Academics | Beyond Campus
Liberal Arts In Focus
In addition to the two standard semesters, Ripon College now offers the Liberal Arts in Focus program. This new program offers students two opportunities per year to take an intensive, three week class unique to anything else offered during the academic year. One In Focus term precedes the start of fall semester and the other follows Commencement in the spring and was formerly known as “Maymester.”
Taught in short, intensive blocks, In Focus courses offer students an immersion experience bridging the theory and coursework of traditional classes to their real-world applications through problem-solving, creative work, and practical experience. In doing so, they deepen students’ academic study and creative work; strengthen their foundations for graduate and professional degrees; and provide students with valuable experience for work in the profit and non-profit sectors.
This year’s In Focus sessions are scheduled for:
May 19 – June 6, 2014
July 28 – August 16, 2014
In Focus May 2014 Schedule of Classes:
Tuition charged is $450 per credit; tuition is waived in May 2013-2014 for some In Focus courses.
Program fees may include travel, housing, food, entrance fees, etc.; see course instructor for information. Ripon College campus housing will be available for In Focus students while in Ripon; the room rate is $50 per week or any part of a week. Consult the Office of Financial Aid regarding financial assistance.
Biology 450.01 – Intensive Field Studies: Ecology of the Boreal Forest Professor Wittler Three credits
Ecology of the Boreal Forest is a study of the plant communities of northern Minnesota. The course will begin with plant identification; family level taxonomy will be stressed. Various communities will be visited and their structure analyzed. Succession will be documented through statistical analysis. A group research project, an individual project, two field exams, and a written final exam will be the basis of grading for the course.
Prerequisites: Biology 121 or equivalent is required; students who have taken college level botany or ecology will have preference. Contact In Focus instructor regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – Waived for In Focus May 2014. Other program fees – See instructor.
Classical Studies 200.01/History 200.01/Politics and Government 200.01 – Topics: Old Italy, New Italy Professors Messitte, Mockridge Three credits
This May Liberal Arts in Focus course will provide an intensive overview of Italian history, politics, culture and language. Students will spend the first week of the course on Ripon’s campus where they will have lectures, discussions, film screenings, basic language instruction and a special Wisconsin-Italian field trip. Students will then spend two weeks in a villa just outside of Rome, Italy in Due Santi, a historic district south of the city. The class will be team-taught with Prof. Mockridge focusing on “old Italy” (ancient Rome, medieval Italy and the Renaissance) and Pres. Messitte concentrating on “new” Italy (from the Risorgimento through the present). In addition to two tests and two papers, students will be expected to keep a daily journal while in Italy.
No prerequisites. Contact In Focus instructors regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – $1350. Other program fees – See instructor.
Communication 410.01 – Topics: Communication and Incarceration Professor Roy Three credits
Students will learn about the unique communication challenges faced by those incarcerated in the prison system and the ways in which prison communication norms can inhibit parolees’ success upon release. Students will work directly with a small group of medium-security inmates to help the inmates develop interpersonal and organizational communication skills relevant to securing and maintaining employment and public speaking skills needed for their participation in restorative justice and community service programs. Students also will develop a set of teaching materials that may be used by corrections staff in the future.
Prerequisites: Communication 215 (offered Spring 2013-2014) OR Communication 401 OR Communication 412: Topics: Rhetoric of Autobiographical Narratives. All students enrolled in the course must pass a Wisconsin Department of Corrections Background Check and must agree to abide by all policies governing visits to Fox Lake Correctional Institution; failure to comply with visitation policies will result in immediate removal from the course. Contact In Focus instructor regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – $1350 Other program fees – See instructor.
Economics 300.01/Environmental Studies 300.01 – DS: Exploring Sustainability & Development in Costa Rica Professors D. Beres, Hauge Two credits
Costa Rica is globally known for its ecological riches and for relative success in conserving them while promoting economic development. Students will travel to several areas of Costa Rica during Maymester, examining the ways ecological conservation and economic development conflict or complement one another. The group will visit protected natural areas; farms and other enterprises that use the country’s natural resources; and projects that seek both protection and profit through ecotourism, biodiversity prospecting, etc. Students will carry out field observations. The group will also collaborate on service-learning experiences.
Prerequisites: Consent of the instructors, successful completion of Environmental Studies 300.01-DS: Intro to: Exploring Sustainability and Development in Costa Rica offered Spring 2014. Contact In Focus instructors regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – Waived for In Focus May 2014. Other program costs – See instructor.
GER 330.01, Munich-Vienna: Music, Museums, Memorials Professor Sopcak Two credits
On walking tours, students explore and examine the monuments, museums, and memorial sites studied during the spring semester course. Students will: experience firsthand the artistic, political, and historical climates of two distinctly different cultural centers of Europe; practice critical and comparative thinking skills; integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines; continue and expand research on a chosen topic; keep a detailed journal and collect documentation through photographs, drawings or other visual materials; compile a portfolio including a 5-6 page reflective essay integrating course readings and sites visited; demonstrate their ability to perceive, interpret, contrast, and evaluate the “new” and “different”.
The study trip offers students of German an intense immersion experience in contemporary German and Austrian culture and language. In addition to the content learning goals, the course is designed to improve German students’ spoken fluency, comprehension, and communicative strategies, as they assist classmates with no knowledge of German.
Prerequisite: Spring 2014 enrollment in Ger 200 or Ger 300, Munich-Vienna: Music, Museums, Memorials. Contact In Focus instructor regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – Waived for In Focus May 2014. Other program fees – See instructor.
Interdisciplinary Studies 300.01 – Dept. Studies: Peace Studies in Jamaica Professor Hatcher Two credit
This class consists of twelve days spent in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica in the town of Hagley Gap and Penlyne. We will apply the concepts learned in the one-credit class directly as we work with children in the schools of the area and provide support for community improvement. We will live with families and experience life in the Blue Mountain area under the auspices of the Blue Mountain Project.
Prerequisite: IDS 300.01 offered Spring 2014. Contact In Focus instructor regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – Waived for In Focus May 2014. Other program fees – See instructor.
PSC 252.01, Ethology of Killer Whales: Field Experience Professor Otis Three credits
The behavior of killer whales that regularly forage the waters around San Juan Island (WA) is the focus of this course. Attention will be paid to those factors that may pose a threat to their existence, including food supply, boats, pollution, captivity, and whale watching. Field trip to the island, includes observations of whales in both the wild and in captivity and talks by researchers will supplement individual research projects.
Prerequisites: PSC 251 offered Spring 2014 and consent of the instructor. Contact In Focus instructor regarding course enrollment/application process. Tuition – Waived for In Focus May 2014. Other program fees – See instructor.