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Gateways to Phoenix Success

GPS Courses: 2014-15

Fall 2014 GPS First Year Seminars (3 credits):

  1. What’s For Sale? The History and Politics of American Consumer Culture (DJS 198) – Instructor: Kimberly Reilly

    What are the politics of shopping? Americans only began to think of themselves as “consumers” in twentieth-century, but questions around the meaning and morality of spending have been debated since the founding of the nation. This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the history and politics of consumption in the United States. Drawing on range of sources from history, literature, sociology, and philosophy, we will ponder a broad range of issues related to shopping, including consumption and self-making; the relationship between the consumer and citizenship; and the economies of “style.” Along the way, we will grapple with understanding the political and moral implications of the United States’ market-driven economy, as it pushes the limits on “what’s for sale.” (TR 9:30-10:50)

  2. Love & Lust in America (Hum Dev 198) – Instructor: Denise Bartell

    Love & Lust in America is an interdisciplinary exploration into the concepts of romantic love and sexuality in American culture. We discuss changes over time in the nature of love and sexuality, explore the scientific study of lust and love, examine media and technological influences, and critically analyze the role of morality and politics in lust and love in the U.S. (TR 11:00-12:20)

  3. Wild: Nature and Modern Culture (Hum Stud 198) – Instructor: David Voelker

    Through this highly interactive seminar, we will explore relationships between humans and nature, in both idea and practice. Modern people tend to see themselves as separate from the rest of nature and only occasionally apply ethical thinking to human relations with other-than-human nature. Meanwhile, our environmental impact--including species extinctions and global climate change--continues to expand. This modern situation suggests a number of big questions that we will investigate from multiple perspectives. What ways of thinking about the relationship between humans and nature have dominated modern culture and ways of life? Why might we need to rethink the dominant relationships between humans and nature? What might we learn from indigenous and other-than-Western alternatives to the modern understanding of the relationship between humans and nature? How might we re-imagine the relationship between humans and nature to aim toward a sustainable, livable earth? (MW 12:45-2:05)

  4. Calvin & Hobbes Tour the Philosophical World (Philos 198) – Instructor: Christopher Martin

    What can Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes teach us about Philosophy? Surprisingly, quite a bit. Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is often underwritten by meaty nuggets of philosophy. I hope to draw upon these to illustrate and help us discuss philosophical questions about meaning, purpose, identity, morality and, of course, the reality of a certain stuffed tiger named Hobbes. We will ask, for instance, how Calvin and Hobbes each understand the meaning and purpose of life, how we can distinguish what is real from what is imaginary, where their moral codes arise from and how they differ, whether Hobbes needs a mind in order to be alive and whether Calvin can be alive despite so often being mindless, and what Calvin’s attitude toward nature is and whether it should be ours. (MW 12:45-2:05)

  5. Non-profit Hopscotch (Pu En Af 198) – Instructor: Lora Warner

    Non-profit Hopscotch explores the good work being done by nonprofit organizations around the world, from international NGOs, to nonprofits in China, Germany, and other countries, to right here in our own backyard. What role do they play, and how do they partner with governments and each other? What work do they do, and are they effective? Along the way we’ll find ways to make a difference in our own community. (TR 3:30-4:50)

Fall 2014 GPS Workshop (1 credit):

Once a week during the fall semester, all GPS students get together for workshops on topics central to college success, including information on basic college skills like time management and effective reading, on campus opportunities such as study abroad and campus organizations, and on life skills such as financial management or maintaining health and managing stress. Each workshop is led by expert faculty or staff from UW Green Bay, and provides students with the opportunity use the skills and information they’re learning. (F 1:00-1:55)

“The GPS program gave me the opportunity to learn how to be a good student. Through each student success workshop, I learned helpful tips that have helped me through many of my courses just this semester.”

“The workshops taught me ways to study, relieve stress, utilize the campus, get involved, and maintain good college etiquette. They were all very helpful and changed my outlook on college.”

Fall 2014 Intro to Human Biology (Hum Biol 102) (3 credits):

There are three basic goals for this course: 1) to help you understand how the human body works, 2) to introduce you to basic scientific principles and thought processes, and 3) to help you understand and form opinions about some of the many controversial issues in biology today. Hum Biol 102 is the course most of UW Green Bay students take to fulfill part of the Natural Science General Education requirements, and most students choose to take it during their first year. So we have chosen to include it as part of the GPS program courses in the fall semester. (MWF 9:30-10:25)

TOSS Study Sessions:

Hum Bio 102 is also one of the more challenging courses you’re likely to take in your first year, and so the GPS program provides students with free weekly study sessions (called TOSS sessions, for Targeted Opportunities for Success in Science).

These sessions are led by upper-level undergraduates who excel in the major, and during the sessions students work in small groups on activities that allow you to review vocabulary, get practice applying concepts, and learn skills for how to read and effectively study the course content.

And TOSS works! Over 80% of the students who attended at least 8 of these weekly sessions in fall 2013 earned A’s or B’s in the class – and that’s compared to only 40% of students who didn’t attend the sessions.

“I would say that my TOSS TA’s are hands down the number one reason why I did so well in bio this semester…and they also were the ones who got me considering bio as a possible minor.”

“…the TOSS sessions and the student workshops were extremely helpful with my academics. TOSS sessions gave me the help I needed to succeed in biology that I probably wouldn’t have utilized had I not been in the program.”

“While I begrudgingly admit that I don’t exactly enjoy studying, I see it as a necessary evil that the GPS program has forced me to tackle head on, and it has helped greatly.”

“The TA’s at the TOSS sessions became people I can talk to about more than just Biology and they helped me so much during tough study sessions.”

Spring 2015 GPS Seminar (1 credit):

This course serves as a capstone to the Phoenix GPS program first year experience. It challenges students to apply the knowledge they’ve gained in their first year seminar course to address a real-world problem from an interdisciplinary perspective, by developing and implementing a service learning project with their class over the course of the spring semester. The course also provides students with the opportunity to think intentionally about, and develop a plan for how they will maximize the impact of, their college experience, by completing a career and major development portfolio over the course of the semester. (F 1:00-1:55)

“I can’t wait for the next GPS class during the spring semester. I believe that this will be even better than my current one, because we are literally going out in the community and helping the less fortunate.”

“The GPS program influenced me to become a more caring person and find new ways to help others.”