More Than One Way to See Things
I had the opportunity to take “You Talkin’ to Me?” with Terri Chung and Bob Schuessler. Having two instructors approach class content from the perspective of different disciplines, sharing their own ideas, showed us that there is always more than one way to see things. This experience made everyone feel more comfortable challenging other’s ideas and voicing our own opinions. As a 10-credit class, with more time together, we developed friendships, making it possible for us to discuss our personal experience in relation to course content.
One of the Best Experiences I’ve Had at NSCC
I might not have taken a Coordinated Studies class if it had notbeen a requirement for my AA transfer degree. If I hadn’t, I would have missed out on one of the best experiences I’ve had at NSC. My classmates and I were able to form bonds which are much stronger than those formed in other classes. The material was challenging, but very enriching, and we were able to delve more deeply and meaningfully into it based on the friendships we formed. In ‘Beginnings’, the material, the teachers, our relationships and the experience itself really cemented the concepts in our minds. Our work enabled us to pursue extracurricular activities with a fervor we wouldn’t have had without that class — the NSC Feminist Alliance owes much of its strength to the members who all met in our coordinated studies class. It’s an incredible experience I would recommend to anyone!
I Can’t Imagine Learning Any Other Way
I definitely thrive in seminars and have developed a lot of leadership skills through our class discussions. I enjoy listening to my classmates’ insights and seeing them excited about material, which has made seminars often inspiring and always helpful. In CS classes, I’m always aware of what I’m actually learning and why it’s important. Because seminars rely on everyone being prepared, I’ve come to see learning as something we do in community, where everyone’s work is needed. This has motivated me more than studying just for myself. I’ve been more invested in CS classes than in any other classes I’ve taken and have ownership of my learning — with student feedback, the teachers immediately changed some of the things we thought needed to be improved. I can’t imagine learning any other way now.
Direction and Depth
The Integrated Studies courses that I took at NSC helped me find direction and depth in my studies. The interdisciplinary approach gave me the opportunity to explore different academic fields and identify aspects that I found most engaging. The seminar format, focusing on student-led, critical discussion of texts, taught me to read closely, comparing and contrasting not only the texts themselves, but the different interpretations offered by fellow students. Seminar discussions challenged my point of view, pushing me to question assumptions. Many times, the discussions were so compelling that I found myself impatient for the next class session and the opportunity to share about a particularly stimulating book. Class discussions deepened my analysis of texts and their ideas. With these important skills, I was well prepared for my professors’ expectations at UW. I found Integrated Studies courses challenging, rewarding and, surprisingly often, really fun. After fulfilling the NSCrequirement for the AA degree, I took two more as electives!
Eli Semke History, International Studies - Latin America University of Washington
Dialogue is the Key
The Integrated Studies experience is amazing — beneficial emotionally, mentally, and philosophically. Everything is in contact; everything is intertwined. Integrated Studies embraces that and makes those connections between the course content and the real world. Dialogue is key in an integrated studies course, which gives each person the opportunity to voice an opinion, be listened to and valued. Integrated Studies builds a community whose individuals are important.
Rita Van Briesen