Course descriptions include project assignments that groups of student enrolled in each section may expect to undertake. Students may wish to use these descriptions to request further information about course requirements, and community leaders may wish to access course descriptions and project assignments to discover likely partners for town/gown collaborations. Please contact the Citizenship coordinator with your inquiries about course design and scheduling.
INTG-401 Citizenship: Building Communities
This course investigates the concepts of community, civic engagement, social capital, and the like, through study of classic statements (deToqueville, Democracy in America) as well as contemporary studies (Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community). As students engage in academic study of these concepts, they will simultaneously involve themselves in the local community through community-based research.
Some of the projects that students in the course have undertaken include:
- getting Monmouth College students to donate or sell items to the Warren Achievement Center's e-business
- creating a needs assessment questionaire for the Jamieson Community Center
- creating an instrument to evaluate the YMCA's "Y Loser" program
- helping the Strom Center with tax preparation training and collecting the center's grant information
- researching pastoral counseling programs for Starting Point
- aiding Prarie State Legal Services' outreach to Warren County residents, especially senior citizens
- researching food-borne illnesses and lead contamination for Warren County Public Health
- aiding Red Cross outreach to Warren County and creating a Red Cross flier
- helping the Buchanan Center for the Arts with outreach, especially to the Latino community
INTG-402 Citizenship: Green Initiatives
This course will focus on defining and proposing a solution to a specific, local campus or community environmental problem. The end product of the course will be a concrete, detailed proposal for action submitted to appropriate authorities that is based on research and discussion with all stakeholders. The majority of our work will be collaborative and intensive; every member of the course will be expected to produce and contribute significantly to the final product which will ultimately be a catalyst of for measurable progress in solving an environmental problem. The reading list for the course may be found here.
Potential projects for this course:
- Feasibility of wind-based energy on Monmouth College's campus
- Analysis of waste generated vs. recycled in a pilot program in one dorm and compared non-recycling dorm with economic analysis
- Methane generation project; using methane from Farmland waste treatment plant to heat the campus and/or community
- Local food movement and cafeteria nutrition with Aramark
- Increasing energy efficiency, especially lighting, in campus buildings
- Community education, participation in recycling
- Community education and energy conservation in low-income homes (e.g. light bulb replacement, energy audits, insulation, programs to help fund, etc.)
- Community participation in backyard wildlife habitat program
- Campus ecology program from NWF, apply for grants
- Feasibility study of artificial wetland to treat municipal waste from Monmouth College and city
- Inventory the plants and animals of LeSuer Nature Preserve and produce a high quality educational brochure for the public
Green Town/Gown Student Projects:
- Locate any brown fields in Warren County and study the environmental clean up needed to re-use the land (I don’t think there are many here but this could be interesting and could help us turn property that is unused back to viable real estate)
- Study local indoor air quality in Monmouth – Radon, smoke other pollutants
- Study how much material is going into landfills in Monmouth and determine how much of that could be recycled. Study impact of current recycling efforts –amount of materials/energy saved and postulate how much could be recycled potentially. Create materials to educate the public on this.
- Study local attitudes toward recycling – differences between income ranges,ethnicity, male/female, ages etc.
- Promote the use of Warren county free cycle (on-line list serve where people can offer things they have that they would like to get rid of (that are still usable) or ask for things they need/want. Everything is given for free.
- Promote expansion of area thrift store to include office supplies and other often discarded "new" items
- End of the year yard sale or yard give-away – have receptacles at each dorm where students can drop off gently used clothes, school supplies, and furniture,etc. Items could then be given away or sold as a fundraiser for a local charity (green solutions?)
- Create in house environmental columns for the Monmouth College paper, segments for the campus TV or radio.
- Organize a regular environmental page/article in area papers – work with the paper to get the agreement/requirements and then recruit local/regional experts write and submit articles.
- Study life of average students. How much waste does the average student produce? Are they recycling anything now? And how cognizant are they of issues like product packaging/recyclable items etc.?
- Survey area businesses about recycling and what they are or are not aware of as far as recycling availability and what resources they are currently taking advantage of.
