International Studies 101

INST 101
Introduction to International Studies

1. Catalog Entry

INST 101
Introduction to International Studies

Credit hours (3)

Foundation course in International Studies emphasizing the basic knowledge and core skills necessary to analyze and appreciate the global experience from a multidisciplinary perspective. This course has been approved for General Education credit in Goal 11: Global Perspectives in the Core Curriculum.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course will introduce students to the major issues in world affairs through such topics as poverty, population, climate change, armed conflicts, terrorism, international law, human rights, transnational crime, epidemics, and global aid and development. Engaged in a broad sweep of the complex and changing subject matter, participants will acquire a better understanding of the forces and events that shape the world we live in. Although the course will be coordinated by one faculty member, faculty from a variety of disciplines may participate in the course as guest experts. On occasion the course could also be team taught.

Faculty drawn from disciplines as broadly ranging as Anthropology, Art, Biology, Business, Economics, Education, English, Foreign Languages & Literatures, Geography, History, Nursing, Philosophy & Religious Studies, Political Science, Social Work and Sociology could be involved in the course. The coordinator will begin the course with an introductory overview and conclude with a cross-disciplinary synthesis. Although some discretion is offered to the individual instructor, the following are topics most likely to be included in the course content.
    1) Introduction: the cross-disciplinary nature of International Studies
    2) Understanding and Appreciating Other Cultures
        a. What is culture? How and why do cultures vary?
        b. Recognizing Cultural Prejudices
        c. The phenomenon of Globalization
    3) The World Economy
        a. Origins and Development
        b. Rich vs. Poor countries
        c. The Changing International Economic Order
    4) Geopolitics and a Changing World Order
        a. Non-Western Centers of Power in the Past
        b. History of European Colonialism
        c. Cold War Geopolitics
        d. Post-Cold War Changes
    5) Environmental Issues: Problems without Borders
        a. Over-consumption of Natural Resources
        b. Pollution of Air, Water, & Soil
        c. Global Warming and Its Potential Impact
        d. Biodiversity and its Preservation
        e. Toward Sustainable Economic Development
    6) International Law & Organizations
        a. Survey of Major Laws and Organizations
        b. Do They and Can They Work?
    7) Challenges of Education and Health in the World
    8) Focus: A Cross-Disciplinary Synthesis of Issues of Current Affairs

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class format will include a combination of lectures, discussions, in-class exercises, debates, analyses of current affairs, guest speakers, and audiovisual presentations. Lectures and discussions may focus upon assigned readings and relevant materials drawn from current world events. The frequency and variety of examinations and writing assignments will be determined by the individual instructor.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

The course will provide opportunities for students to acquire a better understanding of the forces and events that shape the world we live in. Participants will enhance their appreciation of cultural differences and respect for the diversity inherent in the global experience. General learning objectives for the course are:

Learning Outcome 1:  The student will acquire the knowledge of fundamental concepts relevant to the study of international phenomena and learn to apply it to global issues and current affairs.

Learning Outcome 2:  The student will recognize issues, trends and forces that affect relationships between the different nations, organizations, and cultures in the world.

In addition this course satisfies the requirements for Goal 11 (Global Perspectives) in the Core Curriculum.  The Goal 11 learning objectives are:

Learning Outcome 1:  The student will identify how different perspectives shape human life around the world.

Learning Outcome 2:  The student will recognize social and cultural forces that affect relationships between cultures in the world.

5. Assessment Measures

Students may be graded using any or all of the following measures: in-class or take-home examinations, oral presentations, participation in and contribution to in-class exercises, term papers or written assignments, projects, journals and/or other forms of informal writing. Since the course is designed to be highly interactive, class attendance and participation are encouraged, and the individual instructor may choose to include them as graded components of the course. The measures indicated will be oriented to a determination of the progress and success that students are having in meeting the learning objectives for Goal 11 (Global Perspectives) and the specific overall course learning objectives.

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

September 1999

June 20, 2015