Spring 2023


Students choose to complete either a Learning Community or a First Year Seminar to complete the FYE graduation requirement.

Learning Communities (LC) link two academic courses (6-8 credit hours). Faculty teaching these courses work together to establish joint activities and common curriculum themes designed to explore the ways in which subjects are interrelated. All Learning Communities fulfill the FYE graduation requirement in addition to counting towards other general education requirements (listed with each LC).

First Year Seminar (FYSE) is an academic course (3 credit hours) that explores special topics taught by outstanding faculty.

All FYE courses have an attached Synthesis Seminar (FYSS). Upperclassmen serve as peer facilitators and lead weekly 50-minute synthesis seminars that introduce students to the College’s academic community. The synthesis seminar component offers the advantage of getting the perspective of and advice from a successful College of Charleston student.

Students must be enrolled in all parts of their Learning Community (including all science labs) or First-Year Seminar to receive credit.

Information about online courses, when applicable: 

Online courses are indicated as such and are listed as either Synchronous (SYNC) or Asynchronous (ASYNC).

  •   Synchronous online course class meetings are facilitated during the times they are listed, and students and faculty may interface in real-time via Zoom or other video-sharing software methods.
  •   Asynchronous online courses will not meet during a regularly scheduled time for class meetings.

Most courses will be in-person unless labeled as online.

Race, Equity, and Inclusion
These courses were specifically proposed as part of the REI initiative and have a historical, narrative, applied, analytical, and/or geographic focus in either the US or global context
Misinformation, Media, and Data: Navigating Race, Equity, and Inclusion
Broken Immigration Policies: Implications for Advocates and Educators
Ctrl-Alt-Del: Games, Society, Intersectionality & Toxic Technocultures

Countries and Cultures, Past and Present
Israel through Film and Media
American Popular Culture

Experiencing Charleston and the Lowcountry
Paddling Towards Sustainability
You Are What You Eat: Food and Culture in the Lowcountry

Engaging with Society through Contemporary Issues and Relationships
Hope and the Human Condition
Emerging Adulthood: The Age of Possibilities
Reading and Writing Social Justice

Exploration of Self, Identity, and Development
Embodied Thinking
A Brand Called You
Food for Thought
Queer Questions: LGBTQ+ Historical Identities
Bad Hombres/Spicy Vixens: Challenging Latino/a Stereotypes in the United States
Special O.P.S. Therapy Tactics
Travel for Transformation: Journeys of (Self) Discovery
Understanding Who You are as a Writer and a Communicator

Exploration of Technology, Science, and Nature
Ecology and the Literary Imagination
Exploring the Planets
Interpreting our National Treasures: From Parks to Moon Rocks
Doom and Glory: How Geology Changed Society
Connecting with Nature in the Modern World
AR You Experienced: Introduction to Augmented and Virtual Reality
Animals Among Us: Humans, Nonhumans, and Politics

Engaging Our World through the Arts, Literature, and Religion
Exploration of Self Through Photography and Drawing
New Ways of Seeing: Producing Art in Contemporary Culture
Banned Books
Writers Change the World
Female Action Figures on the Screen


Learning Communities:

Embodied Thinking (LC1)
ENGL 110: Intro to Academic Writing and FYSE 139: Embodied Thinking and FYSS 101
Meg Scott-Copses and Erin Leigh
English and Theatre and Dance
4 English and 3 elective credits
CRNS: 23419 and 23315 and 23414
Course Times:  MW 3:25-4:40 (Online Class Meetings for 4th Hour) and MWF 2:00-2:50 and T 2:05-2:55

The sit-still culture of traditional classrooms encourages a separation between our minds and bodies. Culturally, we reinforce these stereotypes about student success through phrases like "athletes versus mathletes." Yet this Learning Community course joins mind and body in the act of knowledge construction. In English 110, we will use embodied approaches to learning and writing, considering cultural and rhetorical notions of body image. In FYSE 139, students will investigate movement preferences, how movement reflects social and cultural ideologies, and relationships between movement and cognition, spirituality, education, and mindful living. In both courses, we will work with and through our bodies to compose and perform texts that may blend visual, aural, written, and movement components.


Understanding Who You Are as a Writer and Communicator (LC2)
ENGL 110: Intro to Academic Writing and COMM 104: Public Speaking and FYSS 101
Chris Warnick and Nia Lewis
English and Communication
4 English and 3 elective credits
CRNs: 23420 and 20163 and 23415
Course Times: MW 2:00-3:15 (Online Class Meetings for 4th Hour) and MWF 10:00-10:50 (ONLINE SYNC) and M 9:00-9:15

In this learning community students will learn concepts from the related disciplines of communication and writing studies to, in the words of the inscription above Porter's Lodge, "know thyself", particularly when it comes to who you are as a writer and communicator. Both courses will ask students to consider, from different disciplinary perspectives, how the environment (including culture, gender, family, discourse, and technology)—influences verbal and nonverbal communication and relationships. Students will explore how communication choices impact how others see us and strive throughout the semester to become more competent communicators and writers, both in the classroom and beyond.


Exploration of Self Through Photography and Drawing (LC3)
ARTS 119: Drawing I and ARTS 215: Photography I and FYSS 101
Steve Johnson and Dylan Beckman
Studio Art
6 elective credits
CRNs: 20022 and 20027 and 23416
Course times: TR 9:25-11:15 and MW 9:00-10:50 and F 12:00-12:50

This learning community will provide an opportunity for students to explore their personal and artistic identities through the disciplines of photography and drawing. Light, shape, texture, line, tonality, and movement will be explored through class assignments to develop the ability to perceive and visually express oneself. Class discussions and group projects will teach students how to formally evaluate and critique art through a series of combined class assignments. Students will investigate their self ­identity and sense of place through reflective writing assignments and an extensive examination into the interrelationships between subject matter, creative concepts, and material use.


New Ways of Seeing: Producing Art in Contemporary Culture (LC4)
ARTS 220: Sculpture I and ARTS 119: Drawing I and FYSS 101
Jarod Charzewski and Francis Sills
Studio Art
6 elective credits
CRNs: 20033 and 20025 and 23417
Course times: MW 9:00-10:50 and TR 11:30-1:20 and W 1:00-1:50

This learning community will be a studio art collaboration between Sculpture I and Drawing I. Its purpose is to introduce the study of 2D and 3D art production as they are created in contemporary society. The term “Contemporary” will be defined as happening right now. This means techniques, concepts, and subject matters covered in this class will be accompanied by current examples from the art world and our global culture. We will place emphasis on professional practice through lectures, gallery visits, and visiting artists. These will also function as our connections to the art world. Through critiques students will learn the empowerment of language and critical discourse as we discuss materials, skill, aspects of form, space and presentation.


Paddling Towards Sustainability (LC5)
BIOL 101: Concepts and Applications in Biology I and BIOL 101L (Lab)* and  PEAC 126: Coastal Kayaking and FYSS 101
Miranda McManus and Ashley Brown
3 science credits and 2 elective credits
CRNs: 23316 and 23640 and 23418
Course Times: TR 12:15-1:30 and W 1:00-4:00 and W 10:00-10:50

This learning community will build awareness of the coastal environment and its benefits and fragility by allowing students to get into it to appreciate it. Through kayaking, students will learn about tides, currents, and the Charleston area waterways. In Biology, students will use evolutionary theory and a basic knowledge of the diversity of life to gain an understanding of various ecological issues, with a particular focus on those affecting coastal ecosystems. Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and learn ways to protect local ecosystems, all while building competency as paddlers. The experience of being in the world they are being asked to protect should create a lifelong love and respect for our precious local habitat.
* Students must enroll in BIOL 101L separately for full enrollment in this Learning Community
**BIOL 101/BIOL 101L is not intended for Biology Majors - students should take BIOL 111/111L


First-Year Seminars:


You Are What You Eat: Food and Culture in the Lowcountry
FYSE 111 and FYSS 101
Brook Irving
CRNs: 23288 and 23317
Course Times: MWF 1:00-1:50 and W 12:00-12:50

This course asks us to consider the ways in which the food we eat is embedded in larger community and cultural practices. We will take up the Charleston area specifically to explore how identity and community cohesion are linked to the agricultural and culinary legacies of the region. From Shrimp ‘N Grits to Carolina Gold Rice, our regional affiliations are forged from the food that we produce and eat. We will reflect on the ways ubiquitous everyday practices like food production and consumption foster collectivities and reflect inequities within our own communities.


A Brand Called You
FYSE 112 and FYSS 101

Christine Moore
Computer Science
CRNs: 23289 and 23335
Course Times: MWF 12:30-1:20and M 11:00-11:50

Your online reputation will increasingly factor into your success in getting jobs, graduate school  acceptance, and life in general. Learn how to proactively create an online image that presents the “you”  that others see. In this course, you gain foundational computing knowledge by examining issues and  events of our technological society. Correspondingly, you will use social media and publishing tools to  help build a professional digital image. Platforms will include LinkedIn, YouTube channel, podcasting, and  WordPress.


Reading and Writing Social Justice
FYSE 114 and FYSS 101
Marjory Wentworth
CRNs: 23295 and 23336
Course Times: TR 9:25-10:40 and W 2:00-2:50

Through reading and creative writing, students will examine what it means to be a writer in the community. Students will develop creative writing competency and craft. This is an introductory creative writing class which requires no previous experience. Course readings will examine how writers employ elements of craft to produce works that break silences. Writing exercises will explore how creative writing can serve as a tool for empowerment and social change. Students will write reflection journals, poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction which includes autobiography, testimonials and life stories. Through this process students will learn how to develop a compassionate and critical eye for creative work both inside and outside the classroom


Banned Books
FYSE 114 and FYSS 101
Marjory Wentworth
CRNs: 23298 and 23338
Course Times: TR 10:50-12:05 and W 12:00-12:50

This course examines a variety of texts that have been banned across several centuries  and continents. Texts have been seized or outlawed, classified as taboo, their authors fined, jailed, tortured, exiled and killed throughout history under many different political regimes. The focus is literature from the past two centuries, spanning diverse cultural and political contexts, as well as some films now considered “classics.” In America, many writers of our most beloved books have experienced the sting of censorship and distorted judgment aimed at their work. Recent contempt for the news media will be examined within its unique role in our democracy. We will also incorporate contemporary First Amendment issues–especially in terms of the internet (social media).


Ecology and the Literary Imagination
FYSE 114 and FYSS 101
Terence Bowers
CRNs: 23299 and 23340
Course times: MWF 12:00-12:50 and R 5:05-5:55

In this course, we will consider a number of big questions:  What should our relationship to the natural world be?  Is having a close connection to nature important for living a good life?  Do we have ethical obligations to other living things?  Do we need to imagine our relationship to nature in a new way?  To answer these questions productively, we will critically read a wide variety of texts (stories, poems, essays) and consider various artworks (films, paintings, photography) that explore our relationship to nature.  Thinking about such issues is especially important for us now as inhabitants of what scientists label the Anthropocene—the current geological era in which human beings are the primary cause of profound changes to the earth’s ecosystems.


Writers Change the World
FYSE 114 and FYSS 101
Bret Lott
CRNs: 23300 and 23386
Course times: TR 10:50-12:05 and R 1:05-1:55

Writers change the world. Novels, stories, poems, essays all have this in common: they transform hearts and minds; they guide us, exhort us, teach us, entertain us. What writers make reaches into the lives of readers in lasting and meaningful ways that can change the course of history. This course looks at ways to make your mark in the world of words by creating your own stories and poems and essays. Through the study of many acclaimed works and visiting guest writers, students will explore the practice of creativity and why writing matters.


Exploring the Planets
FYSE 117 and FYSS 101
John Chadwick
CRNs: 23302 and 23387
Course times: MWF 12:00-12:50 and W 4:00-4:50

We live on a small, rocky, habitable planet in a solar system made up of an  amazingly diverse collection of planets and moons. This class will engage with  discoveries made by NASA and other space agencies over the past 50 years to  explore the formation, geology, atmospheres, climates, water, and possible life  on the Earth’s diverse siblings in the solar system. The planets are no longer just  wandering lights in the sky, but real places for us to explore. Students will  engage with interdisciplinary scientific works to understand what it’s really like  out there on these wondrous worlds. After this exploration, students will ultimately be able to look at our own fragile planet with fresh eyes.


Interpreting our National Treasures: From Parks to Moon Rocks
FYSE 117 and FYSS 101
Cassandra Runyon
CRNs: 23303 and 23388
Course times: TR 10:50-12:05 and T 9:05-9:55

National Treasures: From Parks to Moon Rocks will explore some of our country’s greatest natural treasures. America’s national parks and our nearest planetary neighbor, the Moon, were formed by violent geologic processes, yet yield stunning landscapes and similar compositions. This course will compare and contrast key geologic processes that formed the Earth and Moon and the methods and tools used to explore them.


Food for Thought
FYSE 119 and FYSS 101
Bea Lavelle
Health and Human Performance
CRNs: 23305 and 23389
Course times: TR 1:40-2:55 and M 1:00-1:50

Does happiness begin in our gut? In this course students will explore the evidence-based science that proves thoughts and nutrition are deeply intertwined and have a direct impact on emotional wellbeing. The gut and brain are in constant bidirectional communication with each other. This physiological association is recognized as the gut-brain connection. As a result of this unique and dynamic relationship, what we eat affects our emotions and what we think impacts our gut. Together, students will explore the gut-brain axis and learn how they can harness and maximize its power to feel happier.


Queer Questions: LGBTQ+ Historical Identities
FYSE 121 and FYSS 101
Sandy Slater
CRNs: 23306 and 23390
Course Times: MWF 10:00-10:50 (ONLINE SYNC) and R 11:05-11:55 (ONLINE SYNC)

Increased attention and activism surrounding queer communities (LGBTQ+) has stimulated vigorous conversations related to collective and individual identities within the community, as well as in relation to larger social issues.  This course, with its grounding in historical understanding of queer life and resistance, offers an opportunity to understand the contemporary debates and calls for equity and inclusion through an historical lens. Course materials include a variety of interdisciplinary materials including memoirs, literature, music, and oral histories. Focus will be on an Atlantic narrative of queerness, as much of the material focuses on American narratives, history, and debates.


Israel through Film and Media
FYSE 124 and FYSS 101
Keren Ayalon
Jewish Studies
CRNs: 23309 and 23397
Course Times: MWF 1:00-1:50 and W 2:00-2:50

The course will introduce students to Israeli culture via class discussions and assigned readings, as well as primary sources in the form of film, music, television segments, and short stories. Students will engage such materials throughout the semester via class discussions and short written assignments. Topics will include the influence of the Arab-Israeli conflict on Israeli culture, the role of religion in Israeli society, globalization, immigration and the economy.


Bad Hombres/Spicy Vixens: Challenging Latino/a Stereotypes in the United States
FYSE 125 and FYSS 101
Nadia Avendaño
Hispanic Studies
CRNs: 23311 and 23399
Course Times: TR 10:50-12:05 and M 10:00-10:50

This seminar introduces students to the field of Latino/a Studies in order to better understand the place of Latinos in U.S. politics, history, and culture. Students will be asked to examine how a heterogeneous and changing Latino/a population both shapes and is shaped by life in the United States. A selection of texts from various disciplines (including literature, history, music, and film) will inform our class discussions. The course will look at constructions of “Latinidad” as they relate to questions of identity, class, race, and/or ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality, (im)migration, language, and popular culture.


Misinformation, Media, and Data: Navigating Race, Equity, and Inclusion (REI Course)
FYSU 127 and FYSS 101
Wendy Sheppard
CRNs: 23313 and 23400
Course Times: MWF 12:00-12:50 and T 1:05-1:55

Does the data support the claims in the media? How do we know if the claim the media is making is valid or not? In this course, students will learn how to research, find the original data that media outlets use and interpret this data. The best defense against misinformation or misuse of data in the media is knowing how to interpret data and research the original sources of information. In this course, students will use statistical interpretation of data and basic modeling to understand some of the biases that exist in the U.S. in regards to topics including race, income, healthcare, the legal system, the pandemic and other topics. Students will learn how to access the sources of data on these topics to make their own educated conclusions.


Hope and the Human Condition
FYSE 132 and FYSS 101
Lisa Ross
CRNs: 23314 and 23401
Course Times: MWF 10:00-10:50 and M 9:00-9:50

What is hope? We will explore what it is and where hope comes from, including factors that help it develop and activities that can boost it.  We will also investigate how hope relates to meaningfulness, to goal setting, and to perseverance. In addition, we will study the benefits of hopefulness, with particular attention paid to health and wellness. Although we will primarily investigate hope from the perspective of psychological science, we will consider hope as it relates to philosophy and religion as well.  In addition to other writing assignments and quizzes, students will participate in community engagement activities (talks, volunteering) and write brief reports about their experiences and how they relate to information learned in the course.


Emerging Adulthood: The Age of Possibilities
FYSE 132 and FYSS 101
Amy Kolak
CRNs: 23312 and 23402
Course Times: TR 9:25-10:40 and W 10:10:50

In this course, we will review research, theory, and practice related to Emerging Adulthood (a relatively new term that is being applied to individuals between 19 and 29 in primarily industrialized countries). The variety of factors, including social, economic, and psychological, that are related to the emergence of this new developmental period, along with its impact on society, will be discussed. Research on the various domains (i.e. school, work, love, family, and identity) of emerging adults’ lives will be examined. Finally, we will explore individual behaviors and contexts that may be associated with the successful navigation of this period.


American Popular Culture (A-B)
FYSE 135 and FYSS 101
Paul Roof
(A) CRNs: 23310 and 23403
(A) Course times: MW 2:00-3:15 and T 11:05-11:55
(B) CRNs: 23308 and 23404
(B) Course times: MW 3:25-4:40 and M 2:00-2:50

This course is designed to introduce students to critical analysis of contemporary popular culture in the United States.  Students will get an overview of the insights, findings, concepts, and perspectives that are held by a wide variety of interdisciplinary popular culture scholars today.  Several prominent areas of popular culture to be studied include advertising, television, film, music, religion, and cyberculture.


Broken Immigration Policies: Implications for Advocates and Educators (REI Course)
FYSU 138 and FYSS 101
William McCorkle
Teacher Education
CRNs: 23307 and 23405
Course times: TR 1:40-2:55 and W 1:00-1:50

How did we reach a point where children are being separated from their parents and asylum seekers are living in tents at our border? This class will examine the immigration system under the presidencies of Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden. More importantly, this course will highlight the impact of policies on immigrants, particularly the most marginalized, and grassroots movements for change. Themes that will be covered include: immigration detention, the border, asylum seekers and refugees, DACA, and immigration reform. Discussions will also center on how educators and advocates can work for a just immigration system and the role that race and indigenous status play in the marginalization of immigrants both in their country of origin and the United States.


Ctrl-Alt-Del: Games, Society, Intersectionality & Toxic Technocultures (REI Course)
FYSU 138 and FYSS 101
Ian O'Byrne
Teacher Education
CRNs: 23304 and 23406
Course times: TR 12:15-1:30 and W 3:00-3:50

The course uses #Gamergate, a controversy in gaming culture about the role of women in both the industry and fan culture, to emphasize issues around identity, race, equity, and inclusion. Students will discuss issues of representation and identification in video games from the past and present, while also looking at how gaming culture has evolved and developed since Gamergate. Students will explore and synthesize multiple perspectives about video games and social impact in a series of reflective posts during the semester. Students will explore, build, and connect using a variety of gaming platforms (Twine, Minecraft, Roblox). For the final, students will create a game that will be shared at an eSports festival that will be held online.


Special O.P.S. Therapy Tactics
FYSE 138 and FYSS 101
Susan Flynn
Teacher Education
CRNs: 23297 and 23407
Course times: W 3:00-6:00 and W 9:00-9:50

Special O.P.S. Therapy Tactics course is designed to provide students interested in pursuing a degree in occupational and physical therapy as well as teacher education, with the knowledge and skills to design and implement movement experiences to enhance children's physical, social and emotional development. Students may be able to participate in the FitCatZ Aquatic and Motor Therapy Program https://www.fitcatz.com/ putting theory to practice teaching neuro-diverse children in a therapy setting.  Students interested will need to secure rides to the St. Andrews Fitness Center off campus and have travel time before and after class.


