Link to the course catalog to sign-up for Service-Learning Classes (You can type SL: into Keywords to get a current list of classes)
Instructors: Lynn Sondag & Julia van der Ryn
This course combines hands-on learning in community-based art with a philosophical perspective that explores the vital social issues that art can make visible. In their projects, students and local community partners work together to address pressing issues through thoughtful dialogue, creative vision, and collaborative art projects. Our project for this class is inspired by French street artist JR, who is known for his large-scale photographic portraits of the faces of people, especially those who are often hidden behind the statistics of poverty and war. The implicit desire in this work is to see each other through new eyes and break through barriers that blind us from recognizing and honoring our differences as well as our similarities, Marin County is commonly perceived as an affluent community. However, there are many underserved youth in our community who face many challenges to their educational goals that are often exacerbated by stereotypes and negative expectations. This project aims to make the faces of our invisible youth visible as well as the geographic boundaries that often divide the losses from the gains.
Instructor: Lynn Sondag
This course simultaneously instructs students in college level art while addressing teaching strategies that bring the Visual and Performing Arts Framework to the elementary classroom. Integrating actual classroom experience through service-learning, students have an opportunity to transmit the knowledge and skills modeled by their course experience to elementary level students at Bahia Vista Elementary School, and base their understanding of teaching art with actual hands on experiences. The service-learning component also provides a tool for reflection on and discovery of your own mentorship abilities and pedagogical development. At the same time, students can notice ways art can be a force that strengthens confidence, creates joy/amusement, and builds community.
Instructor: Emily Wu
This course explores the ideologies and practices of one or more major religious traditions of Asia–Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism–not only through classical religious texts and academic interpretations, but also through service learning opportunities in local Asian religious and cultural agencies and organizations.
The course is designed to explore the contexts of scholarly argumentation and to develop research writing and critical thinking skills while engaging students in issues of college access and education inequity. Students will accomplish these goals by reading, discussing, and responding to sample non-fiction essays, as well as evaluating how writers posit a thesis and craft an argument. Coursework will include exercises in analysis, argumentation, and oral presentation. Dominican students in this class have the unique opportunity to improve their own literacy skills while mentoring marginalized youth in local schools. Course requirements have been modified to accommodate the service commitment, and experiential learning enhances course content.
Instructor: Caroline Hanssen
The only one of its kind currently offered at Dominican, this composition course will provide you with a unique opportunity to improve your writing skills for college while helping local high school students prepare themselves for their futures.
Literacy is inextricably linked with power in America today, so individuals who can master verbal information have greater access to political influence, social status, intellectual potential, and vocational prosperity. However, public education does not prepare all students equally, and many youths exit high school with low literacy skills that keep them on the margins into adulthood. Service-learning will be used as one of the principal methods for achieving the learning outcomes of this course.
Instructor: Bonnie Howe
An introduction to ethical theory in Western philosophy followed by an investigation of contemporary ethical problems drawn from the field of health care, e.g., scarce resource allotment, genetic intervention, control, and research, dilemmas in nursing, medical paternalism, AIDS issues, reproductive control, abortion, euthanasia.
This course is designed to offer you practice in collaborating with others to promote community health, to open up the social policy dimensions of health care, and to ground you in basic philosophical and medical ethics concepts. Ethics needs praxis to even locate and formulate its key questions. That is why the central “text” of this ethics course is praxis – practical experience of service with community partners. The work of ethics does not stop with praxis, however; ethics moves on to organized practical reasoning and reflection, and to dialogue.
Instructor: Bonnie Howe
This course focuses on wealth and poverty, belonging and homelessness in the biblical narratives. Students will learn about socio-cultural study of the Bible, and explore how readings can inform praxis, as we engage in service among the poor and homeless.
Instructor: Laura Stivers
This course focuses on philosophical understandings of justice and different world views/ frameworks for understanding inequality, poverty, and homelessness. Through service-learning placements addressing homelessness, students will learn to view inequality and poverty from the standpoint of the margins with a goal of promoting social justice and a common good.
