Courses

Community learning fosters academic collaborations among students, faculty and community partners by extending the boundaries of the classroom into the local community, offering a range of ways for students to engage with Hartford that deepens learning, promotes civic engagement, and creates mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations. Over twenty CLI courses are offered every semester for students across levels and disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, arts, and sciences.

Spring 2019 Community Learning Courses Include:

In Community Learning courses, you can connect your liberal arts courses with on-the-ground projects in partnership with Hartford organizations. At Trinity, we define Community Learning as an experiential learning process that involves 1) collaborative partnerships and 2) perspective building relationships. Take a look at some of the Spring 2019 opportunities… and this list will grow.

CACT 102: Building Knowledge for Social Change, with Professor Megan Hartline, TR 2:55-4:10.

Requires admission to the Community Action Gateway. SOC

CLIC 290: Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford with Professor Serena Laws, F 12-1:15pm

One way that the federal government attempts to address poverty is through income tax policy. This seminar will read and discuss broader debates over economic inequality, tax expenditures, wealth redistribution, and related social policies. In addition, for the community learning component, students will be trained to do income tax preparation, and volunteer for six hours per week to assist Hartford residents at the Trinity VITA Tax Clinic, located near campus at Trinfo Café. Cross-referenced with PBPL and URST.

CLIC 299: Art and Community with Professor Clare Rossini, time TBA, 0.5 credits

The course has two primary focuses: the role of the arts in individual and community identity formation and empowerment and the particular challenges of mentoring elementary-age students as they create art. Students in the course are scheduled for a minimum of 35 hours per semester in the arts classroom at the Hartford Montessori Magnet School. Trinity students are assigned a group at the school with whom they work throughout their time at the school, assisting the children as they make their art and, at times, collaborating with them on special projects.

EDUC 200: Analyzing Schools with Professor Stefanie Wong, TR 9:25-10:40am

This course introduces the study of schooling within an interdisciplinary framework. Drawing upon sociology, we investigate the resources, structures, and social contexts which influence student opportunities and outcomes in the United States and other countries. Drawing upon psychology, we contrast theories of learning, both in the abstract and in practice. Drawing upon philosophy, we examine competing educational goals and their underlying assumptions regarding human nature, justice, and democracy. In addition, a community learning component, where students observe and participate in nearby K-12 classrooms for three hours per week, will be integrated with course readings and written assignments. Fulfills SOC

EDUC 350: Teaching and Learning with Professors Jack Dougherty and Kyle Evans, F 1:15-3:55

This seminar will explore theoretical, policy, and practical issues of teaching and learning. Who should teach in public schools, and what kind of preparation is necessary? What type of curriculum should be taught, and how do different interest groups shape that decision? How should we assess the quality of student learning? Finally, how do debates on all of these questions influence the nature of teachers’ work and classroom life? For the community learning component, students will design, teach, and evaluate hands-on science and mathematics curricular units in cooperation with public elementary schools. Requires Educ 200 or permission of instructor (by sending a one-paragraph statement of interest to either instructor)

ENVS 310: Environmental Geophysics with Professor El Hachemi Bouali, TR 10:50-12:05

This course will introduce students to near-surface geophysical techniques and their environmental applications. Lectures will provide the theory and background knowledge required to collect and interpret geophysical data. Hands-on exercises will allow students to gain experience in conducting geophysical surveys, operating equipment, and data analysis. Fulfills NAT, Requires ENVS 112L and MATH 127 or higher

HFPR 201 and 202: Topics in Health Care and Health Care Research, with Professor Alison Draper, R 1:30-3:55 and TBA

Requires admission to Health Fellows Program. GLB

HISP 280: Hispanic Hartford with Professor Aidali Aponte-Aviles, MW 1:15-2:30

This course seeks to place Trinity students in active and informed dialogue with the Hartford region’s large and diverse set of Spanish-speaking communities. The course will help student recognize and analyze the distinct national histories (e.g. Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Chilean, Honduran, Cuban, Colombian, and Mexican) which have contributed to the Hispanic diaspora in the city and the entire northeastern region of the United States. Students will undertake field projects designed to look at the effects of transnational migration on urban culture, institution-building, and identity formation. (Also offered under the Latin American and Caribbean studies concentration of the International Studies Program.) Fulfills GLB2, Requires HISP 221 or 224

HRST 373: Human Rights through Performance: The Incarcerated, with Professor Joseph Lea, W 1:15-3:55

This course examines selected human rights issues through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes readings, discussion, journal writing, site visits and art-making. This semester’s study will look at life behind the razor wire—what are the human rights issues that emerge in the world of the incarcerated? Included in our investigation will be the question of the death penalty, the notion of rehabilitation vs. punishment, gender-specific issues and the impact of the arts on prisoners and the institution of prison. ART

LAAL 200 and 201: Action Research Methods and Hartford Research Project, with Professor Megan Brown, M 1:15-3:55 and TBA. 

