These nine, discussion-based courses also includes educational games and simulations, exploration of select texts and films curated by the facilitator, experiential activities, and guest speakers. Students will engage in assignments designed to help fulfill portfolio elements and make progress towards other life goals. 

Wayfinding 101

This course is focused on helping students uncover their passions and establish a starting point to become agents for positive change in the world or in his or her community. Through hands-on exploration and discussion of your values, strengths, your why, and your leadership style, we will set a foundation for the rest of your experience in the program and design a custom portfolio for each student.

Understanding Ourselves and Others

Every organization and every team is a collection of people working together towards one or more common goals. A foundational understanding of people and human relationships in a workplace context is vital to success in any context. This course will focus on gaining a better understanding of your personality, perceptions, and motivations as well as on how teams best function and form a strong culture.

Understanding Our World

Understanding our place in this world is not easy: We all flow along deep historical, cultural, and natural currents. This course explores these connections to deep past and brings the story up to the present so participants can see how their work is part of the Big Picture. Through reading, writing, and facilitated discussion, participants explore contemporary questions related to race, class, sexuality, ability, and gender as they clarify their personal values and discover the promise (and challenge) of global diversity.

Communicating Effectively

Individual and team success depends upon the ability of individuals to communicate with others, face to face and virtually. Every interaction with another person determines how you are perceived and every interaction is an opportunity to develop trust and exert positive influence. Whether presenting one to one or to an audience of one thousand, conveying information to a project team or delivering a difficult message, communicating effectively is one of the most powerful skills for achieving your objectives. This course develops your ability to focus on your outcome, tune in to your audience and develop your message in written and spoken form.

Engaging with Information

We live in an Information Age, with the ever-growing availability of information providing an enormous opportunity for individuals, communities, organizations and government. But the flood of often un-curated information is also a significant challenge, to our time, certainly, and often to the quality of our understanding. This course is designed to help strengthen “Information Literacy” — so better questions are asked; the sources from which data is gathered expand; the ability to turn data into information (and critically assess its quality) is deepened; and skills in communicating the resulting insights in a way that drives useful action are sharpened. Along the way, the course will review the history, and introduce the science, of information. It will explore the scientific method, reinforce the statistical tools needed for good citizenship, and review the impact of human bias. The focus will be on discussion, enriched by many hands-on, practical assignments and projects.

Science, Technology, and Society

This course investigates the social dimensions of science, technology and medicine through an emphasis on three interrelated areas: environment and sustainability; health and medicine; and information, identities and networks. The goal of this course is to develop a foundational understanding and develop a commitment to a critical approach to our world’s most pressing technoscientific challenges.

Making Good Choices

We will explore creative approaches to problem solving and decision making. You will read and write and engage in real-world issues through discussions, games, and simulations. Throughout this process you will learn to focus and clarify your personal problems and choices using lenses and tools drawn from the fields of conflict resolution, economics, social psychology, and sociology.

Futures and Citizenship

This course poses difficult questions about the future and the common good. Examine your personal role in creating a better world as you confront challenges of citizenship in the world with courage and imagination. Develop a deeper understanding of sustainability through the lens of environmental science and discover the power of social movements to solve environmental problems, offer hope, and change the world.

The Good Life

This course examines the enduring question “What is the Good Life?” from the perspectives of the humanities. Topics include the cost of the good life, how people have chosen to live as members of local and global communities, and conceptions and expressions of beauty, power, love, and health.