Learning Community Clusters Offerings

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Learning Community Clusters enable students to take two or more courses together, and learn and study with the same group of students. First-time-to-college students pursuing associate degrees and enrolled in nine or more credits are required to take a Seminar or a Cluster within their first yearIn Clusters, faculty members have planned their courses together around common themes. Clusters offer small class sizes and hands-on activities such as field study and team projects.

 

Interdisciplinary Clusters

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Culinary Calculations - 11 credits -

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Culinary Calculations - 11 credits -

This learning community for Culinary Arts majors brings together two Culinary Arts courses and the real world math skills that you will need to succeed in a food services career. The math teacher works directly with you in the kitchen and bakeshop to help you master essential career math skills such as weights, measures, pricing, and payroll.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in MAT093 or placement.

Students must enroll in the following courses:

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Environmental Politics - 10 Credits -

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Environmental Politics - 10 Credits -

In this cluster, you will explore solutions to the problems caused by global climate change through the three courses in this learning community. Environmental Science II will examine the effects of deforestation, species extinction, and other impacts on global ecosystems. Government and Politics in the U.S. will discuss how to create environmental policy change within the American political system, with its shared checks and balances. College Writing II will guide you through research and writing about environmental policy questions.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in ENG111 (College Writing I) and MAT091 (Fundamentals of Math).

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Language & the Mind - 6 credits -

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Language & the Mind - 6 credits -

This learning community for students placing into ENG095 enables you to learn the fundamental principles of psychology as you develop the language skills needed to communicate effectively in college study. You will explore the human brain and behavior, research methods, learning, consciousness, motivation, emotion, human growth and development, personality, abnormal behavior and psychotherapy, and social cognition in a community that fosters critical thinking and analysis.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Writing Skills I (ENG090) and Academic Reading III (ESL098) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) or placement.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Letters to Unknown Artists -

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Letters to Unknown Artists -

Using personal perception of the human creative endeavor, students will analyze and write unified, coherent, and well developed essays on art and architecture from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. Writing assignments will be based on presentations, group projects, and museum visits.

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Motivations & Movements: Exploring Careers in Behavioral & Social Science - 6 credits -

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Motivations & Movements: Exploring Careers in Behavioral & Social Science - 6 credits -

This learning community for first-year students integrates a survey of information and theory in psychology with field study in the behavioral science field. You will have the opportunity to stand on the spot where the Boston Massacre occurred, cheer on Boston sports teams, and examine what motivates individuals and groups of people to participate in these and other actions.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Academic Reading III (ESL098) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) or placement.

Open to students interested in the behavioral or social science fields.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Patriots & Petticoats I - 6 credits -

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Patriots & Petticoats I - 6 credits -

This learning community for students placing into ENG111, focuses on the growth and development of the United States from a women’s perspective. Through a combination of readings, class discussions, film, field study and a community engagement project, students examine U.S. history from colonial beginnings to the civil war and reconstruction and develop the oral and written communication skills needed to succeed in College Writing I.

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Patriots & Petticoats II - 6 credits -

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Patriots & Petticoats II - 6 credits -

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Power in Actions, Passion in Words: Western Psychology Meets African American Studies - 6 credits -

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Power in Actions, Passion in Words: Western Psychology Meets African American Studies - 6 credits -

This cluster for students placing into ENG111 will provide an overview of African American Studies to engage two powerful academic disciplines – Psychology and English. You will explore key historical and literary movements in African American Studies, including The Middle Passage, Slavery and Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, The Jazz Era, the Civil Rights Movement, and Hip Hop to develop an understanding of fundamental psychological concepts and to hone your critical reading and writing skills. You will explore key and critical areas in the study of psychology, including learning, human growth and development, the brain, human sexuality, social psychology and psychological disorders. The course emphasizes cross-cultural awareness and the creation of “Community” to achieve these goals.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Writing Skills II (ENG095) and Reading Skills II (RDG095) or Academic Reading III (ESL098) or placement.          

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

Accelerated English Clusters

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Accelerated English Cluster - 6 Credits -

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Accelerated English Cluster - 6 Credits -

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Crash - 6 credits -

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Crash - 6 credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111 enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. In this cluster, students will examine the origins and effects of the world recession led by the crash of the U.S. financial and housing sectors of the economy in 2008 and the social and economic impact of this crash on the daily lives of millions of Americans. Through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and hands-on learning activities, students will explore the “new normal” of the U.S. economy and prospects for jobs, prosperity, and a middle class in the coming decades of the early 21st century.

Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster. Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Consumable Planet - 6 Credits -

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Consumable Planet - 6 Credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111 to explore the world of sustainability. You will examine the realms of food, clothing and shelter through the lens of sustainability management. Patterns of consumption and systems of local, sustainable food production as well as big agriculture will be considered. You will study green and sustainable design that reduces energy usage and causes less environmental degradation. Through reading, writing, speaking, listening and hands-on learning, you will build a strong foundation for further study in sustainability or related fields.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Writing Skills I (ENG090) and Academic Reading III (ESL098) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) or placement.

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Dig Where You Stand: Urban Community Histories - 6 credits -

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Dig Where You Stand: Urban Community Histories - 6 credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling you to complete both courses in one semester. Drawing from written and oral histories as well as music and the visual arts, you will analyze a variety of urban community histories, with particular emphasis on exploring voices that have traditionally been excluded from the history books. You will examine the relationship among self, text and place, engage in field study at local sites, and take a turn crafting their own community histories. This learning community emphasizes writing as a process, from planning and drafting through revising and editing. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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The End is Near: Reading, Analyzing and Writing about Post-Apocalyptic Fiction -

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The End is Near: Reading, Analyzing and Writing about Post-Apocalyptic Fiction -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. What is America’s obsession with the end of the world? We’ve seen post-apocalyptic novels such as The Hunger Games series, The Divergent series and The Maze Runner series turn into mega-blockbuster movies. In this course, we will be thinking about these books in a broader context and examining how they portray society and what messages are conveyed throughout the books. How do they reflect historical events? How are people categorized or defined in society? What is about this genre that has Americans going bananas? Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

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Inside the Sky -

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Inside the Sky -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. In this course, students will discover the world of aviation, through studying the literature. Through reading and writing assignments, students will unlock the mystery of what happens up there, when you fly, inside the sky. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

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Liberating the Mind -

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Liberating the Mind -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. Research shows that in the U.S., Latinos and Blacks are less likely to get a college degree and more likely to end up in prison. This course explores why this may be happening and introduces students to proposed solutions to this problem through reading and writing about initiatives both in Boston and nationwide. In addition to doing course reading and writing assignments, students will be required to participate in a community service project focused on supporting college readiness. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

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Lyrics, Images, and Words that Matter: Looking at Social Issues through Music, A -

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Lyrics, Images, and Words that Matter: Looking at Social Issues through Music, A -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. In this course, we will look at how musicians, artists, and poets have used their work as a way to comment on social issues and to advocate for change. We will listen to, look at, and read work that address issues such as civil rights, thoughts about war and peace, political problems, and social injustice, and others. The music will include a variety of genres, from folk to reggae to hip-hop. We will also read articles and essays about use of art as social protest or about individual artists. You will learn to write unified, coherent, well developed essays and practice paraphrasing, summarizing and using sources responsibly. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

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Making Dreams Real - 6 Credits -

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Making Dreams Real - 6 Credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111 enabling you to complete both courses in one semester. Making Dreams Real is a writing-intensive, community-oriented class in which you will collaborate with each other and the instructor to make each of your dreams come true. This class is the ultimate “pay-it-forward” in which each individual’s ability to help transform the lives of others bears a direct relationship on the community is transformed as a whole. Invest in yourself by investing in your peers – and write about it every step of the way. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Money Changes Everything - 6 Credits -

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Money Changes Everything - 6 Credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. You will explore literal and abstract themes related to money as you read and write about making a living, handling and budgeting money, consumerism, materialism, and the specter of economic terrorism. Topics will include the relationship between money and happiness, the impact of money on relationships, the power of money to corrupt, and social issues related to inequities in wealth. This learning community emphasizes writing as a process, from planning and drafting through revising and editing. You will learn to write unified, coherent, well developed essays and practice paraphrasing, summarizing and using sources responsibly. Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Writing Skills I (ENG090) and Academic Reading III (ESL098) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) or placement. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Outcasts, Outsiders and Otherness -

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Outcasts, Outsiders and Otherness -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. How does one become an Outcast, Outsiders or "Other"? This class will examine ways in which identity is imposed rather than espoused through these identifications. By reading Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Ta nahesi Coates, Meredith Hall, Julie Otsuka, Timothy McVeigh, and James Baldwin, students will scrutinize how class, race, ethnicity, mental and physical disabilities, political leaning, and religion can shut people out of mainstream society. Students will examine essays, memoir, news media, film, fiction, and music to contextualize social norms and mores as well as individual values and beliefs. This course will also incorporate field trips and service-learning projects to enhance coursework and foster multi-dimensional learning. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