Requires admission to the Liberal Arts Action Lab. NUM

LATN 105: Latin in the Community, with Professor Lauren Caldwell, F 1:15-3:55PM

Students will learn a curriculum designed for middle-schoolers and read articles on Classics and community outreach to work with local schools (e.g. HMTCA) to support their Latin Club. This “lab” culminates in a final project (e.g. research poster or paper). Students who have taken at least one year of Latin elsewhere are eligible, with instructor’s approval. Requires 1 semester of Latin at Trinity or 1 year of Latin elsewhere (e.g. in high school).

RHET 320: Queer Rhetorics with Professor Nick Marino, TR 1:30-2:45pm

This class is open to anyone interested in learning how rhetoric can create new knowledges and perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Specifically, we will apply rhetorical methodologies to US history, popular culture, politics, and law to research the formation of LGBTQ identities alongside mainstream identities in America. Our course moves from the rhetoric surrounding the 1960s Stonewall Riots through current debates about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and gay marriage. We also investigate the influence of alternative rhetorics, such as the subversive use of social media activism and the spatial arguments of gender neutral bathrooms. Students will take away the ability to rhetorically navigate key dialogues about gender and sexuality, as well as articulate how these debates influence research and knowledge creation in their majors. Fulfills HUM

PSYC 392: Human Neuropsychology, with Professor Sarah Raskin, TR 2:55-4:10pm

This course will examine the effects of disorders on human cognitive and affective functioning. Using first person accounts, case studies, and primary research articles, we will explore a series of neurological disorders including agnosia, hemispatial neglect, amnesia, and aphasia, among others. We will analyze these disorders both to understand current assessment and treatment options, and to see what these disorders can teach us about the typical attention, memory, language, executive and emotional functioning of the healthy brain. WEB, Requires PSYC 255, 256, or 261, or NESC 201.

THDN 272: Arts in Education, with Professor Rebecca Pappas, MW 1-2:30pm

This community learning course will expose students across disciplines to the ways arts are taught in classroom and studio environments, using Greater Hartford Academy for the Arts as our setting to enrich instruction and promote empowerment and equity. ART

URST 321: Geographies of Transport with Professor Julie Gamble, TR 1:30-2:45pm

Mobility is a permanent aspect of life. Transport infrastructures are a determinant of the spatial, economic, and social structures of cities. This course will introduce students to the spatial and social aspects of transportation and mobility across the globe. This course will act as a forum for research into transport and mobility, including debates on the planning and formation of transport policymaking. Fulfills SOC, Requires URST 101

Current courses appear in the “Comm Learning Program” section of Trinity’s Course Schedule.


Previous courses sponsored by Community Learning, which feature collaborative partnerships and perspective-building relationships between Trinity students and Hartford-area residents:

