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Tisch College Courses

Each year, Tisch College creates, cosponsors, or otherwise supports academic courses where students acquire the knowledge, skills, and values needed to engage in productive civic lives. Many of these courses contribute towards the Civic Studies (CVS) major for Tufts undergraduates. You can find a full list of all current Civic Studies courses through the link on the sidebar. Below, we highlight several of our featured courses for the semester, which include our Tisch-sponsored courses.

Spring 2021

CVS 0051-01STS 0050-04

Science and Power: Who Rules Science?

Instructor: June Jeon, Postdoctoral Scholar

Science and power look like they belong in different worlds—science in the world of truth, objectivity, and curiosity, and power in the world of politics, competition, coercion, and oppression. This class aims to dismantle such distinctions and to reconceptualize science as a fundamentally social practice, embedded within the power structure of our society.

CVS 0051-03

Talking Points, Tweets, and TikTok: Modern Political Communications and Message Development

Instructor: Jesse Mermell, Former candidate to the U.S. House of Representatives
Co-Instructor: Dave Cavell, Former candidate to the U.S. House of Representatives

Dave Cavell and Jesse Mermell ran against each other in Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District Democratic primary in 2020. Now they want to teach how to communicate in politics in an experiential class featuring real-world examples and guests. Course readings and assignments will teach students how to respond to breaking news, write speeches, prepare for debates, develop digital communications, and more.

CVS 0142-01CSHD 0121-01

Community-Based Research in Ethnoculturally Diverse Communities

Instructor: Christine McWayne, Professor, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development

Students will gain specific knowledge about and experience with community-based research frameworks. Community-based research reflects an approach that can involve any methodology. It frames how to advance inquiry with communities, as compared to conducting research on communities, while disrupting the lines of authority and power in research endeavors.

CVS 0151-01PS 0118-05

Community Organizing II

Instructor: Danny LeBlanc, CEO, Somerville Community Corporation
Co-Instructor: Kenneth Galdston, Director, InterValley Project

Taught by two long-time community organizers, the class will draw on their hands-on experience, as well as that of several guests who will join specific classes during the semester. Drawing upon and continuing themes of relational organizing, leadership development, campaign strategy, tactics, and action taught in Community Organizing I, the class will focus on local and regional organizational campaigns tackling broad critical issues of the day.

CVS 0151-04CSHD 0143-22

Making Education Equitable in COVID: Literacy in Action

Instructor: Melissa Orkin, Director, Crafting Minds
Co-Instructor: Leandra Elion, Lecturer, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development

This course focuses on the critical literacy needs of students in kindergarten through third-grade children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coursework integrates training in effective early literacy instruction and twice-weekly fieldwork experiences in our neighboring communities. The goal of the course is to enhance achievement for children living in circumstances that make learning to read more difficult and to ensure equitable academic support.

CVS 0151-06PS 0118-03

Politics, Journalism, and the Fight Over (Fake) News

Instructor: Evan Horowitz, Director, Center for State Policy Analysis

There's an ongoing battle between politicians and the press over questions like: who's most trustworthy? And who speaks for real Americans? We focus on the contemporary landscape, with partisanship at its center, but we also use films, novels, and data to understand how we got here.

CVS 0187-01ENT 0141-01AMER 0141-01

Innovative Social Enterprises

Instructor: Julianne Zimmerman, Lecturer, Gordon Institute

In this course, we will practice an iterative rhythm of weekly information gathering, sensing, assessment, and reframing, with emphasis on creating compelling value for multiple stakeholders. We start with awareness (self, context, relationship) and move quickly to practicing requisite disciplines (asking questions; testing and reframing assumptions; forming teams and other alliances; identifying opportunities, risks, and resources; giving and critiquing pitches; making go/no-go decisions).

Program-Specific Courses

The following courses are open only to participants in Tisch College student programs.

EXP-0083-XF

Tisch Scholars Foundation: Civic Identity, Reflection, and Action

Instructor: Grace Talusan, Lecturer, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Through this course, Tisch Scholars will explore the connections between identity and systems of privilege, power, and oppression, and will apply their learning directly to their fieldwork. Students will learn to apply an asset-based approach to community work, and will gain skills in dialogue and deliberation. The coursework will allow students to critically reflect on the service learning work they are engaging with at their partner sites, and share ideas on how to address social issues in the community. Each semester that they participate in the program, Tisch Scholars will work eight hours per week at a community-based placement. Scholars will continue learning about Tufts partner communities and forge meaningful, reciprocal partnerships with community members through service and collaboration.

This course is exclusive to participants in the Tisch Scholars program
EXP-0084-XF

Tisch Scholars Fieldwork Practicum

Instructor: Sara Allred, Scholars Program Administrator, Tisch College

Each semester that they participate in the program, Tisch Scholars work eight hours per week at a community-based placement. Scholars will continue learning about Tufts partner communities and forge meaningful, reciprocal partnerships with community members through service and collaboration.  Scholars will meet several times per semester with their peers in the program to critically reflect on the work and learning they are engaging with at their partner sites, and share ideas on how to address social issues in the community.

This course is exclusive to participants in the Tisch Scholars program
Tufts 1+4 Course

Tufts 1+4 Foundation: Communicating for Change

Instructor: Grace Talusan, Lecturer, Department of English

Students will study and practice approaches to change, both personal and social, through a variety of communication methods. This course is designed to develop writing, close-reading, and critical thinking skills for students on a bridge-year experience. In a blended learning format and through related readings, investigative data collection, guided exploration of social issues, and experiences with service placements and host communities, students will practice reflection, analysis, and effective communication. Students will create a learning community and consider how their bridge-year experience connects to their future academic interests and possible impact on campus life once they return to campus.

This course is exclusive to participants in the Tufts 1+4 Bridge-Year Service Learning Program.

Civic Studies Courses

In addition to the courses highlighted on this page, dozens of courses from a wide range of disciplines count toward the Civic Studies Major.