Female Action Figures on the Screen
FYSE 139 and FYSS 101
Evan Parry
Theatre and Dance
CRNs: 23296 and 23408
Course times: TR 1:40-2:55 and T 3:05-3:55

If a woman wields a gun is she strong?  If a woman is physically aggressive is she an empowered woman, or is she just acting like a man? Why have women of physical action, even “violence” been traditionally regarded as unacceptable or abnormal? Are there motives that justify such violence? Is a violent (or simply physically strong) woman more acceptable now than 30 years ago? Is such a woman more or less acceptable in America than elsewhere? Through the viewing of a variety of films, this course will explore answers to these questions by critically evaluating the way in which female action figures are constructed both visually and thematically on the screen.


Travel for Transformation: Journeys of (Self) Discovery
FYSE 141 and FYSS 101
Alison Smith
Women’s and Gender Studies
CRNs: 23294 and 23409
Course times:TR 9:25-10:40 and W 2:00-2:50

Have you ever dreamed of undertaking an extraordinary adventure?  Are you eager to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, walk the Camino de Santiago, or climb Mount Kilimanjaro?  In this course, we will explore the transformative potential offered by travel, which might be a globe-trotting adventure or simply discovering a new place in your local area.  Transformative travel involves learning, personal growth, exploring identity, and reflecting on the journey.  It encompasses an array of experiences, such as physical challenges, immersive cultural encounters, journeys of a religious or spiritual nature, or any combination of these and other informative experiences.  The essential components of transformative travel are preparation for the journey, the trip itself, and reflection and action upon return.


Animals Among Us: Humans, Nonhumans, and Politics
FYSE 142 and FYSS 101
Shishav Parajuli
Environmental Studies
CRNS: 23293 and 23412
Course times: TR 1:40-2:55 and W 3:00-3:50

What is an animal? To begin, you may point to your cat nearby, the bird outside, or perhaps your own selfie — these are all particular animals. Yet humans take great effort in distinguishing themselves from other animals. And our politics is shaped by these distinctions. In this course, we will examine different ways that animals, both providers of material sustenance and ideological background for human societies, have been defined and excluded from politics. We will critique the (western political) theoretical grounds through which nonhuman animals are denied participation in politics. We will also attend to concrete cases, fictions, ethnographic studies, to imagine various ways that human and nonhuman animals have co-habitated, co-depended, and co-evolved across cultures and historical time


Connecting with Nature in the Modern World (A-B)
FYSE 142 and FYSS 101
Nick Principe
Environmental Studies
(A) CRNs: 23291 and 23410
(A) Course times: TR 12:15-1:30 and T 2:05-2:55

(B) CRNs: 23292 and 23411
(B) Course times: TR 1:40-2:55 and M 12:00-12:50

We know spending quality time in nature can quickly wash away the worries of the day and if done regularly, can improve our well-being. The question is, if nature is so beneficial for us, then why are we a nation of people who seem to be more uncoupled from nature than ever before? In this course, students will examine ways in which we can connect with the natural world around us, both individually and as a society. The class will explore research on the effects of nature on mental well-being, the state of modern food production, and how reconnecting with nature might just give us a fighting chance against biodiversity loss and the effects of climate change.


AR U Experienced?: Introduction to Augmented and Virtual Reality
FYSE 143 and FYSS 101
Joey Van Arnhem
College of Charleston Libraries
CRNs: 23398 and 23413
Course times: TR 10:50-12:05 (ONL SYNC) and M 1:00-1:50

The blurring of lines between fine art, global pop culture, and science, require a level of information/visual literacy in order to decode the visual culture that surrounds us in order to become active participants and creators rather than passive consumers. Students will examine the technologies behind augmented and virtual reality and explore their history and societal effects. Students will consider Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) works and texts (apps, images, film, television, video, advertisements, performance art: any artifacts of culture) and their significance as cultural documents. The course is designed to teach and demonstrate some of the basic tools of analysis and critical thinking with which to approach contemporary texts presented through the lens of augmented and virtual realities.