INTG-402 Citizenship: Green Initiatives: Water
This course will focus on defining and proposing a solution to a specific, local campus or community environmental problem. The end product of the course will be a concrete, detailed proposal for action submitted to appropriate authorities that is based on research and discussion with all stakeholders. The majority of our work will be collaborative and intensive; every member of the course will be expected to produce and contribute significantly to the final product which will ultimately be a catalyst of for measurable progress in solving an environmental problem.
INTG-403 Citizenship: Taxes and the Citizenry
This course is an examination of the political, social, cultural, and economic issues affecting tax policies. The course will address the rights as well as the responsibilities of citizens with regards to taxes. Students will delve into issues such as the common good, fairness, economic growth, wealth, and age. They will investigate these issues in relation to current tax policy as well as ways in which citizens can be involved in change. The course will also involve an experiential component in which students will understand basic income tax through instructional workshops and be certified to prepare income tax returns by passing a certification test.
The experiential component is in partnership with the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)Program in which students assist the members of the community, who are the benefactors of tax policy, in the preparation of their tax returns. Common issues encountered in these returns are social security; capital gains; credits such as the earned income credit, education credit, child tax credit, and dependent care credit; income exclusions; and itemized deductions. Previous knowledge of tax, accounting, or business is not required. Students cannot be concurrently enrolled in ACCT 364 or INTR 364.
To satisfy the experiential portion of the course, there will be mandatory workshops. The workshops are designed to assist students in understanding the tax issues they will be dealing with in the experience and to help them be successful for the certification test.
The students will sign up for experiential tax sessions helping taxpayers prepare their individual income tax returns.
Since the VITA Program has been a formal part of the Monmouth College curriculum since 2000, a number of statistics has been collected about its success through the years.
INTG-404 Citizenship: Citizenship: Civic Leadership
Civic leadership is a rare, but essential, element in effectively accomplishing the goals that stem from engaged and committed citizenship. Fundamentally, most citizen determination to seek objectives achieves minimal success without skilled, effective leadership. Civic leadership, then, is the ability to motivate and effectively move citizens to action or accomplishment related to the community (worldwide, nation, region, locale, or group) of the respective citizens. The purpose of this course is to focus on, explore deeply, research accomplishments from, shadow exemplary examples of, and engage in team-competing strategies and stratagems related to civic leadership.
INTG-405 Citizenship: The Democracy Project
The Democracy Project is an exercise in applied political philosophy, socio-political reform, and real world advocacy. While the required texts will provide background, the bulk of the course will consist of emulating a "think tank" devoted to enhancing democracy in the U.S. and abroad. The work of The Democracy Project is meant to be cumulative. Each class will build on the work of previous classes.
INTG-406 Citizenship: Theatre and Social Change
From the Federal Theatre Projects of the Great Depression to the disruptive performances of the l960s and l970s, theatre has played an important role in American radicalism. This course will report on socially conscious, politically active theatres in the United States. Despite (or perhaps especially because of) the evaporation of Cold War passions and the rise of conservatism in the l980s and l990s, such theatre work remains a persistent and evolving presence on the political landscape.
The course will track the historical evolution of political theatre and will also explore the current state and future prospects of different modes, including agit-prop, demonstrations, solo performance, Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed and community-based production. A significant means of developing a dialogue for social change (e.g., civic engagement). Students will select problems (local, state, national, international) and will create theatre pieces as a means of opening community dialogue and exploring potential solutions.
INTG-407 Citizenship: Monmouth’s Immigrant Communities
This course examines citizenship through the eyes of Monmouth's immigrant community. Students will first explore the local history and politics of immigration, then collect living testimonies, or oral histories, of first and second generation immigrants as well as local leaders in health, law, government, business, education or law. through this experiential learning, students will bring information into action, working together to suggest avenues for social change to improve immigrant lives.
Once you enroll in this course you will have a choice between several different community engagement projects, arranged in advance. During the semester you will be expected to work a total of 20 hours on this assignment. Some projects are more structured than others, but all projects are important for Monmouth's community development. Here's a sample of the kinds of projects you are likely to be involved in:
- Monmouth-Roseville High School. You will be working closely with transitional bilingual teachers and students, attending class and tutoring students.
