What We Teach
The BA Completion program offers students a core curriculum that focuses on three themes over three semesters: Self and Society, Integral Learning, and Modern Perspectives (semester one); Culture and Community, Knowledge and Inquiry, and Research and Writing (semester two); and Global Studies, Social Change, and Senior Project (semester three). The themes of each semester are taught from interrelated perspectives; each semester builds on the next, adding to the critical frameworks through which students examine themselves and their relationship to the world. The core curriculum evolves each semester according to our students, faculty, contemporary culture, and emerging scholarship.
How We Teach
Our approach to teaching is based on critical pedagogy, which moves away from teacher-centered curricula. We draw upon subject matter from students’ own lives, languages, and cultures, and the communities we inhabit, to enrich the curriculum. The following are key aspects of our pedagogy that enhance students’ capacity to learn both individually and collectively:
- Relationship building is the foundation for creating a fruitful and collaborative learning environment in which students develop an openness and willingness to fully engage in the learning process. We believe that for learning to occur, students must feel that they can share their thoughts openly, ask questions, and engage in dialogue about their ways of thinking.
- Praxis refers to the cycle of action and reflection. The program asks students to engage in a set of activities and exercises over the course of the weekend, and to reflect on the learning that occurred. We believe that reflection enhances students’ critical understanding of the semesters’ themes, and their ability to assess their own values, goals, and progress.
- Situated knowledge challenges the claims of detached observation in favor of a more located and relational understanding. We ask students to situate themselves, or consider who they are in relation to texts, materials, and subject matter they encounter in their studies.
- Co-creation of knowledge is an essential aspect of our pedagogy. We believe that knowledge is created through interaction and dialogue, and by engaging multiple perspectives.
- Integral learning reflects our approach to teaching from multiple modalities of learning: cognitive, visual, interactive, and somatic.