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Stories Through Success: Writing Through Memoir - 6 Credits -

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Stories Through Success: Writing Through Memoir - 6 Credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111 enabling you to complete both courses in one semester. Through reading and analyzing memoirs, you will learn a variety of rhetorical methods and develop the advanced writing skills necessary for success with college level material. This learning community emphasizes writing as a process, from planning and drafting through revising and editing. You will learn to write unified, coherent, well developed essays and practice paraphrasing, summarizing and using sources responsibly. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Writing from the Inside Out -

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Writing from the Inside Out -

This six-credit learning community integrates ENG095 and ENG111, enabling students to complete both courses in one semester. This cluster will delve into the writing process beginning with personal writing and work towards incorporating other modes of expository writing such as cause/effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution and argument. We will discuss current or hot topics in the news and learn how to incorporate additional sources in papers as we demystify writing blocks and find real connections between students and their writing topics. By the end of the semester, students will be able to tackle a variety of topics no matter the discipline, represent other sources properly and develop their unique voice. Please see an advisor if you are interested in enrolling in this Cluster.

Accelerated Math Clusters

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It All Adds Up - 6 Credits -

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It All Adds Up - 6 Credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates MAT093-MAT097, enabling you to complete both courses in one semester. Topics include solving applied problems with whole numbers, decimals and fractions; ratios and proportions; rates; percentages and applications in sales tax, interest, commissions, and geometry. After successful completion of these topics, you will move in to Foundations of Algebra. Topics covered in this course include algebraic expressions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, exponents and scientific notation, introduction to polynomials, and systems of linear equations and their graphs. Technology is incorporated to facilitate problem solving.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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STEM Starter Academy Cluster -

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STEM Starter Academy Cluster -

This program offers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors the opportunity to complete their math pre-requisites at an accelerated rate. Get two semesters of math completed in one semester. Students who have completed or tested out of MAT093 are eligible to take a cluster comprised of MAT097 and MAT099, and students who have completed or tested out of MAT097 are eligible to take a cluster combining MAT099 and MAT194. You can register for the classes by picking up a registration form in the Deans’ Office, Room C-312. Enrollment will be done on a first come basis.

Priority will be given to STEM majors.

Integrated Reading & Writing Clusters

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Building a Strong Foundation - 6 Credits -

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Building a Strong Foundation - 6 Credits -

This learning community for students placing into ENG090 and RDG090 integrates the study of reading and writing. You will develop the reading skills necessary for success with college level material as they begin to develop the writing skills needed to work in the College Writing program. This Cluster does not satisfy any part of the College Writing requirement for graduation. Placement is determined by assessment testing or faculty referral. Upon completion of Writing Skills I (ENG090) with a grade of C or better, students enroll in Writing Skills II (ENG095).

Students must meet reading exit requirements or pass a department reading final in order to earn a passing grade of C in RDG090.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Crossing Borders - 6 credits -

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Crossing Borders - 6 credits -

This learning community for students placing into ENG095 and RDG095 provides a rich opportunity for you to develop advanced reading and writing skills while learning about immigration in the United States. You will read about key aspects of immigration, including historical material, personal narratives, and fiction, as well as use the internet and view films. You will write about how immigration relates to your own lives or to your families. Students must meet reading exit requirements or pass a department reading final in order to earn a passing grade of C in RDG095.

Students must pass the basic Writing Competency Exam in order to receive a passing grade for ENG095. The course does not satisfy the College Writing requirement for graduation.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Hot Topics and Big Stories: What’s in the News - 6 credits -

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Hot Topics and Big Stories: What’s in the News - 6 credits -

Explore the hot topics and big stories in the media that capture society’s attention and impact how people live. This learning community for students placing into ENG095 and RDG095 and will allow you to develop academic reading and writing skills while analyzing print and broadcast media. Activities include the use of newspapers and newsmagazines to analyze the formats used for writing news, features, and editorials.

