Barrett, The Honors College offering new online courses for honors credit, internships and global study in Summer 2020

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May 6, 2020

A full slate of new and innovative courses and programs is planned for Barrett, The Honors College students to complete honors credits, internships, and global study throughout this summer. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, honors study abroad programs and in-person classes are unavailable, so the honors college is offering these engaging opportunities. A list of courses is on the Barrett, The Honors College website.  

“This is the first time in Barrett’s history that we have offered such an expansive on-site summer curriculum. Typically, we focus on study abroad, study away, and internships during the summer, but we know that this year many options for travel and experiential learning are not available because of the pandemic,” Barrett Vice Dean Nicola Foote said. 

“We wanted to create an opportunity for Barrett students to progress in their degrees and maintain their intellectual momentum by offering the widest possible range of course options. By taking summer courses, students can earn honors credits and use this summer to get ahead,” she explained. 

Available courses cover a range of categories, such as those that help students reflect on and understand the pandemic from different disciplinary perspectives, including literature, history, mathematics, and business. 

There also are courses on mindfulness, meditation, and art therapy to help students learn techniques to support positive mental health in the face of historic challenges. 

The T.W. Lewis Center at Barrett, The Honors College is offering a full range of courses designed to enhance self-awareness and career preparation, including the “Happiness, Success, Purpose, and Meaning” class that focuses on introspection, personal connections, and life-skills.

Those looking for global learning and professional opportunities may be interested in the Barrett Global Classroom in partnership with Sichuan University and virtual internships with international partners. 

For students embarking on their honors theses, there is a course in research methods and library databases. In addition, honors-only sections of important core courses in various majors such as biology and communications will be offered.

For newer Barrett students, there are 194 courses focusing on building reading and writing skills through an exploration of topics ranging from the popular TV show The Good Place to American gun culture.

Honors Faculty Fellow Alex Young said while he and his fellow honors faculty members were “deeply disappointed” by having to cancel study abroad courses, the pandemic situation presented an opportunity for them to rethink how to create and offer meaningful courses. 

He said online upper-division Honors 394 courses will offer credits for students who would have studied abroad, while Honors 194 courses will expand the curriculum and fulfill credit requirements for lower-division and incoming students. 

Young, along with several other faculty members, will be teaching a one-credit Honors 194 course aimed at incoming first-year honors students. “These 194 courses will bring incoming Barrett students up to speed on the skills needed to excel at the Human Event while focusing on a theme that will give them a sense of the diverse scholarly interests of Barrett's talented faculty,” Young said.

Young said his course will introduce students to his research on settler colonial and Indigenous studies through the exploration of Indigenous films from around the world. 

“We are confident that this summer curriculum, with a variety of courses at all levels, will provide students with opportunities for meaningful intellectual engagement and allow them to use their summer to work on degree progression,” Foote said.

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