Instructor: Lynn Sondag
This course promotes artwork that heightens awareness and inspires solutions to important issues and challenges of our time. Service-learning activities engage students in projects enlisting imagination at the center of social change. Partnering with a local elementary school, students will create artworks that instigate action and enlist community outreach.
Instructor: Sister Carla Kovack
This course examines the church’s social teaching and invites the student to engage in concrete experiences of service with agencies which address one of the main principles of the church’s teaching. Students will integrate knowledge and engagement of Catholic social teaching through insights gleaned from work in the community, and individual and communal reflection experiences.
Instructor: Elizabeth Schneider
This course is an introduction to Federal incomes taxes for partnerships, estates, trusts, individuals and corporations. No prior knowledge of taxation is required. Taxation has practical applications for individuals, entrepreneurs, and employees in all business disciplines. Real-world tax preparation skills are developed through serving with Tax Aid and doing tax returns for low income individuals and families.
Instructor: Lynne LoPresto
This course covers the fundamental aspects of human nutrition and metabolism including the basic biochemistry and physiological function of dietary protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals in the human body. The US Dietary Guidelines, MyPyramid and a dietary analysis program will be used to demonstrate dietary assessment techniques and as tools for nutrition education. To put theory into practice, students will have the opportunity to explore eating and activity habits with at-risk children in the community. The course also includes a module on food production, pesticide use, food processing and safe food handling. We will conclude with overview of food insecurity and world hunger issues which includes introduction to principles of sustainability and the prevention of environmental degradation.
Instructor: Lindsey Sullivan
This class provides a holistic view of aquatic ecosystems: water and soil quality as well as plant and animal diversity. A major focus is comprehension of how environmental issues like sustainability, natural disasters, and invasive species affect humans, then develop and implement a civic project regarding these issues. The laboratory component includes gathering samples in the field and interpreting data in the laboratory. While classroom activities (lecture and laboratory) will supply the foundation of knowledge in this course, research participation through our community partner (service-learning) will present an opportunity to employ this knowledge, as well as provide hands-on experience regarding human impacts on aquatic ecosystems.
Instructor: Laura Stivers
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the field of philosophical ethics and to help you with disciplined reflection on ethical issues. To do this, we will cover various theories and approaches to ethical thought and apply these approaches to several social issues, with special attention to issues that marginalized communities face. The goal of the course is not only to gain knowledge of ethical theory, but to assist you in developing your own analytic and critical skills for ethical assessment. Another goal of the course is for you to learn what it means to do ethics from the margins and to gain an ability to do race, gender, and class analysis of social issues. Service in the community will help you achieve the above goals.
If not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I?
–– Rabbi Hillel
Instructor: Julia van der Ryn
This course examines traditional and contemporary movements in ethical theory regarding questions of selfhood, authentic relation to others, and ethical action. We will delve into a range of philosophical thought in this exploration the connection between ethics, personal autonomy and sense of meaning, and our responsibility to and interdependence on others.
Our understanding of key themes will be deepened through a 25-hour service component that allows for active cultivation and expression of core values in the local community. Service is an integral part of this course as it allows us to bridge theory to practice within an academic context that supports and deepens our understanding of this experience through relevant texts, discussion, and reflection. Students will chose to work with an established community partner with a focus that will also add an enriching experience to their academic major: Marin County Community School, Canal Alliance, Marin Aids Project, School Environmental Education Docents, Homeward Bound.
Instructor: Giulia Welch
This course introduces the study of leadership theories from the perspectives of individuals, organizations and society, in the context of socially responsible leadership. In the context of global cultural diversity, issues include an understanding and applying of key leadership skills, teams and coaching, building constructive coalitions, facilitative leadership, followership, decision-making, leading and planning for social and organizational transformation, conflict resolution and negotiation, corporate social responsibility and leadership ethics. We will be partnering with two non-profit organizations: Boys and Girls Club and 10,000 Degrees and focusing on Leadership and Social Change.