Tag Archives: description


Since we will all be members of a learning community this semester, enthusiastic and dedicated class participation is essential.  We will discuss what makes a positive learning environment for you during the first week of class.

Daily assignments should be completed before class on the day on which they are listed on the syllabus.

My own expectations for seminar are:

  • Informed, thoughtful, and respectful engagement in discussions, group activities, and in-class writing activities on a regular basis
  • Preparation of assignments before class (including bringing issues and questions for discussion)
  • Listening and responding to the professor and the other students on a daily basis (not just talking to talk, or talking in isolation from the larger conversation)
  • Leading class discussion once during the semester
  • Attendance and participation.  More than three absences will severely affect your grade.  See the main syllabus (5.1) about unexcused absences.  See the MAKEUP section below about excused absences.
  • Responding to your fellow students Blog Posts.  These responses will count toward your Attendance and Participation grade for the course.

Some classroom conduct is disrespectful to your fellow students, because it distracts everyone in the class from the learning process.  Please turn off cellphones and other digital communications devices.  Please arrive to class on time; late arrivals are disruptive.  Students who  read the newspaper, do the crossword puzzle, Facebook or browse the web, or engage in some other such activity during class time can expect a public request in class to cease the activity, a prohibition from the use of a laptop, and/or a lower Participation and Attendance grade in the course.

I take academic integrity very seriously. Integrity means more than “not cheating.” We are a learning community, and our collective journey this semester depends upon mutual trust.  As your professor, I pledge to be honest with you, and to do everything in my power to create an environment that enables learning.  I hope that you will do the same for me as well as your peers.

Digital Literacies

This section also has a component on “digital literacies.”  We will use online and digital tools to improve our writing and communication skills.  We will have a course blog, use an online citation management system for our papers, and possibly more.  You will see Digital Literacies (DL) listed on the section schedule the first few weeks.  We may add to it as the class progresses.

1. Description

Pacific Seminar 1 is a shared intellectual experience with a uniform syllabus and common course reader that introduces students to the question “What is a Good Society?” The discussion-oriented course is designed to expose students to the rigor of university study by reading, discussing, and writing about the ideas and arguments of historical and contemporary writers who address the following aspects of a good society: (1) College learning: Perspectives on experience and knowledge, (2) Self, Family, and Community: Relations among familiars and neighbors, (3) Civil Society, Citizenship, and Governance: Relations among citizens within a nation, and (4) Global Issues: Relations across borders. Pacific Seminar 1 develops skills you will need to succeed in any field of study at the University and beyond. The course thus represents an introduction to general education in the best sense of the term: education for self-examining and self-governing citizens.

2. Objectives

PACS 1 introduces students to the intellectual life of the university. Through an interdisciplinary examination of the question “What is a Good Society?” students will begin to:

  1. Learn to communicate effectively through writing and class discussion;
  2. Critically examine significant social issues;
  3. Become more engaged in the civic life of their communities; and
  4. Develop the skills for life-long learning.