Bachelor of Arts Completion Program Course of Study
The core curriculum in the School of Undergraduate Studies evolves each semester according to our students, faculty, contemporary culture and emerging scholarship. In the core curriculum, students work together in a cohort, or a group of peers over the three-semester sequence. The following core courses must be completed at CIIS:
Below is a sample of select themes within our core curriculm:
A central theme to semester one is Self and Society. From a working hypothesis that the "self" is the product of complex interactions between individuals and their social, physical, cultural, and spiritual environments, we examine current models of selfhood and the ways that students and individuals at large construct an "I" (or perhaps, many "I's"). In this semester, students explore the concept of self-both theoretically and personally. Drawing on such thinkers as Haridas Chaudhuri, Paulo Freire, and bell hooks, we also examine the role of the self in the process of learning. Students also become aware of their relationship to learning and get the chance to "unlearn" what prevents their growth and development.
In semester two, students examine the formation of Culture and Community. This curriculum considers the ways in which culture describes and defines our relation to the world around us. We ask students to engage, define, and describe a culture, and to examine the value and limits of this kind of inquiry. In exploring culture, students may read texts from writers such as Ruth Behar and Linda Tuhiwai Smith. In relation to community, we explore questions such as: What are the parameters that define or delineate a community? How do groups of people identify, gather, and collect to create a sense of belonging? How do communities work through tension, conflict, or dynamic exchange? Students approach this inquiry by considering both their larger community and the community of their cohort.
In semester three, students explore the intersection between global studies, and personal responsibility and social change. The curriculum folds social change movements, paradigms of violence and nonviolence, and the role of compassion and grief, into the study of war, peace, globalization, and ecology. For example, students may examine models of conflict- transformation and draw upon readings from Bishop Desmond Tutu, Pumla Madikaleza-Godobo, Howard Zehr, Kay Pranis, and James Gilligan. In addition, this semester students will work on their integrative project. The integrative project will give you the opportunity to produce a body of work-writing, images, movement, music, scholarship or experiential and/or service-based endeavor-that deepens your inquiry and pushes the boundaries of your particular academic, activist, or creative interests.
The following are sample works students engage in over the course of the year:
- Reflective Essays
- Critical Academic Essays
- Autobiographical Project (Body Drawing)
- Small Group Projects
- Integrative Project
- Ecology Art Box
Electives and General Education Courses
In addition to the core curriculum, our electives and general education courses complement the core curriculum, and speak to the students' own interests in disciplines such as psychology, writing, ecology and environment, and visual and creative thinking. Students can elect to take their elective courses either in the School of Undergraduate Studies, in select graduate courses offered in the School of Consciousness and Transformation, or public program workshops offered for academic credit. Each student entering the program will have an academic plan that outlines their degree transfer units, degree requirements, and their courses for the year.