Students must meet reading exit requirements or pass a department reading final in order to earn a passing grade of C in RDG095. Students must pass the basic Writing Competency Exam in order to receive a passing grade for ENG095. The course does not satisfy the College Writing requirement for graduation.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Stories of Our Lives: Reflecting on What Shapes Us - 6 credits -

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Stories of Our Lives: Reflecting on What Shapes Us - 6 credits -

This learning community focuses on learning to understand our own life by looking at the lives of others. You will study poems, stories, and autobiographical essays that highlight key life junctures and turning points. Readings will also include analytic articles on experiencing change and growth. You will explore foundational elements of our own identifies and examine a variety of life-defining moments: ones touching on courage, love, loss, and resilience. You will discuss and debate lessons from our readings, and write about others and ourselves.

Throughout, our goal will be to deepen our appreciation of our own life story, while developing and strengthening our reading and writing skills.

Professional Studies Clusters

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Business is Our Common Language - 6 credits -

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Business is Our Common Language - 6 credits -

This course, for students placing into ESL097 or ESL098, is a survey of the purpose, role, and responsibility of business in a capitalistic society, including an introduction to the major areas of business such as: Finance, Management, Economics, Accounting, and Marketing.

This course provides a basic foundation for the student who will specialize in some aspect of business in college, and it also provides the opportunity for non-business majors to learn about the business in which they will someday be both producers and consumers. This course will also enable you to explore career options in business, define a career path, and make connections between classroom learning and the larger business community.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Business by the Numbers - 6 credits -

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Business by the Numbers - 6 credits -

This learning community integrates an examination of the basic principles of marketing with the study of statistical concepts and methods. You will apply statistical concepts and methods to your study of the behavior of the consumer market and the product, pricing promotion, and distribution decisions employed to create consumer satisfaction.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Fundamentals of Algebra (MAT 094) or placement, Grade of C or better in Academic Reading III (ESL098) and Academic Writing III (ESL 099) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) and Writing Skills I (ENG 090) or exemption from reading or writing requirements by placement.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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The Business of Social Responsibility -

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The Business of Social Responsibility -

This cluster will explore what it means to be socially responsible in the business world. Students will develop the oral communication skills necessary for academic and professional settings, including presentation skills.

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Computer Learning Community - 9 credits -

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Computer Learning Community - 9 credits -

This learning community for students placing into ENG095 and RDG095 provides a survey of the use and applications of modern computer systems. You will learn fundamental computer concepts, terminology, applications and theory as you develop the language skills necessary to communicate effectively and succeed in college level coursework. You will get hands-on personal computer experience and gain a working knowledge of MS WINDOWS, MS OFFICE, and INTERNET use and applications.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in ENG090 and RDG090 or placement.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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Equity in the Business World -

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Equity in the Business World -

Discover the dynamic relationship between business and information technology in this learning community that integrates study of the purpose, role and responsibility of business in a capitalistic society with the use and applications of modern computer systems in the business world. Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Academic Reading III (ESL098) and Academic Writing III (ESL 099) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) and Writing Skills I (ENG 090) or exemption from reading or writing requirements by placement

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Expression through Watercolor -

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Expression through Watercolor -

This cluster provides an introduction to the medium of watercolor paint which explores and demonstrates basic techniques. This course provides a basic foundation for the student who may want to specialize in some aspect of visual and media arts, and it also provides the opportunity for non-VMA majors to express the immigrant experience in a multimodal setting. Students will read extensively and build language skills through a variety of fiction and nonfiction materials on art and artists. This course will enable students to explore watercolor artist traditions through reading and writing while reflecting on their own relationship and practice. It will also make connections between classroom learning and the larger art community.

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Mind your Business - 6 Credits -

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Mind your Business - 6 Credits -

Business uses psychology to do everything from predicting consumer behavior to managing employees and designing workspaces. This learning community examines the role and responsibility of business in society through the lens of psychology. Learn more about who you are and how you fit into the business world while learning the concepts and theories of psychology and business.

Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Academic Reading III (ESL098) and Academic Writing III (ESL099) or Reading Skills II (RDG095) and Writing Skills I (ENG090) or exemption from reading or writing requirements by placement.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses:

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People, Products, Services, and Brands: Successful Managing and Marketing - 6 Credits -

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People, Products, Services, and Brands: Successful Managing and Marketing - 6 Credits -

This six-credit learning community integrates an examination of the principles of Marketing with the theories and principles of Management. You will learn how the notions of consumer behavior and consumer satisfaction in today’s competitive environment are the driving force of the decision-making process in every aspect of managing an organization from planning and system design, to organizational strategy.

Students must co-enroll in the following courses: