PROFESSIONAL & LIBERAL STUDIES (PLS)

PLS 201 - CRITICAL REASONING AND SKILLS

This course offers an orientation to university-level course work by developing skills in analytical thinking, argumentation, and expository writing. Especially important for those who have been away from school for a period of time, this introductory course has an informal, supportive atmosphere, designed for adult learning. Through interdisciplinary readings, class discussions, writing, and/or oral presentations, students develop the ability to analyze, interpret, and synthesize related subject areas. Typical assignments may include the analysis of opinion articles, book chapters, and other similar texts, as well as the analysis of visual rhetoric, including advertisements, political cartoons, and other media. Subject matter varies by section.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 202 - INFORMATION LITERACY AND RESEARCH WRITING

This course develops university-level research-based skills and writing, as well as develops an intellectual framework for understanding, finding, evaluating, and using information. Students are challenged to become informed consumers of scholarly and mainstream information by analyzing a wide range of sources (including the use of Internet and media-based sources of information). Via the examination and construction of reasoned arguments, students develop the ability to evaluate varied research sources and utilize them in their own research-based essay and/or project. Typical assignments could include thesis statement workshops, a short research proposal, a review of a scholarly article, a short research-based argumentative essay, a final abstract, and presentation.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 201 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 302 (may be taken concurrently)

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 217 - THE STORYTELLER'S ART

Storytelling from earliest oral myths to current experiments in literature and film. Elements of story; historical survey; discussion and analysis of the texts.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 220 - TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY

This course develops technological literacy skills within a critical thinking context. Via discussion of historical and current technologies, students analyze the ways technology increasingly defines the way we interact, retrieve knowledge, and construct arguments. Students will explore various well-known applications, software, and other media tools, such as Powerpoint, podcasting, blogging, video presentation tools (YouTube, Jing), wikis, and online video conferencing (Skype, Zoom, Adobe Connect). Students will evaluate technology's impact on society and ethical issues, including a critical review of social media and its problems and opportunities. Typical assignments could include online presentations and online group collaborations, blogs, wikis, and/or spreadsheets including graphs or charts.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 201 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 302 (may be taken concurrently)

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 257 - NUTRITION FOR EVERYDAY LIFE

Human nutrition; effects of nutrition on health and well-being. Food choices, advances in nutrition, and new research on diet.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 331 - IMAGES OF WOMEN

Module one focuses on the 'beauty myth' which shapes women's lives and society in general. Manifestations of the cult of beauty in fashion, pornography, dieting, cosmetics, and cosmetic surgery. Module two covers popular women?s magazines, women in TV, and women in the movies. Module three looks at the Senate hearings involving Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill as a case study in the power of images and how they can be changed by the media and the public will.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education, Women Gender Studies

Course Notes: Cr. Only for BGS215 or BGS331

PLS 332 - CHICAGO ISSUES AND TRENDS

The course studies how geography and technology shape Chicago. It covers the effect of railroads, manufacturing and retail on Chicago. Ethnic politics, crime and struggles for cultural supremacy are studied. Unions, reform movements and gangland corruption are discussed. The course focuses on the growth of the African-American community and the decline of the democratic machine. It analyzes the role of globalization on the future of the city.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 332A - CHICAGO ISSUES AND TRENDS TO 1871

This course studies the importance of geography and technology to the growth of Chicago from an outpost fort to the second largest urban center in the US. It covers the development of water and rail transportation and the accompanying establishment of trading, processing, manufacturing, and retail enterprises. The city is ethnically diverse pre-Fort Dearborn beginnings through its rebirth after the Great Fire of 1871 are examined.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 332B - CHICAGO ISSUES AND TRENDS 1871-1920

This course examines the growth of ethnic politics in Chicago and the struggle between Anglo-Americans and the Immigrant groups for cultural and political supremacy. Prohibition and the labor movement are also studied. The settlement house movement; the coming of Prohibition, the role of woman in Chicago and crime in the city are analyzed.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 332C - CHICAGO ISSUES AND TRENDS 1920-PRESENT

This course examines the impact of the growth of the African-American community in Chicago. It discusses federal aid and the Democratic Machine. It reviews the accomplishments and decline of the first Daley machine. The rise of Harold Washington and the turmoil following his death are described. The course evaluates the era of Richard M. Daley. It concludes with an analysis of globalization in Chicago.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 333C - LABOR & WORK 1920-PRESENT

The effects of the antiunion drive of the 1920's, the depression of the 1930's and World War II on the labor movement are evaluated. The founding of the CIO and its structural and philosophical differences with the AFL are examined. The increased role of government in labor relations; current trends and problems of the labor movement and its impact on working men and women are described.

