Exploring the Liberal Arts (LASE and ELA Classes)

Spring 2018 Classes

ELA is a new subject area. In this area you will find courses on study skills, leadership, College resources and making the most of your liberal arts degree. These classes count as part of the 18 non-College credits you are allowed.
LASE classes are liberal arts seminars offered on a range of topics. Expect to see more classes offered under this subject area each semester.

Note: Effective fall 2015, all LASE classes count as College credit.

Engaging the Liberal Arts (ELA) Classes

All ELA classes count as non-College credit

ELA 2500-001 Charting Your Path: 2nd Year | Section 001 (Anda Webb)
Are you entering your second year and undecided about a major? Do you feel pressured to declare a major as soon as possible? If so, you are not alone. Research shows that up to 80% of college students entering college are unsure of their major and up to 50% change their majors at least once before graduation. This course provides students with an opportunity to learn about majors in the College and, more importantly, about their individual strengths and abilities. Through readings, journaling and writing exercises, classroom discussion, meditation practices, and other tools of discovery, students will examine the following questions:

1) How can I make the most of my college experience?
2) Who am I, what are my values, and how do they impact me?
3) How do I want to live my life, and what is my own definition of success?
4) Rather than "discovering my passion," which is a limiting question, how do I craft a fulfilling life that I know will change over time?

The more knowledge you have about yourself as you begin to explore possible majors, the more likely you are to identify a good "fit" and avoid pursuing majors that are not as well-suited for you.  In this class, you also will learn about the many resources available to you across the University, from undergraduate research opportunities to career services.

ELA 2600 - Collect, Select, Reflect | Section 001 (Gail Hunger)    
An ePortfolio is a collection of digitized student work (documents, images, artwork, maps, lab reports, video files, audio files, etc.) organized and repurposed to demonstrate a student’s accomplishments, talents, experiences, and reflections. Collected over time, and (re)composed for particular audiences such as instructors, prospective employers, or others, the ePortfolio can serve as a rich evidence-based documentation of authentic student accomplishments. The ePortfolio construction and reflection process can also ensure students gain insight on themselves as learners by showing their self-assessment as well as their aspirations and future goals. This class is open to College students in all years who have not taken the class before.

ELA 2890 - Strategies for Academic Achievement | Section 001
This course introduces strategies that will enable students to be effective learners. These tools include methods for learning, planning, and critical thinking. Specific topics include: methods for time management, prioritization, note-taking, test preparation, habit formation, assessment of arguments and data, productive approaches to challenges, and utilization of University resources.   

ELA 3300 - Designing Your Professional Summer Experience | Section 001 (Everette Fortner)
This course supports students in securing and preparing for a professional summer internship through career exploration, self-assessment, skill development, & search strategies. Students connect the skills & competencies to a liberal arts education with the core proficiencies sought by employers. Students utilize the Career Center resources including counseling & Virginia Alumni Mentoring.

Liberal Arts Seminar (LASE) Classes

Effective fall 2015, LASE classes count as inside the College credit

Civic and Community Engagement Classes

LASE 3500/PSYC 3495 Science and Lived Experience of Autism II | Section 003 (Vikram Jaswal)
This year-long, interdisciplinary seminar will explore how well the science of autism captures the experience of those living with autism and their families. Students will critically evaluate research in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, and education, and they will work together with members of the autism community to identify new research questions that reflect the interests and concerns of the people who are most affected by autism science.

LASE 3500/GDS 3110 Engaged Learning in Global/Local Development II | Section 004 (David Edmunds)
This class will support student engagements with enterprises, organizations, departments and movements addressing problems broadly defined as development. We will encourage shared learning and co-designed development activities, and we will do so for groups of students as they prepare for "on site" work, while they are in the midst of their engagements, or are returning to the classroom to analyze what they have learned and done. The class will be run as a series of workshops addressing issues shared by some or all of the various students.  These will be defined in the practicum together, but will likely address, at a minimum: dealing with social and cultural differences, generating knowledge across these differences, dealing with uncertainty in establishing plans and budgets, and building in accountability to those outside the university. Some of the workshops will be held on grounds, others off. We will have mentors from within and outside the university address specific topics, and students and their colleagues will learn from each other's experiences through regular in-class presentations.  The learning "products" will be defined by consensus by those involved in the learning and action, but will include at least one reflective essay by each student.

LASE 3500/HIUS 3559: All Politics is Local II | Section 005 (Andrew Kahrl)
This two-semester course explores local politics in Charlottesville and nearby Virginia communities. Through historical, literary, and hands-on approaches, students will learn how large-scale social, economic, and environmental changes are understood, experienced, and shaped on a local level. We will also seek to understand how every day Americans express and advance their interests through cultural expression, community organizing, local politics, and the law. By examining topics such as federalism, property, and community organizing, we will gain a better understanding of how local institutions like schools, churches, and businesses shape political beliefs and personal identities. We'll also explore how literary representations of place engage these topics, and consider the role of literature and other forms of art in shaping understanding about local civic issues. This course requires community engagement. Students have the opportunity to work with and learn from people working on an issue of particular concern. Such issues could include: environmentalism, voting rights, education, poverty, drug addiction, housing, health, and criminal justice.

LASE 3559/ Writing and the World of Work | Section 001 (Matthew Davis)
This course is for third- and fourth-years who enjoy writing, have had some success as writers (either in classes or in extracurricular activities), and think they might like to pursue a career in which writing features prominently. During the course of the semester, students will:

1) learn some marketable editing skills, including fact-checking, copyediting, abridging, and adapting
2) create job-seeking written materials, including a résumé, a cover letter, and a LinkedIn page or online portfolio
3)  tackle a series of writing tasks, all of which have some “real-world” relevance, including writing a press release, a book review, a restaurant review, and an op-ed/opinion piece
4) conduct an interview with a writer and edit the interview for publication
5) create or revise at least one piece (and preferably more) for inclusion in an online portfolio, which will allow students to share some of their best work and possibly also locate paying work in the future.  The emphasis in the course will be on writing and editing, rather than reading; on non-fiction, rather than fiction or poetry; and on genres with substantial real-world relevance, rather than traditional academic forms of writing. Students will also have opportunities to meet and learn from guest   lecturers who are editors or published writers.