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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 22-Jan-23

Spring 2023 | INT-1050-VM02 - Dimensions of Self & Society

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Montpelier
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Wednesday, 11:45A - 02:30P
Semester Dates: 01-25-2023 to 05-03-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Phillips Keller
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

Course Description

In this interdisciplinary first-semester seminar, students make the transition to college-level academic culture. This seminar is designed to help students develop the learning skills and habits of success that will support them throughout their college experience and as they consider career pathways. Reading, writing, and discussion (both in class and online) are central to developing an understanding of academic and societal responsibility. Students will start by analyzing personal beliefs and styles of thinking and then begin to look at how others and society view core concepts such as power, dissent, alienation, oppression, and freedom.

Essential Objectives

1. Interpret, analyze, and evaluate a text and its sources.
2. Demonstrate foundational information literacy, research skills, and academic honesty necessary for academic writing.
3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills in both online and classroom settings.
4. Apply effective strategies for building new knowledge and skills through reflection on learning preferences, challenges, and goals.
5. Identify possible career goals and educational pathways.
6. Examine social issues through the lens of the individual and society.
7. Examine personal assumptions and biases, and ethical impacts of decision making and participation in society.
8. Consider issues from multiple perspectives and discuss, debate, and defend ideas with clarity and reason.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations.

Spring 2023 textbook details will be available on 2022-11-14. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

INT-1050-VM02 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


  • Small-group and whole-class discussion
  • Mini-Lecture
  • Small group activities, including debates and simulations
  • In-class reaction writing and writing assignments
  • Reading assignments
  • Journal Assignments
  • Final project
  • In-class movies

Evaluation Criteria

Throughout the semester, we will be using a variety of learning resources: essays and memoirs, in-class writing, journal writing, on-line information literacy tutorials, a two-week online discussion forum, an occasional quiz and a final project.

Your final grade is made up of the following:

Periodic JournalAssignments: 25%
Journals are four-five page at-home writing assignments that ask you to respond to a prompt or a series of prompts that relate to something we're studying in class. I'll discuss what I'm looking for and answer any of your questions before the first journal assignment is handed out. The grading criteria for journal assignments can be found in the "Start Here" module.

In-class writing and quizzes: 20%

There will be occasional in-class writing assignments (generally no more than two pages) and quizzes on topics we'll be studying like information literacy. These will be announced in advance so that you'll have plenty of time to prepare for them.

On-line Discussion Forum: 25%

I'll be out of the country for two weeks in April so class will be on-line rather than in our physical classroom the weeks of April 19th and 26th. Instead, there will be an on-line Discussion Forum where I'll ask you to respond each week to two of my prompts about the novelFlowers for Algernonand to two of your classmates. Many of you will be taking-online classes at some point during your studies at CCV and this unit is designed to familiarize you with on-line learning as well engage in meaningful discussion with me and each other about the novel we will be reading during the second half of the semester. To help you get ready for this unit, there will be a practice Discussion Forum assignment during a week in late March. The grading criteria for the Discussion Forum can also be found in the "Start Here" module.

Beyond the Single Story Project: 30%
In herDanger of a Single Storylecture, Chimamanda Adiche argues that single stories “flatten” our experiences; moreover, they foster “incomplete” truths and “rob people of their dignity” because they present a singular view or perspective of a person, group of people, place, or even a complex topic. This project invites you to think reflectively about “single social/political stories,” deconstruct them (i.e., take them apart), and then build more “complete” narratives/truths. You will be invited to share your findings with your peers during our last class.

Class Participation: 10% extra credit

On-the-ground classes are most fun and rewarding when everyone participates in the learning process. Over the years, I've learned that, in both traditional classrooms and on-line classrooms, students tend to learn as much from each other as they do from the instructor. For that reason, I've always viewed my role as being more of a facilitator of guided discussions than a lecturer. Nevertheless, I realize that there are often legitimate reasons why students can be hesitant to speak up in class. If you're one of those reluctant speakers, I won't penalize you for holding back, and as long as you do a great job on the units outlined above, it will be perfectly possible for you to earn an A+ in the class (although I would urge you to consider taking public speaking at some point during your time at CCV). To encourage participation, however, I will be adding up to 10 extra credit points to the grades of students who regularly participate in the classroom discussion ina meaningful way,i.e., by asking perceptive questions and making thoughtful comments about the course material. Half of the potential extra credit points will be awarded in your mid-term grades and half in your final grades.

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Introduction to Dimensions of Self & Society




Mini-Lecture:Welcome, Introductions, Course Overview, Learning How to Navigate Canvas and the Course Website

Writing Exercises:Personal Goals, Networking Questionnaire.

Read and discuss:“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost (handout).

For next week(due 2/1):

“Learning to Read and Write” – pp. 3-8 (Dimensions Reader)

"The Library Card” – pp. 8-17 (Dimensions Reader)
“From the 104th Floor” by Leda Rodis (handout)
Journal assignment on "The Library Card" and "Learning to Read & Write"



Life goals, critical reading and writing


In class:Discuss and hand in Journal Assignment on "Learning to Read & Write" and "The Library Card." Discuss "From the 104th Floor." Discuss the relationship of work and education to our life goals. Writing exercise. Introduction to critical reading. Watch Steve Job's 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.


