Integrative Studies Courses

(Please note that the prefix on these courses will change from LIB to INT, starting Spring/Summer 2020.)

LIB 100 - Reflect, Connect, Engage (formerly Introduction to Liberal Education). Can education transform your life and change your world? Explore how liberal education empowers students to question themselves and their society, through critical engagement with classical and contemporary philosophical and literary texts. Discover how liberal education teaches skills that can help you develop your personal, professional, and civic lives. Fulfills Philosophy and Literature Foundation for General Education. Offered fall, winter, and spring/summer semesters in a variety of formats including face-to-face, hybrid, and online. Offered face-to-face on Traverse City campus in Fall Semester. Credits: 3.

LIB 201 - Diversity in the United States. Explores how the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion and physical abilities affect the material lives and media representations of various cultural groups in the United States. Engages historical and current debates regarding issues of immigration, meritocracy, segregation, the economy, the environment, and identity. Fulfills U.S. Diversity requirement and Social and Behavioral Sciences Foundation for General Education. Offered fall, winter, and spring/summer semesters in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats. Credits: 3. Previously called US 201; a student cannot receive credit for both US 201 and LIB 201.

LIB 301 - Interdisciplinary Research Methods. This course is a survey of selected interdisciplinary research methods. It includes comparative analysis of research methods used in natural and life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, with a focus on integrative and problem-solving methodologies. Procedures for evaluating data, sources, and findings are reviewed. Offered fall and winter semesters in face-to-face and hybrid formats. Credits: 3. Previously called US 300; a student cannot receive credit for US 300 and LIB 301. 

LIB 310 - Creativity. An interdisciplinary study of those ideas that stimulate the creative processes and innovation in information and technology in a diversity of human practices, including, but not limited to, artistic, philosophical, scientific, and entrepreneurial endeavors, with a focus on practicing innovativeness and creativity in a variety of areas. Part of the Information, Innovation, and Technology Issue. Offered in spring/summer, fall, and winter semesters in face-to-face and hybrid formats. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Fulfills a General Education Information, Innovation, or Technology Issues requirement. Credits: 3.

LIB 311 - Meaning: The Humanities Resource. Introduction to concepts related to the construction, expression, propagation and understanding of meaning in a diverse society. Emphasis on multidisciplinary perspectives underpinning authentic individual and/or collective agency per dialogue, democracy, and other critical forms of praxis. Offered once or twice per year, depending on demand. Credits: 3.

LIB 312 - Dialogue, Integration and Action. An interdisciplinary examination of the basic interpretations of dialogue in a diverse world. This course engages the theory and practice of dialogue through personal reflection, integration, and action. Students develop this relational art for personal, professional and civic lives, and understand its implication for the possibility of a democratic life. Offered fall and winter semesters in both face-to-face and hybrid formats. Often also fulfills SWS requirement (look for designation on individual sections). Credits: 3.

LIB 314 - Life Journeys.  Students will examine their own identity by means of personal and critical reflection through works selected from literature, mythology, philosophy, art, film, and music. Students will gain insight into their own life journey and the life journeys of others, empowering them to be more fully themselves in the world. Part of the General Education Identity Issues. Offered fall, winter, and spring/summer semester in face-to-face, hybrid, and fully online formats. Often also fulfills SWS requirement (look for designation on individual sections). Prerequisites: Junior standing and WRT 150. Credits: 3.

LIB 319 - Human Traffic and Trafficking (Cross-listed with HST 319 and HRT 319). Drawing on interdisciplinary approaches to globalization, the course critically examines the forced and/or coercive global transfer of people, the traffic and trafficking of humans, through historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics may include migrant smuggling, forced labor, slave trade, sex workers, voices of survival workers, and self-advocacy in survival communities. Part of the General Education Globalization Issues. Course is offered in fall, winter, and spring/summer semesters in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 320 - Voices of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States (cross-listed with HRT 320). This interdisciplinary course integrates numerous expressive genres, including autobiographies, oral histories, and music, to examine how activists challenged human rights violations. Narrations of individual transformations show how shared experiences, ideologies, and opposition expanded understandings of human rights nationally and globally during the civil rights movements in the United States. Part of the Human Rights General Education Issues. Fulfills U.S. Diversity requirement. Offered once per year, face-to-face. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 322 - Wicked Problems of Sustainability. Sustainability, as a wicked problem, is an intractable, on-going and high-stakes issue. This course engages students in participatory research on the inextricably linked dimensions of sustainability, such as economics, environment and social equity. Students will work with community partners to address specific interdisciplinary problems of sustainability. Part of the General Education Sustainability Issues. Offered at least once a year, depending on demand, face-to-face. Offered at least every other year on the Traverse City Campus in face-to-face format. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 323 - Design Thinking to Meet Real World Needs. Design Thinking is an iterative, project-based, problem-solving process valued in organizations both locally and internationally. As interdisciplinary teams, students in this course will use the Design Thinking process to better facilitate the chaos of innovation by collaborating with stakeholders to meet real world needs. Fulfills a General Education Information, Innovation, or Technology Issues requirement. Offered fall and winter semesters in face-to-face format. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 325 - LGBTQ Identities.  This interdisciplinary course draws on scholarship in the fields of sociology, literature, history, anthropology, LGBTQ, cultural, and gender studies in order to teach students about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer complex identities (identity formation and development), identifications, and the social, political, historical, and cultural problems underpinning these constructions. Part of the General Education Identity Issues. Offered in fall and winter semesters in face-to-face formats. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 326 - Sexuality, Justice, and Advocacy (Cross-listed with WGS 326). An exploration of sexuality through an interdisciplinary lens; topics include adult sexual development, public policy, and methods of advocacy for sexual health and justice. Through various learning activities, including field study with campus and community organizations, students will increase their knowledge and facilitation skills related to sexual health education. Part of the General Education Health Issues. Offered in fall and winter semesters in face-to-face formats. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Often includes a significant community-engaged learning component, including helping to organize the annual Sexuality Education Fair (currently held in Fall on the Allendale Campus). Credits: 3.

