American Democracy Project
University of Northern Iowa American Democracy Project
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Selected Capstone Courses Related to Civic Engagement

The Liberal Arts Core is a key component of the education students receive at UNI. One of the courses required by the Core is a Capstone course. The Liberal Arts Core Committee (LACC) defines the Capstone course, which is part of the Liberal Arts Core, as a course intended as "an aid in preparing UNI students for the complex world of ideas that should engage them during their lives as educated citizens." While all of the Capstone courses deal with complex issues that must be addressed from multidisciplinary perspectives, some of the Capstone courses specifically deal with topics related to beliefs, behaviors, and critical thinking approaches related to civic engagement. These courses are listed below.


010:159 Analysis of Contemporary Social Issues (3 hrs.)

Application of critical thinking skills and insights from various social science and liberal arts disciplines to the analysis of such contemporary issues as crime, health care, civil liberties and international conflict. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

010:159 Back to the Valley: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 21st Century (3 hrs.)

Use of experiential and service learning to explore and practice the concepts of community as well as to identify current social issues in the community outside UNI. Current issues will be studies in the framework of the philosophies of Dr. King. Course study involves an analysis of the life and work of Dr. King to identify critical elements of the social change(s) with which he was associated, to extrapolate the positions he might take on issues confronting us today, and to determine the relevancy of Dr. King's positions for today. In this process, students will construct a personal meaning for responsible citizenship in a society with democratic ideals. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

010:159 Being National: National Identity in Europe, America, and Beyond (3 hrs.)

What is national identity and where does it come from? This course challenges students to critically examine the varied ways that national identity is constructed and experienced around the world, and how they themselves are embedded within a particular national identity and culture. Taught as part of the Capstone and the Holocaust Program in Krakow, Poland, and on the UNI campus. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

010:159 Democracies (3 hrs.)

Treats the variety of theories, forms, and practices of democracy around the world, as well as the future of democracy, from several disciplinary perspectives. Specific focus of the course varies section by section. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

010:159 Globalization, Cultural Pluralism, and International Security (3 hrs.)

This course will address several key issues related to globalization and cultural pluralism and the impact on the overall quality of human life and international security in the 21st century. Special emphasis will be given to environmental, religious, ethnic, and international migration issues. Case studies from Europe (including Russia), Latin-South America, Asia, and Africa will be taken from an interdisciplinary perspective. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

010:159 Leadership and Professional and Civic Competencies (2 hrs.)

This course focuses on leadership and ethical responsibility for professional and civic roles. Activities include critical analysis of examples from local and national newspapers. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

010:159 Minority-Majority Group Relations in the U.S. (3 hrs.)

This course explores multidisciplinary perspectives concerning U.S. minority-majority group relations, focusing upon the interaction of mainstream U.S. culture with minority groups which have experienced a history of exclusion or oppression in U.S. society. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.