Year One Courses for Beyond Boundaries Students
Beyond Boundaries Seminar (1 credit)
Led by Beyond Boundaries Program Director Rob Morgan and Special Assistant to the Provost Jill Stratton, this course will cover selected relevant topics, including interdisciplinary projects and lectures, collaboration, ideation exercises and college student development. It is an interactive seminar in which each program participant will participate in prototyping futures, mind-mapping, salon-type discussions, dialogue, reflection and related activities. There will be opportunities to meet and hear from faculty representing all seven schools at Washington University. The knowledge gained is designed to contribute to academic success, personal development, and a more rewarding social and academic experience over the course of the college experience. This is a pass/fail course, and students will earn 1 credit for it during the fall semester.
College Writing (3 credits)
During the fall semester, students will take a 3-unit common College Writing course. This course will focus on basic writing skills and communication across disciplines, and it will meet three days per week. The course will be taught by a faculty member of the program in sections of 12 students. It will include various contributions from faculty in other departments and from across divisions through lecture series, class visits, panels and interviews. The courses will be grouped into eight themes — Citizen Scientist, Dreams & Nightmares, Writing Identity, Literature & Justice, Place & Perspective, Power & Commodity Culture, Writing Technology, and When I’m 64 — into which students will self-select.
First-Year Bear Bridge Courses (3 credits)
In the spring semester, students in the Beyond Boundaries cohort have the opportunity to apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to important social and intellectual questions via one of two Bear Bridge courses.
Bear Bridge courses are intended to do the following:
- Apply knowledge and experience from team-taught Beyond Boundaries courses in a project-based, applied context.
- Reinforce cohort experiences within the Beyond Boundaries program. Students enrolled in the Beyond Boundaries program will have additional curricular and co-curricular cohort-building, and Bear Bridge courses will reinforce these connections.
- Prepare students for ongoing interdisciplinary approaches during their following three years on campus. Bear Bridge courses offer students a set of tools that can be used to apply interdisciplinary approaches, including informing their choice of major, their approach to their capstone project, and their self-identity as a scholar.
Bear Bridge: Empathy First: Creating Solutions with Heart
Decisions that impact the daily lives of people are often made without consideration of the lived experience of those being affected, often resulting in harm and eroded trust. Empathy is a critical tool for understanding the lived experience of others and for creating improved quality of life for all people. This class will introduce the integration of empathy into decisions through the methods, processes and approaches used in design and social work. Students will examine how empathy is incorporated into the development and implementation of new solutions to complex problems through conversations with experts in health, law and business; community-based team projects; and reflection and discussion. Course activities will build cohort connections.
Credit 3 units.
Bear Bridge: Law, Race, and Design: Examining the St. Louis Story
This interdisciplinary course focuses on the intersection of law and race in St. Louis. From Dred Scott to Ferguson, St. Louis has served as a focal point for some of the most important issues in our country’s long and still unfinished work toward racial equality. The law has played an important role in these developments; judicial opinions, city ordinances and commission reports have shaped how we understand questions of race and equality. But the law is not simply the written word: it involves people, practices, places, and the stories we tell about them. How we communicate our stories ultimately affects how we understand those stories and how we understand ourselves. This course situates the law within such stories and equips students to communicate those stories in ways that draw from a range of methodological tools. Using human-centered design, students will be challenged to connect the words of legal documents with the experiences of those whose lives are situated by them.
Credit 3 units.