This coming winter quarter, Bellevue College is offering two interdisciplinary courses. Interdisciplinary courses aim to take traditional material and make it more engaging.
One interdisciplinary class offered winter quarter, Flex Your Citizen Muscle: Stand Up, Speak Out & Get Involved! is a fusion of communication and political science studies and Bite Me 2.0: Food Security & Sustainability combines English, biology and botany.
Flex Your Citizen Muscle is a course aimed at addressing the role of the citizen. The course is taught by Tim Jones, chair of the political science and international studies departments and Katherine Oleson, communication studies department chair. Oleson highlighted that “we are all world citizens,” regardless of whether or not you are classified as an in-state, out-of-state or international student. This will be the third class they have partnered on and have found themselves to have a strong working relationship. This harmony is reflected in their holistic approach to the course. The course aims to take the knowledge you learn and apply it through assignments such as a media consumption journal and a political action assignment. “We have a lot of fun in this class, but we take our roles as citizens seriously and hope that our students will as well,” concluded Jones.
Bite Me 2.0 is all about food and sustainability in the food system. This course is taught by Michael Meyer, English faculty and coordinator of the interdisciplinary studies program and Michael Hanson, botany and interdisciplinary science faculty. Throughout the course, curriculum will look “at the three prongs of sustainability, which are economics, environmental and social justice,” explains Meyer. According to Alex Clark, former Bite Me 2.0 student, “the number one thing that ties us all together is the fact that we need to eat … and our food system is extremely disruptive and understanding that and being able to make conscious decisions that don’t further that destruction is the most important thing we can do as humans at this point in time.” For Clark, the class unveiled realizations of the false security and comfort felt toward the food that our society predominantly consumes. The class meets four days a week which allows students to build more personal relationships with their peers and teachers. The course can be taken whether or not a student has taken the first Bite Me course as it is a series and not a sequence.
The dual approach of having two instructors of different expertise but of similar passion contributes to the unique experience that makes interdisciplinary studies unique. Both sets of instructors expressed a desire to be adaptive to the needs and interests of students with the intent of altering their curriculum accordingly. Other versions of these courses may be available after winter quarter. Flex Your Citizen Muscle: Stand Up, Speak Out & Get Involved! and Bite Me 2.0: Food Security & Sustainability can be found under the interdisciplinary studies section of the winter course catalog.