powerful assertion about how change happens remains a vibrant touchstone for anyone interested in working in settings that believe in the possibility of transformation—especially among children and youth.
In this ECG course, we approach the idea of artistic expression as something that crosses disciplinary boundaries. We engage with the common good by working alongside others in community arts contexts and educational settings. How, we ask, can we best tap into our own and others’ creative abilities and compassionate understanding to address social inequities?
Each student will be involved in a community-based organization concerned with the arts, local culture, or educational issue—broadly defined. Students may, for example, work with students in Norristown through CASA (Creative After-School Alternatives,) in communications classes, or with another organization in the greater Philadelphia region.
This class is for you if you wish to be part of the movement to develop literacy among children, enjoy helping kids with homework in an after-school program, or would like to join your peers to create arts programming for middle schoolers teaching dance, music, drawing, capoeira, guitar, cooking, etc.
Please note: because you will likely be working with children, you must get a Child Abuse Clearance and Background Check, each $10, or total of $20. Therefore, when you register for this class, contact Dr. Watterson immediately (email@example.com) to get your clearance process started.
It takes several weeks to process and you cannot begin work at the site until you are cleared. Finally, while there is some flexibility for students to design their own community-based initiatives, this requires initiative on your part and approval from the instructor, as we have a commitment to working with our community partners to meet their needs.
ECG 200E (10306) Urban Education 3 Credits, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:15-9:30 a.m., Shirley Dixon
This course is designed to enhance students' knowledge of urban schooling, especially as related to dynamics of race, class, and culture.
Along with a service-learning component in urban schools, the course provides analysis of the following: historical, socioeconomic, and political factors influencing urban education; the distribution of opportunity in cities and their schools; and effective instructional and organizational practices that close the achievement gap, including multicultural education, the development of positive school cultures, and the use of community services and resources. ECG 200F (10311) Bridges to Swaziland 3 Credits, Fridays, 9:40 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Susan Pierson
This course presents the partnership with Cabrini Ministries in Swaziland as an opportunity for a group of Education majors to study the educational needs of the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Swaziland. Through readings and research, the students will discuss their ideas and perceptions about issues relating to the education system in Swaziland and the United States.
Through practical experience in serving the needs of the partnership, students will move toward a deeper understanding of OVC. As a result of this course and through the Cabrini Ministries partnership, students will develop educational resources to enhance the teaching and learning at the Cabrini Ministries Hostel. ECG 200G (10517) Social Justice & the Common Good 3 Credits, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., Dr. Joseph Romano
The course assumes that social justice is shaped by the political and economic forces in society; and that the common good of all in society depends upon the right application of fair and just policies that are influenced by our political and economic systems.
We analyze major principles of justice offered us by original thinkers throughout history; test those principles within the practical issues that impact on our common good; enhance our own desire and ability to promote justice first hand in our communities by advocating for the common good in economic and political issues.
ECG 300 Courses
ECG 300A (10124) Dating & Domestic Violence 3 Credits, Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:40 – 10:55 a.m., Dr. Amy Lee Persichetti
Students in this course will learn about dating and domestic violence while becoming provisionally certified by Laurel House and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a crisis counselor.
At the same time, students will conduct research in local communities to assist efforts to eradicate domestic violence through education and prevention. ECG 300B (10401) Working for Global Justice 3 Credits, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:55 – 3:10 p.m., Dr. Jerome Zurek
The focus of this course will be how to advocate for social justice through your major after college. We will work within the College’s partnership with Catholic Relief Services.
As part of the course, you will research and create a social-justice advocacy project using your professional skills. You will also learn and practice how to advocate for global social justice, including the experience of lobbying with your members of Congress during a day-long trip to Washington, D.C. ECG 300C (10518) Dating & Domestic Violence 3 Credits, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., Dr. Amy Persichetti
At the same time, students will conduct research in local communities to assist efforts to eradicate domestic violence through education and prevention. ECG 300D (10519) Advocating for Fair Trade 3 Credits, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:05 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Dr. Erin McLaughlin
This course focuses on the concept of fair trade. We will look at the expansion of the international trading system and analyze the differential impacts of free tree on developing nations. The course will look closely at the debates between “free” versus “fair” trade and globalization versus anti-globalization movements.
This course will also look at the international networks and institutions that shape fair trade. It will look at the fair-trade movement as it relates to labor, environment, food security, corporate responsibility, and human rights. Students will learn what it means to be and operate as a fair-trade company.
Along with the classroom discussion and assigned readings, students will work together with their international community partner, “Swazi Crafts for Care” to help them become fair-trade certified. ECG 300E (105200) Global Leadership 3 Credits, Wednesdays, 11:05 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Vonya Womack
This course will look at global leaders and their leadership styles from a political, community and grassroots lens. Students will participate in community through fieldtrips and develop knowledge about leadership in post conflict nations and communities.
Students will address peace and justice in global leadership and how integral human development applies to post conflict countries. ECG 300F (10521) Hands on Justice 3 Credits, Wednesdays, 8:15 – 10:55 a.m., David Murata
This course will use multi-media presentations in most lectures. It will make each one of us to touch and reflect deeply about who we are; our pains and our hopes. It will enable us to analyze and critique a few of the glaring injustices in the world today, such as global (including domestic) oppression against women, personal and corporate greed, and slavery of resident illegal aliens.
It will enable us to move beyond the paralysis of anger and despair to concrete action. It will enable us to use logic of coolest mind with warmest heart towards justice-making. This class is for those students who want to be real, who want to make a difference in the world today, who strive to live their lives to the fullest!
ECG 300OL (10516) GSN: Response to War & Disaster 3 Credits
This course will examine international development and peacebuilding using case studies from recent humanitarian crises. Material will be drawn from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) online “Global Solidarity Network” (GSN) course module and other sources. CRS serves more than 100 million people in nearly 100 countries worldwide.
CRS gives assistance regardless of creed or ethnicity; students in this course are not required to have religious affiliation to participate.
Students will be exposed to the world of international assistance and asked to grapple with our national and personal commitments to the world’s most vulnerable. The course will be taught online, allowing for use of a variety of media as well as reflection and advocacy opportunities.