LIB 330 - The Idea of Nature. How do our ideas about nature shape our relationships to the natural world? This course examines global influences on ideas of nature, as expressed in science, religion, philosophy, literature and art, and the resulting effects on human relationships with the natural world, and on natural systems globally and locally. Part of the Sustainability Issue (beginning Fall 2016). Course offered winter semester. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 331 - Person and Profession in a Global Environment. A study in various professions of the relationship between the person and her/his working life as portrayed in literature, film, art, and social analysis, with special attention to the growth of the idea of profession and professionalism among other concepts of work. Course offered once per year, face-to-face. Part of the General Education Globalization Issues. Credits: 3.

LIB 341- Leadership for Social Change. An examination of the theory and practice of leadership in social change movements, focused on developing personal and organizational capacities for leadership in a liberal education context. Students identify a contemporary social issue and create an action plan for resolution, addressing that issue with at least one action step. Fulfills a General Education Information, Innovation, or Technology Issues requirement. Course offered fall and winter semesters as well as occasional spring/summer offerings. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 342- Food Matters. This course offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the relationship between food systems and food we consume every day. Analysis of competing information and integration of evolutionary, historical, socio-political, cultural and environmental factors shaping our current food systems lead back to the basics of nutrition, agricultural practices and equitable food systems. Part of the General Education Health Issues. Offered fall and winter semesters, face-to-face. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 350 - The Immigrant Experience in the U.S. An interdisciplinary course framing immigration in the United States as part of a global struggle for human rights. Students develop an understanding of the experiences of diverse immigrants and how migrations shape the U.S.. historically, economically, politically and culturally.  Examines policies and perspectives about citizenship and human rights. Part of the General Education Human Rights Issues. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. Offered fall semester in face-to-face and hybrid formats. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 366 - American Society and Media (Cross-listed with SOC 366). Interdisciplinary approach to the ways in which mediated mass culture produces meaning in contemporary American society as examined through a variety of critical lenses such as political economy and sociocultural analyses of the organization of the mass media, media content, and audience reception studies of film, television, and/or music cultures. Part of the General Education Information, Innovation, and Technology Issues. Currently offered in spring/summer, fall, and winter semesters both face-to-face and in hybrid formats. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Credits: 3.

LIB 380 - Special Topics in Integrative Studies. A variable topics course emphasizing the practice of liberal studies in relation to a contemporary problem, issue, or theme. Three credits. May be repeated for credit. 

LIB 400 - Global Visionary Thinkers. This variable topics course examines the life and work of a visionary person or persons outside the U.S. whose theories and/or actions have effected deep change.  The impact of these visionary ideas and actions result in paradigm shifts within global cultures, institutions, societies, and world views. May be repeated for credit. Fulfills General Education Global Perspectives. Offered once a year. Credits: 3.

LIB 401 - Visionary Thinkers in the American Mosaic. A variable topics course that focuses on the life and work of a significant contributor to the American mosaic and thereby the United States’ vision of diversity. Fulfills Cultures - U.S. Diversity. May be repeated for credit. Offered winter semester. Credits: 3.

LIB 402 - Feminist Visionary Thinkers (Cross-Listed with WGS 402). This variable topics course examines the life and work of a significant feminist visionary thinker or thinkers whose theories, work and/or actions have effected deep change in the world resulting in paradigm shifts within global cultures, institutions, societies and worldviews. May be repeated for credit. Offered winter semester. Credits: 3.

LIB 490 - Internship. A supervised work experience through which students can relate liberal studies principles, academic work, and practice. Student, faculty, and advisors agree on the scope of the study, its components, and methods of evaluation. Offered every semester. Credits: 1 to 6. 

LIB 491 - Practicum. Three or more hours a week of applying liberal studies principles in a public or community setting. This might take the form of a case study, field involvement, or conference attendance and should result in a statement evaluating the theory and practice of the liberal studies. Variable credit. Offered every semester.

Internship and Practicum Coordinators:
Requirements for earning academic credit for internships and practica for all Liberal Studies majors is the same for students studying on all GVSU campuses. On the Allendale and Grand Rapids (Pew) campus, including Accelerated Learning Program students should consult:  Professor Melanie Shell-Weiss (Department Chairperson) or Professor Justin Pettibone regarding internships and practica for the 2019-2020 academic year. 
Traverse City students should consult with Professor Kate Fairman.

LIB 495 - Senior Seminar (Capstone). Students will contrast classical and contemporary statements on liberal education in relation to the principles and core courses on which the program rests. Students will develop and present their senior theses. Students should have completed LIB 301 prior to the semester they plan to take LIB 495. Offered Fall and Winter semester only (not spring/summer). Credits: 3.

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Page last modified June 5, 2019