Special Topics courses are generally offered each May term and vary from year to year. These service-intensive courses are faculty led and involve building an outreach component within the curriculum of the course. Class time and service time are given consideration with learning and service blending into a meaningful experience.
360.01 Special Topics: Into the Streets
Into the Streets (I.T.S.) is the original pilot course for the entire CSAC experience and continues today as a favorite for student participants. Each year 8 to 15 students participate in an intensive study of non-profit agencies in Southern California. Past classes have toured and served the Los Angeles Mission, Inland AIDS Project, Cornerstone Compassion Center, and Habitat for Humanity. Any given year the I.T.S. class will visit between 15 and 20 service agencies. The month-long service class is modeled after COOL's national one-day service plunge (Please include external link here- http://www.idealistoncampus.org/ioc/attend/national-conf.html), designed to introduce students to thoughtful community service and to provide a learning experience that will challenge students to volunteer on a regular basis. The ongoing goal of I.T.S. is to strengthen student participation and identify and help solve problems that we face as a society. This goal can only be accomplished through sustained and persistent action in partnership with many different individuals and institutions.
In class, participants will:
- Become involved and familiar with different service agencies in Southern California
- Identify needs in the community and discover what agencies are addressing those needs
- Learn how to participate and contribute on a service site
- Meet like-minded students who want to contribute and learn through civic engagement
360.02 Special Topics: Ropes Course Leadership
Since 1997, the Community Service Learning Office has offered the Ropes Course Leadership class as a special topic option for fulfilling the community service requirement. The class teaches University students how to run a ropes course program so they will be able to lead their own ropes courses for children from the Inland Empire. The first half of the course teaches students the ice breakers, games, and initiatives involved in leading ropes course retreats with young children. During the second half of the course, the students are trained in the set-up and run-through of low cable activities and are informed about important safety techniques. Students fulfill their community service requirements by putting their ropes course training into action with hundreds of children who visit campus. To date, the ropes course leadership class has worked with more than 800 children and trained approximately 165 University students.
360.03 Special Topics: Social Justice Issues
HIV/AIDS has been labeled as the "Plague of the 21st Century." People from all walks of life, age groups, social classes, and sexual orientations are affected and infected. This course examines the history and progression of this pandemic and how it is influencing the world we live in today. Invited speakers, selected readings, and films will build the basis for discussions and hands-on service participation with organizations across Southern California. Through reflective learning activities, students will have a chance to examine the role of HIV/AIDS in their lives and how they can make a difference regardless of HIV status. This course is great for those who want to go into the community to do service while developing leadership and collaborative skills, and who are interested in social justice. It is a seminar-style format where the entire class determines topics covered and materials used for the course.
360.04 Special Topics: Urban Gardens
The Community Gardening course consists of a variety of field trips and gardening opportunities focusing on the importance of community, butterfly, Shakespearean healing, flower, vegetable, and labyrinth gardening. The class will take place on campus, at local elementary schools, and at continuing care retirement communities. The students develop basic gardening skills (i.e. cultivating, planting, pruning, etc.) through hands-on practice and they learn about the different aspects of urban gardening and the importance of sustainability.
360.05 Special Topics: Coaching Skills
Build your coaching skills with fellow athletes and future coaches while creating and facilitating sports clinics for local children at the Redlands Recreation Center. Clinics in volleyball, golf, football, basketball, tennis, and soccer are desired. This course will teach some theory and a great deal of practical application.