  • Global Perspectives in Biodiversity and Conservation (BIOL/ENVS 141) with Professor Amber Pitt. Students explore how individual choices and actions can affect biodiversity locally and across the globe. To supplement classroom study of the consequences of biodiversity loss and conservation science,  teams of students are matched with Hartford-area community partners (such as Park Watershed, Friends of Pope Park, and Connecticut River Conservancy) to research and implement local solutions. See this blog post.
  • Diversity in the City (PBPL 351) with Professor Abigail Fisher Williamson. In this course, students examine how cities have responded to diverse newcomers–ranging from the early twentieth century’s machine politics, through the Great Migration of African-Americans to northern cities, to the dispersion of contemporary immigrants since the late 1980s. To develop a deeper practical understanding of how racial and ethnic diversity shapes the development of local policies, students served as short-term research consultants for local organizations, partnering with these groups to address current policy questions related to issues of diversity, including: refugee employment, non-citizen voting, and engaging immigrants in neighborhood associations. Learn more in this blog post. Fulfills SOC; Requires POLS 102 or PBPL 201
  • Global Hip Hop Cultures (INTS 344) with Professor Seth Markle. This seminar course explores the link between hip hop, youth identity formation, and politics. Students explored the global dimensions of the music and culture through an oral history and digital storytelling based curriculum, by critically interrogating the early history of hip hop in Hartford and the ways in which youth contributed to and were impacted by the culture’s emergence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Learn more in this blog post.
  • Envisioning Social Change (CACT 101) with Professor Serena Laws. Students work to hone deeper understandings of how community groups envision and enact social change by thinking critically and reflexively about the root causes of social problems, the ways that power and privilege shape social change work, and how their biographies shape their understanding of and engagement with Hartford. Toward that end, students interview community partners about how they create change locally and produce videos that detail their partners’ work in the community. Learn more in this blog post.  Fulfills FYR; Requires participation in Community Action Gateway
  • Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis (CHEM 312) with Professor Michelle Kovarik. In this course, students learn how modern chemical instrumentation is used for chemical measurements of a wide range of samples. In collaboration with sixth graders at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, students perform a traditional wet chemical analysis of soil samples followed by a more comprehensive analysis by atomic emission spectroscopy. This laboratory exercise gives students an opportunity to compare techniques and to practice presenting data to non-expert stakeholders.  Fulfills NAT; Requires CHEM 311. 
  • Community Psychology (PSYC 246) with Professor Laura Holt. Two key topics students consider are the importance of social capital and social support in promoting psychological health. In their community placements, students observe prime examples of how community organizations enhance the psychological health of their members by providing these resources. Further, students actively support the missions and activities of these organizations, whilst cultivating new connections/relationships they might not otherwise. For example, by assisting after school programs such as COMPASS, Boys & Girls Club, and ConnectiKids tutoring, students form relationships with youth from Hartford Public Schools and assist them with their academic needs. Other students work with organizations like Hartford Food System, Autism Families Connecticut, and Trinity College Health Center. In each of these placements, Trinity students provide a much needed extra pair of hands, and they benefit immensely by interfacing with new and different populations whose life experiences might be disparate from their own while also gaining exposure to the challenges of implementing programming on a limited budget. Fulfills SOC; Cross-referenced with EDUC.
  • Social Mobility and the Immigrant Experience (ECON 331) with Professor Carol Clark. Students in this course investigate questions of social and economic mobility in historical perspective with special emphasis on the immigrant experience, past and present, in Hartford.   Historical case studies include the Irish and Italian mass immigration of the late 19th and early 20th century, while contemporary case studies examine the role of newer immigrants in urban economic revitalization efforts. In the final section of the course, students will have the opportunity to design their own qualitative research projects in partnership with local organizations in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford that are active in promoting community development. Fulfills WEB; Requires ECON 301 and 302; Senior Economics majors only. 
  • Arts and Special Populations (THDN 348). In this seminar, students investigate the application of the arts to special populations with a focus on, but not limited to, urban youth at risk, the incarcerated and families affected by incarceration, and victims of crime. Toward that end, students partner with a Hartford nonprofit organization to complete a project that includes research, observation, and analysis.
  • Hispanic Hartford (HISP 208). This course seeks to place Trinity students in active and informed dialogue with the Hartford region’s large and diverse set of Spanish-speaking communities. The course helps students recognize and analyze the distinct national histories which have contributed to the Hispanic diaspora in the city and the entire northeastern region of the United States.
  • Intro to World Music (MUSC 113). In this comprehensive survey of global musical traditions, students learn about: village and urban music and dance of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, classical and contemporary music of India, the Far East, Asia, and indigenous traditions of the Americas. This course is designed to highlight the central role of musical expression in human life, exploring musical sound and movement in sacred, secular, ritual, and non-ritual contexts.
  • Organizing by Neighborhood (URST 206). In this seminar, each student completes a project/internship at a community organization in Hartford. The rich theoretical literature on how neighborhoods are organized and function and on models of community responses to neighborhood conditions provides a lens through which to evaluate their experiences.
  • Analyzing Schools (EDUC 200). This course introduces students to the study of schools through an interdisciplinary perspective, emphasizing techniques and methods drawn from Sociology, Psychology, and Philosophy. Along with course readings and writing assignments, students observe and participate in nearby K-12 classrooms for three hours per week.
  • Urban Politics (POLS 355). This course uses the issues, institutions, and personalities of the metropolitan area of Hartford to study political power: who has it, and who wants it. Particular attention is given to forms of local government, types of communities, and the policies of urban institutions. Guest speakers assist each student in preparing an analysis of a local political system.