MC students get hands-on opportunities with J-Term 2011 lineup

Dec. 10, 2010
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

Learning by experience is valued by the Maryville College community, and January Term, or “J-Term” as it is more commonly known, helps guarantee that students are given opportunities for up-close, hands-on experience and reflection.

Classes during this three-week academic session occur between the fall and spring semesters and typically begin on the Monday following New Year's Day. Since the length of the term is compressed, classes are longer and more frequent (generally between 9 a.m. and noon each day) for more intense and concentrated study.

Students enroll in one course during J-Term and usually earn three credit hours, which are applied toward the 60 credit hours needed to fulfill general education requirements. Off-campus trips scheduled as part of course syllabi can last an afternoon or two weeks and can take students places as near as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or as far away as Ghana.

According to the College's catalog, “Every student's program of study centers on the familiar work of classroom and laboratory, library and studio. Yet important learning also takes place in less familiar settings, where the student is called upon to adapt to a new environment, to act without one's customary support system, to develop trust in one's own resources of intelligence and discipline. It is to encourage that kind of learning, so critical to personal maturity, that the College makes available a variety of special programs.”

During J-Term, freshmen are required to enroll in First-Year Seminar 130: Perspectives on the Environment. In this course, students, in classroom and field settings, explore how human beings have changed and adapted the local environment of the Southern Appalachians and how human beings have used environmental resources in the development of their culture.

Seniors often take the opportunity during J-Term to enroll in Ethics 490: Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethical Thought. A senior capstone, interdisciplinary course, ETH490 asks students to consider the ethical dimension of the human experience, including historic and contemporary ethical frameworks designed to engage the students' ethical stances.

What about sophomores and juniors? A variety of courses are open to them. Civil War and Reconstruction. The 1960s. Financial Literacy. Sustainable Art. Wildlife Photography. Science and Cinema.

MC junior Chris Cannon took Drew Crain’s Wildlife Photography class during J-Term 2010, and he said the class “really opened my eyes to a lot.”

"This class was such a fun experience,” Cannon said. “I have a passion for photography, and this class just pushed that passion to the limit. Photography mixed with the wildlife of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is really an experience that I will remember."

There are also two study abroad options for J-Term 2011. The first takes students to Costa Rica, where they will focus on personal and environmental wellness and awareness. Highlights include a 10-day paddling tour of Costa Rica; surfing, paddling, swimming and snorkeling along the Pacific Coast; and the opportunity to visit and potentially volunteer at World Wildlife Fund and its sea turtle conservation program.

The second option takes students to Ghana, where they will experience the history, culture and present society of West Africa through study and service. The first 11 days will be spent in Accra, during which students will take day trips, such as a bus tour to Kumasi to see the Royal Museum and the main market and trips to imperial landmarks like Elmina Castle and Manhyja Palace. The remainder of the trip will be spent in Bompata, a West African village that has special ties with Maryville College.

The College's relationship with the people of Bompata, Ghana, began with Frank Twum-Barimah, a Ghanaian who came to the College in 2000 and graduated in 2004. Since then, Twum-Barimah's father, a Presbyterian minister in the village, and his mother, a teacher, have hosted numerous Maryville College administrators, faculty and students who have traveled there to volunteer or intern with non-profit agencies. In 2009, MC students established the Bompata Educational Fund to provide educational opportunities for students in the village.

HIS2000-01 Topics: The 1960s: Decade of Social Change with Dr. Terry Bunde
According to Jack Kerouac, "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion." The 1960s in the United States represented a decade of significant social change that altered the status quo. The post WWII baby boomers were coming of age along with critical social movements: the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the anti-war movement and the beginning of the gay-lesbian rights movement. Through film, music, art, personal interviews, and text, students will explore the themes of the era and develop an understanding of its living legacy. Fee: None
* May not be used toward courses required in the History major.

PSY2000-01 Topics: Career Development and Life Planning with Dr. Rusty Winchester
How do people express who they are through the work that they do? This course addresses basic questions about the meaning of work and seeks to enhance students' personal vocational discernment and career development. Students will explore individual career options and develop further clarification of personal career goals and aspirations through analysis, reflection and intentional development of skills related to resume development, interviewing, networking, the job search/internship search (strategies), and job research. Fee: None
* May not be used toward courses required in the Psychology major.

ART2000-02 Topics: Ceramic Production - Tile Making with Ms. Polly Martin
This course focuses on the processes involved in tile making and design. Students will learn the history of tile making, view examples of the art from around the world, and create their own display pieces. Techniques of mold-making, surface embellishment and tessellation are included in the guided production of each student's artwork. Technical demonstrations, slide presentations, and group discussions will augment this course. The course will conclude with a gallery show. (May not be used toward courses required in the Art major) Fee: $75 due at January Term Registration.
* May not be used toward courses required in the Art major.

HIS2000-02Topics: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee with Dr. Aaron Astor
The course introduces students to the complex experience of Tennessee during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Tennessee was a divided state in a divided union. Important battles took place in major places, but most of the contest occurred on less iconic ground - often in family homes divided by war and ideology. The three week course includes one week of extensive overnight travel to museums and historic sites throughout the state in an exploration of the social and political context of Tennessee in the 1860's. Fee $350 that covers transportation, lodging, and museum fees. (Students will need spending money for meals and snacks) A $100 nonrefundable deposit is due by April 17, with $250 due September 15 (all fee payments are non-refundable).
* May not be used toward courses required in the History major.

