ISEM 301 – “What is an Educated Person?”

Spring 2015 Sections 1 and 12

Seminar Description, Learning Outcomes and Activities, and Schedule

hard copy of syllabus


Welcome to "What is an Educated Person?"   I'm your instructor, Rodney Frey.  You are always welcome in my office.  I look forward to visiting with you.   You can contact me at:  Voice: 885-6268.  E-mail:  My Home Page:

Dates, Times, Locations and Event: Tuesdays,

March 24, 6:00 p.m. Clearwater/White Water Room of the Commons, Keynote Address by Dan Bukvich, Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Percussion/Theory and Director of the Jazz Choir, followed by Q and A;  (view at:

March 31, 6:00 p.m. Clearwater/White Water Room of the Commons, Karen Launchbaugh, Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Director of the Rangeland Center, followed by Q and A; (view at:

April 7, 6:00 p.m. Vandal Ballroom of the Pitman Center (SUB), Andy Kersten, Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, and historian by discipline, followed by Q and A; (view at:

April 14, 6:00 p.m. REN 125  Presentation by Rodney Frey, followed by Q and A;

April 21, 6:00 pm REN 125  Student-led Discussion;

April 28, 6:00 p.m. REN 125  Student-led Discussion; 

May 5, 6:00 p.m. REN 125  Student Presentations;

May 12, 6:00 p.m. REN 125  Student Presentations  


Seminar Description:  “What are the skills and competencies you seek to have acquired at the moment you walk across the commencement stage on the day of your graduation . . . . skills and competencies needed to civically-engage a democratic society, and a rapidly- changing diverse world, skills and competencies employers desire, or graduate schools necessitate?” 

Initiated by a university-wide, keynote address by one of the University of Idaho’s Distinguished Professors, this seminar will explore the question, “what is an educated person?”  Through the academic disciplinary lenses of anthropology, business, history, liberal arts and sciences students will consider the varied skills and learning competencies needed on the day they walk across the commencement stage and receive their baccalaureate diploma.  Among the questions explored are, what are employers seeking in a graduate?  What does a civil democratic society require of its citizenry?  What do students themselves desire from their education?  These various interwoven questions will be framed within a consideration of the University of Idaho’s Learning Outcomes.

Along with ISEM 101 and Senior Experience, the ISEM 301 seminars are part of the Integrated Studies component of the university’s General Education.  This curriculum seeks to enhance student competencies in integrative thinking, which are critical for problem solving, creativity and innovation, and communication and collaboration.  Integrated  learning is defined as the competency to attain, use, and develop knowledge from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, such as the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, with disciplinary specialization (to think divergently, distinguishing different perspectives), and to incorporate information across disciplines and perspectives (to think convergently, re-connecting diverse perspectives in novel ways).  It is a cumulative learning competency, initiated as a first-year student and culminating as reflected in a graduating senior.  


A.     Seminar Learning Outcomes:

1.      Learn and integrate Through independent learning and collaborative study, attain, use, and develop knowledge in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, with disciplinary specialization and the ability to integrate information across disciplines.

a.      Emphasis will be placed on using the disciplinary approaches and methods of business/economics, and anthropology/sociology, to collaboratively study and integrate information on the topic.


2.      Think and create Use multiple thinking strategies to examine real-world issues, explore creative avenues of expression, solve problems, and make consequential decisions.

a.      This seminar will explore developing academic strategies for addressing the challenges of an educated citizenry and skilled workforce for the 21st Century.


3.      Communicate Acquire, articulate, create and convey intended meaning using verbal and non-verbal methods of communication that demonstrate respect and understanding in a complex society.

a.      Students will further cultivate their skills in verbal and writing communications, along with skills in library literacy.


4.      Clarify purpose and perspective Explore one’s life purpose and meaning through transformational experiences that foster an understanding of self, relationships, and diverse global perspectives.

a.      In this seminar students will explore their life’s purpose head-on, fostering a reflective sense of who each is relative to others and the social and economic realities they are about to engage.


5.      Practice citizenship Apply principles of ethical leadership, collaborative engagement, socially responsible behavior, respect for diversity in an interdependent world, and a service-oriented commitment to advance and sustain local and global communities.

a.      Students will gain an appreciation of the critical qualities of respect for diversity in sustainable local and global communities.



B.      Seminar Learning Activates:  (graded on a 100 point scale)

1.      Engage in and write reflective responses for the keynote address and three faculty presentations (4 one-page double-spaced essays)  – 20 pts.  (To reflect is not to summarize, but to seriously contemplate and consider the cultural meanings, assumptions and implications of a presentation, doing so relative to your own values and aspirations).  Send your reflections, as an attachment, to, and they are due one week following each presentation.


