These interdisciplinary seminars bring seniors with different majors together to focus on significant questions or issues not regularly explored elsewhere. It gives the students an opportunity to share and compare their perspectives and expertise as well as explore spiritual, intellectual and ethical values. The purpose of the seminars is to provide a "capstone" for the general education program and to encourage students' awareness of themselves as majors in their disciplines, prospective workers and citizens.
A Graduation Requirement
Successful completion of a Senior Capstone course is a graduation requirement for College of Liberal Arts students. Several courses from the curriculum below are offered each semester as well as in the summer. These courses will use materials from a variety of disciplines and require seminar discussions and extensive writing. Taught in small groups, Senior Capstone courses are limited to students who have earned at least 90 hours credit.
SCP 450. Search for Expression: The Arts and Society (3 hours)
An examination of the manner in which the performing and plastic arts affect contemporary American society. Particular attention will be given to the expressive characteristics of various art forms and their potential to enrich our lives individually and collectively. The ultimate goal of this course is to cultivate a civic awareness and appreciation of the significance of the performing and plastic arts.
SCP 451. Self and World: Issues of Choice and Responsibility (3 hours)
An examination of some of the important challenges to personal integrity and fulfillment that face us in the contemporary world. Particular attention will be given to personal responsibility and decision-making in regard to such topics as: the impact of technological change, global interdependency and citizenship, vocation and values, attitudes toward "marginal" individuals, the changing meaning of the stages of life, narcissism and the limits of individualism, the legislation of moral and social values, personal rights, and the decision about who shall live.
SCP 453. The Human Prospect in a World of Scarcity (3 hours)
An examination of contemporary problems and long range prospects for the U.S. and the world with respect to energy consumption, food supply, population growth, resource depletion, and environmental degradation and pollution. The technical, scientific, economic, sociological, political, and ethical dimensions of these problems will be explored. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship of "have" and "have not" nations and to the possibilities for change toward sustainable material well-being for the whole world.
SCP 454. American Destinies Since the Great Depression (3 hours)
An examination of the essential character of the American experience as it has evolved through the lives of the three generations who have come to maturity since the Great Depression. Particular attention will be given to changes in personal values and meanings, in attitudes toward racial minorities and women, in our sense of national purpose, and in our understanding of our past and hopes for our future.
SCP 455. Genocide and the Holocaust (3 hours)
An examination of the development of modern genocide as an instrument of national and ideological politics, including the roles of technology, bureaucracy, the professions, religion, and ethics. Particular attention will be given to the causes of the Armenian Genocide and the Nazi Holocaust and the nature of the victims, perpetrators, rescuers, and bystanders involved in these events.
SCP 456. Male and Female in American Culture (3 hours)
An examination of the social origins and the ideological bases for the distinction of male and female roles historically and in contemporary society. Particular attention will be given to images of the masculinity and the femininity in the media and popular culture, to changing gender roles in the family and workplace, and to discrimination based on gender.
SCP 457. The Quest for Wholeness (3 hours)
An examination of the meaning of suffering in human life and the nature of fulfillment. Particular attention will be paid to the educational strategies, psychophysiological techniques, and spiritual perspectives by which man has attempted through the ages to reconcile the reality of suffering with the search for fulfillment in human experience.
SCP 458. Death and Dying (3 hours)
An examination of the significance of death encountered as the why that hovers over human existence and endeavor. Particular attention will be paid to the variety of ways individuals understand and relate to their deaths and to the way our society organizes itself to cope with death.
SCP 459. Black and White in American Culture (3 hours)
An examination of race and racism in American society. The evolution of blackwhite relations from the ante-bellum period to the present will be scrutinized historically, psychologically, and sociologically using the literature of the period.
SCP 460. In Search of a Calling: Issues of Vocation and Work (3 hours)
An examination of the relationship between who we are (vocation) and what we do (work). Particular attention will be given to exploring the psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of personal identity formation and to evaluating criteria and options for making career choices, determining what constitutes "good" work, and assessing professional ambition and success.