PSY2000-02 Topics: Equine Assisted Counseling with Ms. Kim Henry
Winston Churchill once remarked that, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person." Nowhere is this more evident than with equine assisted therapy modalities. As highly sensitive social animals who possess a profound awareness of nonverbal communication, horses mirror human thoughts and feelings and provide immediate feedback to people who interact or attempt to interact with them. This dynamic creates a rich opportunity to use the horses' sensitivity as an avenue toward emotional growth and development for children and adults. This course introduces participants to the healing power of the horse in grief counseling and will provide hands on experiences for personal skill discovery, effective evaluation techniques and activity ideas associated with the value and benefits of equine assisted grief counseling. The class will meet both on campus as well as the Mane Support facility located within minutes of the College. Fee: $20 due at the first class meeting. (No prior equine experience is necessary).
* May not be used toward courses required in the Psychology major.

PLS2000-02 Topics: Leadership with Designated Leader
Designed as a credit alternative for students assuming leadership positions in experiential courses. May be taken by permission only.

PLS2000-01 Topics: United Nations Security Council with Dr. Scott Henson
This course provides students with the opportunity to view world issues from a perspective other than that of the United States. A mock Security Council is formed to discuss the most pressing international issues. The course includes hosting the High School Model United Nations on campus. Fee: None.
* May not be used toward courses required in the Political Science or International Studies major.

ART2000-01 Topics: Museum Science with Dr. Larry Smithee
This course provides students with an understanding of museum operations and examines the role of museums in contemporary culture. The course introduces students to the concepts, principles and techniques of museum science. Museum visits, discussion, lecture, readings, and hands on exposure provide a basis for individual exploration of some aspect of material culture. Students will visit a variety of museums in the surrounding area. Class times vary. Fee: None (Students will need to have $70 pocket money for tickets and travel costs associated with the course).
* May not be used toward courses required in the Art major.

ECN2000-01 Topics: Financial Literacy with Dr. Jason Troyer
Adults in our society are expected to be able to pay their taxes, buy insurance (home, auto, life, etc.), purchase a home and cars, use credit, and save for future goals. In this course, students will participate in hands-on tasks such as opening a Roth IRA, completing a 1040 tax form, comparison shopping for auto insurance, developing a retirement plan, identifying financial scams, evaluating different mortgage scenarios, and other activities. Students will learn the basics of life-long financial planning as well as strategies to overcome the typical mistakes of the average American investor. Fee: None
* May not be used toward courses required in the Economics or Business major.

SOC2000-01 Topics: The Road to Justice with Dr. Karen Beale and Dr. Kathie Shiba
Incorporating a significant regional daytime and overnight travel component, students will examine historical and current factors that influence equal justice. Topics include basic human rights such as education, food, voting, housing and religion as well as the challenges involved with poverty, civil rights, immigration, and sustainability of the earth. The course incorporates day trips as well as seven days of travel to other southern states to visit influential venues such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, Martin Luther King Center, Alterna Community, and Human Rights Campaign. Fee: $600 covers transportation, lodging, excursions and most meals. A $100 non-refundable deposit is due by April 16, with $250 due September 1 and $250 due October 1 (all fee payments are nonrefundable). Enrollment is by selection. Selection decisions are based on an interview and review of application materials. The application packet is available from Dr. Beale in SSC 122 or from Dr. Shiba in SSC 107A.
* May not be used toward courses required in the Sociology major.

SCI2000-01Topics: The Intersection of Science and Cinema with Ms. Irene Guerinot
According to Francis Bacon, a contemporary of Galileo, "the secrets of nature reveal themselves more readily under the vexations of art..." This course will examine the portrayal of science in a variety of film genres that include science fiction, science biographies, and documentaries. Beginning with early films, such as the 1930 Soviet film, "The Earth" and concluding with recent offerings such as "The Fly" and "Outbreak," students will question the depiction of scientific fact and theory and the extent to which they may influence public opinion about science and the future. Fee: $20 due at January Term Registration.
* May not be used toward courses required in for the Science requirement

ART2000-03 Topics: Sustainable Art with Dr. Adrienne Schwarte
This course will explore both the philosophy and the value of environmental sustainability in our society as it relates to the field of art; specifically the creation of art that meets sustainable goals and challenges society to understand and engage in sustainable practices. The word "development" is often seen as a dangerous term that inevitably incorporates some degree of environmental degradation rather than sustainment. This course focuses on creation of ecological minded art and design forms that use fewer resources and provides an opportunity for discussion about ecological issues that brings about social action and change. Fee: None (Students will need $50-$75 to cover the cost of materials and some local travel).
* May not be used toward courses required in the Art major.

BIO2000-01 Topics: Wildlife Photography with Dr. Drew Crain
This course introduces students to the skills and processes needed to photograph wildlife in their natural environment. Using both the College Woods and nearby Cades Cove as a starting point, students will deepen their appreciation and enjoyment for wildlife observation and photography. Students will need their own digital or SLR camera and will create a collection of images and participate in a photo contest. Fee: $10 Due at the first class meeting (Students will need spending money for any needed supplies)
* May not be used toward courses required in the Biology or Art major.

ENG2000-01 Topics: Nature Literature with Mr. Kim Trevathan
Presented by the author of "Coldhearted River: A Canoe Odyssey Down the Cumberland" and "Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on Easy Water," the course provides an opportunity to explore creative writing in different genres in response to themes or issues that emerge from thoughtful interactions with the natural world. Activities will include easy to moderate hikes in the Smoky Mountains and other areas in the region. Students will transfer these experiences into a final project of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction and will engage in activities that promote reflection, discussion and thoughtful criticism. Class times will vary to accommodate off-campus activities. Fee: $20 due at January Term Registration
* May not be used toward courses required in the English or Writing major.

PHR 2000-01 Topics: Destination Biking with Mr. Bruce Guillaume
(Register as a January Term course - Trip will take place during Spring Break) Destination unknown! Fee: Not set, but expect around $150.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.