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University launches Hunger Games Learning Community

University launches Hunger Games Learning Community

University launches Hunger Games Learning Community
October 10
08:11 2013

Javier Navarro / Staff Writer

UNT is offering classes that are part of the newly launched Hunger Games Learning Community for undeclared freshman, but the classes are not about the popular book and movie series.

Instead, the learning community offers courses that are centered on the themes of food and hunger. A learning community is usually made up of a group of students who take the same collection of courses that are centered on a certain theme or topic.

The three classes the Hunger Games Learning Community offered this semester are the introduction to sociology, United States history to 1865 and a first-year seminar. The classes are similar to the regular core courses but will focus on how food and hunger relate to them.

Julie Glass, special assistant for the core curriculum in UNT, said the main goal of this learning community is to have students recognize how the different courses can actually relate to each other.

“Students can gain an understanding of how the [classes] they usually study for very separately can connect and how the skills that you need to be successful in those classes are common,” Glass said.

The learning community has about 70 students enrolled and they all take the same sociology and history class, which are back-to-back classes in the same classroom, Glass said. The freshman seminar classes are broken up into three separate times with smaller groups of about 25 students.

The community was constructed by a group of faculty members last year and they wanted to make a new learning community that would interest undecided incoming freshman.

“We were looking for something that wasn’t too broad, or too specific, but sort of that nice middle ground, and so that’s where we came up with hunger,” Glass said. “Then we thought of the connection with the ‘Hunger Games’ movie coming out and all of the various other pop culture references that would allow us to incorporate into the theory of the courses.”

History professor Courtney Welch teaches the history section that’s offered from the learning community and said her class focuses on how food has affected the eras of history.

“It’s looking at American history with a different viewpoint and also more of a sociological viewpoint to a certain degree – kind of connects those two classes together,” Welch said.

Undecided freshman Jake Means said he found out about the learning community during freshman orientation, and also said that he’s starting to see how all of the courses connect with each other.

“Sometimes [the classes] can be kind of hard or weird to always tie food into something with it,” Means said. “But I can kind of see how some of the things, especially sociology and history, blend together a little bit.”

Glass said there are other learning communities that are offered across campus such as Panic, Power and Persuasion, which had a theme about the presidential election last year and is centered on interest groups this year.

Welch said if the Hunger Games Learning Community is successful, they will offer it again next year and students can visit their adviser to register for the courses.

The learning community will also offer spring courses such as American literature and U.S. history from 1865. There will also be an optional math course.

In a year-long learning community, students will have the opportunity to participate in three different courses. The courses are designed to help students learn about the UNT community and encourage students to relate ideas about hunger through history to society and literature. Graphic by Nicole Arnold / Visuals Editor

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