Exploring the Liberal Arts (LASE and ELA Classes)

Fall 2017 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 1559/RELB 1559: A life worth living: The theory & Practice of Resilience and Flourishing | Section 001 (David Germano)
This course balances theory and practice to support student exploration of human flourishing, well-being, and resiliency in academic, personal, and professional domains. You will learn important skills related to five domains: self-awareness, well-being, relationships, purpose, and performance. Each week will be devoted to a single topic - mindfulness, focus, empathy, resiliency, compassion, performance, and so on, each of which is explored in terms of scientific research, humanistic reflection, and artistic expression. You will also learn and practice tools for becoming more self-aware in body and mind, exploring their own mental, emotional, physical, and social experiences, capacities, and interactions.  This course invites you to approach your first year of college life in a spirit of empirical exploration through intellectual study and diverse contemplative practices. What does it mean to flourish?  To be resilient?  To be well?  To be successful?  What are the means for defining and measuring these in our own lives?  What are the theoretical frameworks available for exploring these questions?  What are the practices that might allow you to make adjustments and grow? This course aims to assist you in finding the answers to these questions for yourself and build a sustainable base for thriving during your undergraduate years and well beyond in your personal, civic, and professional life.

ELA 2500: Charting Your Path: 2nd Year | Section 001 (Karlin Luedtke)
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: An ePortfolio Class | Section 001 (Yitna Firdyiwek)
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 (Kathryn Densberger)
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 4500: Professional and Strategic Career Development | Section 001 (Everette Fortner)
This course covers personal assessment of work-related values, interests and skills; exploration of career options; and resume writing, interviewing, and job search skills. In the first month, this course employs a design-thinking methodology to help you focus your career aspirations. The second month helps you build core career search skills. The last month gives you exposure to lifelong personal and professional self-management skills.

Liberal Arts Seminar (LASE) Classes

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

LASE 1200-001: The Liberal Arts and the World of Work | Section 001 (Everette Fortner)
An examination of the skills and competencies unique to a Liberal Arts education and part of the core proficiencies of the professions through lectures from prominent faculty and alumni in the professional community, discussions, and experiential learning.  Students will apply this understanding and take concrete steps to explore the career development process and their future places in the world of work.  
Prerequisite: 1st or 2nd year students only.

Civic and Community Engagement Classes

LASE 3500/DANC 3590: Making Art in/with Communities | Section 001 (Kathryn Schetlick and Peter Bussigel)
What do we mean by community art? How can site-specific performance be used as a platform for social change? Is art-making a right or a privilege? This year-long, practice-driven course exposes students to the intersections of collective art-making and civic engagement. After careful consideration of the history, ethics, and organizational structures of community engaged art practices, we will work collaboratively with a designated community to design and implement art projects and programming. Drawing largely from site-specific performance and art practices, we will develop context-specific approaches to art-making that provide a platform for sharing community concerns.

LASE 3500/PSYC 3559: Science & Lived Experience of Autism | 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 3559: Engaged Learning in Global/Local Development | 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 I | 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: Connecting Lives Through Literature | Section 001 (Andrew Kaufman)
Who am I? Why am I here? How should I live? In this course you will grapple in a profound way with timeless human questions by reading and discussing classical works of Russian and German literature with at-risk local high school students. By learning to facilitate meaningful, authentic conversations and engaging near-peers in a collaborative project, you will gain a deeper understanding of the personal and social relevance of literature studies.