2.      Having read the assigned readings and viewed the assigned videos, activity engage in weekly discusses, and lead assigned discussions, providing guiding questions that stimulate discussion based upon the readings.  The seminar will be divided into 3-5 person teams, who will be assigned a reading, from which they will develop questions and lead an active seminar discussion.  Each team will have fifteen to twenty (15-20) minutes for their presentation and to lead the discussion.  Start your discussion with a short synopsis of the reading or video.  (graded on participation and guided leadership) – 20 pts.


On Tuesday April 21:   #1: Nayef, Tessa, Samantha B, Emilee, Weston; #2: Vincent, Matthew, Kesia, Rosemary, Alexandra; #3: Kathleen, Taylor, Gabriel, Stephanie; #4: Britteny, Faith., Zachary;


On Tuesday April 28:  #5: Talal, Rebecca, Calvin, Samantha O; #6: McKayla, Joshua, Olivia, Megan; #7: Jedediah, Sandra, Russell, Andrew; #8: Hailey, Krista, Shohei, Sargon, Haven


3.      Based upon library research and linked with your major field of study, research and write an eight (8) page (double spaced) paper on the learning competencies and skills you hope to have mastered on the day you graduate, and reflect on how those competencies will best serve you in the professional and civil life you will be entering.  In your discussion, you must address how your own personal leaning aspirations are linked to and embedded within the five University of Idaho Leaning Outcomes.  Your paper should include reference to the insights offered in the four public lectures and the reading/video assignmentsYour paper should also include at least three annotated bibliographic sources relative to your paper’s topic (based upon library or appropriate Internet sources).  Use proper MLA or APA style formatting. See these two brief guides comparing the two styles: Guide 1 and Guide 2. The paper is due on Friday May 8th by 4:00 p.m. – 35 pts.


4.      Based upon you research paper, provide a eight (8) minute oral presentation to your fellow seminar participants (maximum presentation of 6 minutes with 1-2 follow-up questions) – 10 pts.


On Tuesday May 5: Nayef, Tessa, Samantha B, Emilee, Weston, Vincent, Matthew, Kesia, Rosemary, Alexandra, Kathleen, Taylor, Gabriel, Stephanie, Britteny, Faith, Zachary (17)


On Tuesday May 12:  Talal, Rebecca, Calvin, Samantha O, McKayla, Joshua,  Olivia, Megan, Jedediah, Sandra, Russell, Andrew, Hailey, Krista, Shohei, Sargon, Haven (16)


5.   Your section of ISEM 301 is participating in the General Education Assessment Strategy, and you will be asked to participate in writing a short essay related to the topic of your ISEM 301 seminar.   Your participation is critical, contributing to the improvement of General Education curriculum.  The essay will not be graded by your ISEM 301 instructor, but kept anonymous and scored by the University of Idaho’s General Education Assessment Committee.   The essay question will be emailed directly to you by the Director of General Education approximately two weeks before the end of your ISEM 301 seminar.  You will have two weeks to complete the essay, at which time you would email it back to the Director, (, as a .docx attachment.  Your instructor would then be informed that you are eligible for extra credit.  The essay is due on Friday May 8th by 4:00 p.m. – 15  pts.


C.      Assigned Readings and Videos: 

1.General Education: Connecting to Issues of Vital Importance for Students, for Society,” Keynote address by Bobby Fong, The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ General Education and Assessment: A Sea Change in Student Learning Annual Conference, 28 February 2013. (pp. 18)


2.It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success (An Online Survey among Employers Conducted On Behalf Of: The Association of American Colleges and Universities) by Hart Research Associates, April 10, 2013. (pp. 14) and  University of Idaho Learning Outcomes and Employer Priorities” (


3.  Sanford Eigenbrode (University of Idaho Distinguished Professor 2013 and Professor of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) keynote address, October 22, 2014.  at:


4.  Mario Reyes, Dean, College of Business and Economics, October 29, 2014  at:


5.  Ryanne Pilgeram, recipient of the Hoffman Award in Teaching Excellence, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, November 5, 2014  at:


 A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future,” by the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement,” Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2012. 

6.      Why Education for Democratic Citizenship Matters 1-16, and Conclusion 69

7.      Crucible Moments of Civic Learning: Then and Now 17-24, Trailblazers for Civic Learning: From Periphery to Pervasiveness 41-49, and Conclusion 69


8.  Liberal Education: Our Students’ Best Preparation for Work and Citizenship,” prepared by the Presidents’ Trust, Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2013. (pp. 66 - PowerPoint)


D. Frey's PowerPoint   - LEAP Learning Outcomes