For next week:

"Avoiding Logical Fallacies," University of North Carolina Writing Center

"Malala's Speech to the U.N.," p. 77, Dimensions Reader.

"The History Teacher," poem by Billy Collins, p. 87, Dimensions Reader

"Let America be America Again," poem by Langston Hughes, pp. 92-94, Dimensions Reader

"The Journey," Poem by Mary Oliver, pp. 100-101, Dimensions Reader

Writing: Journal Assignment on Steve Jobs commencement address or "The History Teacher" (your choice)



Critical thinking, introduction to figurative language


In Class:Discuss and hand in journal assignments. Discuss reading assignments. Discuss logical fallacies. Introduction to imagery and symbolism, literal vs. figurative language. Open book quiz on logical fallacies.


For next week(due 2/15):

Reading: Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," pp. 417-424, Dimensions Reader

Writing: Figurative Language Exercise



The Allegory of the Cave


In class:Discuss the Allegory of the Cave. Discuss themes of knowledge vs. ignorance, illusion vs. reality.

Watch "Remember the Titans."


For next week (due 2/22):

Journal assignment on "Remember the Titans" and "The Allegory of the Cave."

Read the preface to "America and the Age of Genocide" by Samantha Powers (handout).



Individual and National Responsibility (3-week unit)


In class:Writing exercise on a moment when you discovered a truth that had been hidden from you. Watch the movie "Sophie Scholl: the Final Days."


For next week(due 3/1):

Journal assignment on Sophie Scholl.

Continue reading "America and the Age of Genocide."

Read the story "Revelation," pp. 172-186, Dimensions Reader



Individual Responsibility


In class: Discuss and hand in journal assignment on Sophie Scholl. Discuss the moral obligations of the individual in an unjust society. Discuss "Revelation." Discuss how individual prejudice and bias help can prop up societal injustice.


For next week (due 3/8):

Finish reading"America and the Age of Genocide."

Read: "The Conflict in Ukraine," "Is Russian Committing Genocide in Ukraine," "How Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Could Force 500M People into Acute Hunger." (See Canvas links).



National Responsibility


In class:Watch the movie "The Hotel Rwanda." Discuss "America and the Age of Genocide." Discuss the issue of whether a nation has the responsibility to intervene when genocide or human rights violations occur in a foreign country.


For next week (due March 15):

Watch Chimamanda Adichie's TED talk "The Danger of a Single Story." (See Canvas link).

Read the poem "My Name is Not 'Those People,'" by Julia Dinsmore, pp. 98-100, Dimensions Reader.

Journal assignment on "Revelation" and "The Danger of a Single Story."



The Single Story Project


In class:Finish discussion of individual and national responsibility (if necessary). Hand in and discuss journal assignment on "Revelation" and "The Danger of a Single Story." Discuss "The Danger of a Single Story" and "My Name is Not 'Those People.'" Hand out and discuss the rubric for The Single Story Project. In class writing exercise: "Has someone else ever made an assumption about you because of some aspect of your identity?"


For next week (due 3/22):

Hartness Library Orientation (Canvas link).

TUTORIAL: Evaluating Sources: TILT 3 (Canvas link).

TUTORIAL: Using Sources: TILT 4 (Canvas link).

MLA vs. APA formatting (Canvas link -- you get to pick!)

Begin reading "The Coddling of the American Mind," pp. 319-336, Dimensions Reader.



Information Literacy


In class:Discuss library resources, information literacy, and how to evaluate what we read on social media. Quiz on Tilt modules. Watch "Hate.com."


For next week (due 3/29):

Journal assignment: initial brainstorms about your Single Story Project

Finish reading "The Coddling of the American Mind

Begin Reading "Flowers for Algernon"





In class:Discussion of "The Coddling of the American Mind" and "Hate.com." Mini-lecture about censorship in the U.S. and other countries. In-class debate about censorship.


For next week (due 4/5):

Continue reading "Flowers for Algernon."

Read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, pp. 210-220, Dimensions Reader.

Single Story Project Update



"The Lottery"


Inclass:Discussion of "The Lottery" and its relationship to other books and movies we've studied. How do cruelty and barbarity become embedded in a society's traditions and get handed down from generation to generation? Writing exercise. Question and answer session about Single Story Project.


For next week (due 4/12):

Update on Single Story Project.

Continue reading "Flowers for Algernon."



Orientation to Online Learning


In class:Orientation to the online learning environment and the Discussion Forum. The advantages of asynchronous learning. In-class practice exercises using questions from "The Lottery." In-class discussion of your Single Story Projects,


Next week (due 4/19):

Finish reading "Flowers for Algernon."

Class will no meet in person. Online Discussion Forum on "Flowers for Algernon."



Online Discussion Forum on Flowers for Algernon


Class will not meet in person. Please respond to both of my prompts by 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 20 and to at least two of your classmates' replies by 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 23.



Online Discussion Forum on Flowers for Algernon


Class will not meet in person. Please respond to both of my prompts by 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 27 and to at least two of your classmates' replies by 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 30.



Class Wrap-up


Back in the classroom! Hand in or upload Single Story Project.


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.