Welcome to “Citizenship, Democracy, and Difference”! This course is designed to give you, and all of us collectively, an opportunity to develop our conceptions of ourselves as citizens. When you earn a college degree, you are becoming skilled in a particular area of study, but you are also developing your civic self. As a faculty member, I see it as my duty to ensure that the university fosters the broader public good. So we are about to embark on an adventure together to figure out how each of us, and our university collectively, can be better democratic citizens.
This is a “service-learning” or “community-based learning” course, which means that you will be doing service work in the community each week as a way to gain a deeper understanding of our course topics. This is a highly demanding and also highly rewarding course. The course demands a consistent commitment to a local organization, alderperson, or city agency; a good deal of writing; a modest reading load; and consistent and active class participation.