Credits: 1

PLS 350 - SOCIAL SCIENCES SEMINAR I: CRITICAL SKILLS

Introduction to the wide range of approaches, worldviews, and research methods in the social sciences. This course explores the breadth and depth of social science research in the modern era, asking how scholars from various disciplines have approached the study of societies and social change. Major social science analytic concepts such as race, class, and gender are defined. Recent social science controversies and the production of social science knowledge are explored. Key requirements include extensive reading, short critical essays, class participation, and a presentation.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 202 and ENG 102

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 351 - SOCIAL SCIENCES SEMINAR II: SPECIAL TOPICS

Building on the foundation of PLS 350, this seminar conducts a genuinely interdisciplinary exploration of a major question in the social sciences. The course will interrogate a social problem from the perspective of various disciplines, examining the methods, approaches, and conclusions of each. For example, the course might examine the problem of poverty by engaging the relevant research of economists, psychologists, political scientists, historians, and sociologists. Topics will vary by course. Key requirements include extensive reading, short critical essays, class participation, and a research project.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 350 (may be taken concurrently)

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 352 - THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER

A study of the various types of energy and the laws that describe the behavior of energy; the nature of atoms; protons, electrons, and neutrons; the nature of all the substances that make up the world.

Credits: 1

Attributes: External Studies Program

PLS 356 - EARTHQUAKES/CONTINENTAL DRIFT/PLATE TECTONICS

Plate tectonics and continental drift; surface features of the earth; rock magnetism and ocean floor exploration; sea-floor spreading; the reconstruction of the continents; the causes of plate tectonics; applications of the theory to environmental geology and earthquake prediction.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 357 - ENDANGERED SPECIES

Factors involved in global extinction; the potentially catastrophic effects of the loss of species for the human population; insights into the ongoing search for solutions.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 359 - ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

Animal behaviors from the perspective of evolutionary history. The differences between instinct and learning; sexual behavior; communication; cooperation; and the role of behavior in conservation management of endangered species.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 360 - NATURAL SCIENCES SEMINAR I

Interdisciplinary introduction to the methods and analytic framework of the natural sciences, an exploration of the relationship between science and society, and a critical examination of the values and assumptions associated with the production of scientific knowledge. Key topics addressed include the basic methods and philosophy of science, the relevance of quantitative reasoning to understanding scientific data, the critical analysis of scientific information within popular media and scholarly sources, and the assessment of scientific theories and evidence. Each section draws upon examples and case-studies from selected natural science disciplines, such as biology, ecology, geology, etc. Class activities include lectures, class discussions, student presentations, and/or field trips. Key requirements include class participation, student presentations, short critical essays, and/or exams.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 202 and ENG 102

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 361 - NATURAL SCIENCES SEMINAR II

Interdisciplinary introduction to the methods and analytic framework of the natural sciences, an exploration of the relationship between science and society, and a critical examination of the values and assumptions associated with the production of scientific knowledge. Key topics addressed include the basic methods and philosophy of science, the relevance of quantitative reasoning to understanding scientific data, the critical analysis of scientific information within popular media and scholarly sources, and the assessment of scientific theories and evidence. Each section draws upon examples and case-studies from selected natural science disciplines, such as biology, ecology, geology, etc. Class activities include lectures, class discussions, student presentations, and/or field trips. Key requirements include class participation, student presentations, short critical essays, and/or exams.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 360 (may be taken concurrently)

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 370 - HUMANITIES SEMINAR I: CRITICAL SKILLS

Culture and the arts as an expression of individual artistic vision or an expression of a society's values. Cultural expression that is produced anonymously within a culture; cultural expression that is supported by patrons or government; and cultural expression that is supported fully by the individual consumer.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 202 and ENG 102

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 371 - HUMANITIES SEMINAR II: SPECIAL TOPICS

Exploration of a specific interdisciplinary topic and issues in the humanities, building on the critical, interpretive, research, and writing skills developed in earlier classes. Topics vary semester to semester, but each involves multiple humanities disciplines and art forms. Some possible topics for exploration might be themes (the humanities and technology, the humanities in postcolonial cultures) a particular historical period (the Harlem Renaissance, culture of the 1960s), or the relations between particular art forms or traditions (film and literature, hip hop and folklore, painting and photography).

