Departmental Courses




ACCT-360: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)


Topics in Federal and California income tax regulations for filing basic income tax returns. Introduction to issues of providing volunteer service. Experiential learning is required through a community service component.




CSAC-366B: Bulldogs Football in Service


This course is for members of the football team who attend an intensive service outreach trip during May Break




CHEM-360: Environmental Chemistry Field Experience


Environmental Chemistry Field Experience and Modeling takes place at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL). This course deepens understanding of natural systems, including chemical analysis of lakes, soils, and atmosphere; there is a GIS and mapping component.  The final   project consists of a comprehensive model of the study site.




EVST-250: Environmental Design Studio I


Students work collaboratively in teams on environmental problem-solving projects. Many studios make use of GIS and other spatial analysis tools. Research concepts and tools become more complex in advanced levels of this sequence.




EVST-325: Public Lands Management


Overview of the origins and history of public lands in the U.S. (National Parks, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management lands, and others). Exploration of policies governing public lands and historic and current management practices. Controversial issues on public lands will be examined and debated, as well as compromises and solutions.




EVST-350: Environmental Design Studio II


Students work collaboratively in teams on environmental problem-solving projects. Many studios make use of GIS and other spatial analysis tools. Research concepts and tools become more complex in advanced levels of this sequence.




LBST-201: Studies in Education


Specific content varies. An introduction to research, educational philosophy and practice as it relates to specific subject matter areas. This course allows students the opportunity to relate their own educational experiences and knowledge of disciplinary subject matter to their developing philosophy of education. Community service component included.




PHIL-121: Animal Ethics & Service


An introduction to animal ethics incorporating philosophical readings, films, discussions, writing reflections, and hands-on experience volunteering for a variety of animal organizations. There are occasional weekend field trips to animal rescues.




REL-250: Compassion


The Compassion course explores what it means to live a life of compassion.  We study the compassion teachings of the world's religions, with a focus on such great exemplars as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Viktor Frankl, and poet Mary Oliver.  Students apply the compassion teachings to everyday life, as well as practice them within a community service site.  Past examples include a safe house for homeless teenagers, hospice care for the dying, tutoring for children with autism, shelters for abandoned animals, older adults in nursing homes, a facility for medically fragile children, and many other service locations.




REST-325: Race & Criminal Justice Policy


This class will examine how race and gender affect our criminal justice policies at different points in policy-making and implementation, including arrest, trial, sentencing as well as the broad effects our criminal justice policies have on our communities, families and ideas of race and citizenship.




SOAN-324: Hunger & Homelessness-America


This course explores the social, economic, and political causes of homelessness and hunger in the United States, mainly as a consequence of severe poverty. It combines classroom study with field experiences and community service work in outside agencies dedicated to addressing this social problem.




Abroad and Travel Courses




SALZ 240: Austria in Europe


History, Identity, Remembrance. This course is designed to introduce students to the history, culture, and economics of Austria and its place in Europe from early settlement to the present day. We will study Austria‘s role in the Roman  Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, Austria-Hungary, World Wars I and II, the Soviet Empire and Austria‘s eventual membership in the European Union. Extensive travel around Austria, Europe, and the Balkans complements in-class work.  Service outreach at local non-profits are included.




AST-250 TRVL: Service in Cambodia


This travel course combines study of contemporary Cambodia and working on service projects. Service projects include such things as working at an elephant forest conservation project and teaching in  schools. Field trips explore places like Phnom Penh, Angkor Temples and the forest/jungle of Mondulkiri.




CDIS-260 TRVL: Service Learning Latin America


Experiential learning, self-reflection, reading, writing, and discussion are used to foster an understanding of cross-cultural differences in educational approaches and the broad impact of language-learning differences (e.g., bilingualism, language disorders) on children's educational outcomes. Students work with children in community-based educational programs. Open to non-majors. Previous coursework in Spanish is recommended.




First Year Seminars




FS – 100.09: Connecting to the Wild - Wilderness, Leadership and Adventure


This seminar focuses on the concepts of wilderness, leadership, and adventure as context for exploring growth and development.  As a WA course, students will dedicate time developing both their formal and informal writing as a way of exploring ideas and understanding the many topics covered   in the classroom.   Additionally, this course will offer opportunities for experiential education through hands-on outdoor experiences.




FS – 100.11: Sowing the Seeds of Community Resilience: Engaging in Civic Ecology Practices


Civic ecology is the study of community-driven environmental stewardship practices, their outcomes for individuals, communities, and ecosystems, and their interactions with the governance institutions and social-ecological systems in which they take place. Civic ecology practices—such as community gardening, wetlands restoration, and tree planting—are just a few examples of ways for people to express resilience within communities.




FS – 100.23: The Brave New World: Harnessing the Power of Digital Imaging


This seminar explores the features of Light room, the cataloging and global correction software of choice for professional photographers, and Photoshop, an amazing tool for optimizing your images. We will fashion our own designs and discover more sophisticated features of Photoshop such as high dynamic range and panoramas. We will learn to take better portraits and explore some unique ways to create images. In addition, we will use our photographic skills to serve a number of non-profit organizations in the area. Overall, the emphasis will be on creativity and working with others.  Hands-on will be the primary mode of learning.




FS – 100.32: Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss, and Once Upon A Time


So you think you would like to be an elementary school teacher? Well, here is the course for you! At its core, the class is a performance class in speech because teachers talk a lot. Teachers also do a lot of juggling—and so we’ll practice that art as well—we’ll see how curricular demands imposed upon the teacher shape their teaching, and how understanding how children learn helps organize class materials to meet these goals. We will embrace the rich anchoring role of children’s literature and we will grapple with a host of pedagogical tools the teacher needs to perfect in order to enhance student learning. Mother Goose students typically intern at Franklin Elementary in the fall—to see how theory is applied and practiced, and what happens to theory when real live kids are filtered into the mix!