- Community Surveys. You will be composing and conducting surveys related to Monmouth's Latino Community. This might involve surveying people about bilingual services or about attitudes towards immigration.
- Hispanic Health Task Force. You may be helping with projects related to health issues in the Hispanic community.
INTG-409 Citizenship: Creating Change through Art
This course is an inquiry into the ways that artists across time, culture, and media utilize and react to political, social, and cultural issues and problems through their art forms. Students will create and publicly present or display an original artwork based on research with the purpose of activism.
INTG-411 Citizenship: Outside-School Learning ProgramsStudents in this course will explore the history and mission of various outside-school learning programs, primarily in the United States, and observe and volunteer in local outside-school learning programs, where they will be asked to analyze the program rationale, its social-historical context, and its methods, effectiveness, and responsiveness to the young people it is intended to serve.
INTG-413 Citizenship: Statistical Thinking
This course will focus on using statistical information to make decisions in a variety of disciplines such as Physical and Life sciences, Political and Social Sciences, etc. The course will also address the issue of the misuse of quantitative information to mislead. During the course, students will properly obtain and analyze data which will result in a written report. This work will support either another Citizenship course or an organization in the community.
Some potential projects for this course include:
- Working with a client to develop a survey, administering the survey, analyzing the results of the survey, and writing a report/giving a presentation
- Analyzing existing data for a client and writing a report/giving a presentation
- Interpreting and clarifying statistical information that a client may be receiving
- Helping a client to better use existing data that he/she may have
- Making presentations about basic statistical knowledge that every citizen should know
INTG-414 Citizenship: Land, Food, Sustainable Agriculture
As the title suggests this course locates citizenship among human relationships to land, food and agriculture. What makes for healthy soil? Healthy plants and animals? Healthy food and healthy people? Healthy environs? By what agricultural standards do we describe a society that is languishing or flourishing? What are our opportunities and obligations as tenants of the land and recipients of its bounty? What might it mean to hold the land in trust . . . to imagine ourselves as “custodians” and “stewards” of the land, for posterity’s sake?
These questions point beyond particular models of gardening and farming to religious, philosophical, and political ideas about our being in the world, ideas rooted in ancient cultures and persistent in modern societies as well. Never before have these ideas and our attention to them assumed such urgency, with such profound implications for survival on the planet.
INTG-415 Citizenship: Media and the Self-Directed Citizen
An overview of how American media form citizen views of political and social issues. Information upon which civic action is based comes through media and civic action itself is becoming more and more a media activity. This course emphasizes the two faces of mediated civic action. Students will first analyze the constructed nature of mediated news and information and later discover the methods by which media can be used to join with others in accomplishing civic goals. Topics covered include: Print and electronic news, trends in “infotainment” (e.g. The Daily Show), political persuasion, and the Internet (Facebook, blogging, YouTube, etc.).
INTG-416 Citizenship: Politics and Government in the Midwest
This course explores forces that make the Midwestern states so critical in the balance of governmental and political power. The goals of the course are to gain a better understanding of Midwestern politics by examining how demographic, economic, historical, cultural and migration patterns impact voting and policy decision in eight Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin). Students will gain an understanding of forces at play in the Midwest region as a whole and in individual states and their combined impact on American politics and government.
INTG-417 Citizenship: Local Heroes
This course explores citizenship and within the Monmouth community, using civic engagement and new media to investigate the heroes and heroics of citizenship. By comparing figures in local history and folklore with contemporary civic leaders, this course will open, widen, and possibly challenge students’ definition of what constitutes heroic citizenship. Students will consider numerous forms of “exemplary citizenship” and work toward creating an individual definition of heroism. This definition will pave the way for students’ own roles as future civic leaders.
INTG-421 Citizenship: Liberty and the Citizen
In this course students will be asked to address such questions as: What does it mean to be free? Do people want to be free? What is the proper role of government in a free society? How free are people in the U.S. and other countries? Is freedom advancing or retreating around the world? What obligations, if any, do individuals owe to the greater society? Who are perceived to be the enemies of freedom and why? Should enemies of freedom be confronted and if so when and how? What limits, if any, should be placed on individuals?