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 370 (may be taken concurrently)

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for Adults or, have Advisor consent to register.

PLS 372 - PHILOSOPHIES OF ART

Ideas about art from the Classical period to the present. The roles of the artist, the audience, and the critic.

Credits: 1

Attributes: External Studies Program

PLS 373 - THE COMIC SPIRIT

Several traditions of humor in the arts. Theories of Susanne Langer and Arthur Koestler; nonsense and puns; exaggerative humor such as parody, satire, lampoon, burlesque, and "black humor"; and situation comedy.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

Prereq: access to a television set.

PLS 376 - ART AND COMMUNICATION

The communicative function of art; how we determine the meaning of signs, codes, and texts; the role of different media; the relation of form and content; and the question of individual style.

Credits: 1

Attributes: Guided Independent Distance Education

PLS 381 - TECHNOLOGY & VALUES

Urgent questions of values raised by our technology, such as how computer networks affect our privacy, how automobiles conflict with environmental concerns, how we reconcile the benefits of nuclear power with its risks, how the emerging technologies of reproduction challenge our traditional ways of thinking, and how medical technologies have complicated the process of dying.

Credits: 1

Attributes: External Studies Program

Course Notes: Cr. Only for BGS381 or HIST326A

PLS 394 - SPECIAL TOPIC

Join the best science and nature writers as they journey into the rarely seen personal side of science: the heartbreaking work of a memory expert who for the first time hears her father‘s long suppressed story of the Holocaust; the tedium and horror of a single day in an Ebola clinic; the frustration and sadness of an earthquake specialist who confronts the death of loved ones in an earthquake; the surprise and delight of a researcher who discovers the crow he is studying figured him out first; the awe and wonder of astronomers as they chase those illusive aliens across the universe; the desperation of volunteers who scramble to aid newly hatched sea turtles, or save a critically endangered right whale entangled in fishing nets; the lurking suspicion of researchers that your cat’s penetrating gaze conveys more than a request for dinner; or a doctor’s poignant reflections on the limits of modern medicine in terminal patients.

Credits: 6

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: ENG 102 and PLS 302 or (PLS 201 or BGS 302 or BGS 201)

Course Notes: Online interaction required.

PLS 396 - TOPICS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE

Major ideas and methods used by practitioners in such areas as history, sociology, and economics. Content individualized to suit student interest. Topics may include technology and values, women and work, Chicago history, and humanity against disease.

Credits: 3

Attributes: External Studies Program

PLS 397 - ADVANCED RESEARCH DESIGN AND EVALUATION

The purpose of this seminar is to prepare the student for the final senior thesis project by exploring topic development, research design, the preparation of preliminary bibliographies, the evaluation of online, print, primary, and scholarly sources, and a review of the principles of academic writing and the effective use of evidence. By the end of the class, the student will have selected a topic for the thesis, a working annotated bibliography, tentative thesis statement, and a full formal proposal in preparation for the full thesis.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 201 or PLS 302 and ENG 102

Course Notes: Open to students in the Fast-Track Program for Adults.

PLS 398 - SENIOR THESIS

Using the materials developed during PLS 397, this course consists of writing and submitting a full draft of the thesis by responding to critiques from fellow students and the instructor, and learning to revise and reorganize as necessary. Learners will produce the completed thesis of 15-20 pages. Other typical assignments may include writing workshops, a formal abstract, and visual/oral presentation of the final results of the thesis.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 397

Course Notes: Open to students in the Fast-Track Program for Adults.

PLS 399 - SENIOR THESIS

The final course in the BGS/BPS program taken after completion of the senior seminars. A guided independent research project focused on a single topic, allowing the student to conduct a thorough, in-depth study in an area of interest. Thesis work provides an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the BGS/BPS program by developing the qualities of independent and critical thinking. The final 20-25 page research project is a thorough, clearly articulated representation of the student's educational accomplishments. Tutorial mode of instruction. Also available through External Studies Program in print-based format and over the Internet through RU Online.

Credits: 3

Attributes: Adult Flex Track

Prerequisites: PLS 351 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 361 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 371 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 390 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 391 (may be taken concurrently) or PLS 392 (may be taken concurrently)

Course Notes: Must be admitted to the Flex-Track Program for, Adults or have Advisor consent to register.