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Residential Life & Explorations

RCC Courses

Learn more about what to expect from your first semester at Rollins and how we can help!

Rollins believes that a liberal arts education should be practical (applied), that students learn best by doing, and that classes are most impactful when students and faculty learn together.

Learning Together

Rollins believes that a liberal arts education should be practical (applied), that students learn best by doing, and that classes are most impactful when students and faculty learn together.

Rollins College Conferences

In addition to taking exploratory courses in Foundations, your first semester at Rollins will include a Rollins College Conference, or RCC. In your RCC, you'll encounter your Peer Mentors who are sophomore, junior, and senior students who will guide you through your transition to Rollins. The RCC is a seminar class in which approximately 16 students meet with a faculty member to explore a topic in the professor's area of expertise. The professors are drawn from the full range of academic disciplines encompassing the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

RCCs are generally not connected to a specific major, so you should feel free to explore a topic that truly interests you.

Ever felt like a stranger in a strange land? This course aims to "make the strange familiar" by helping students discover and decode messages, values, customs, and expectations embedded in the Rollins campus culture. Students will learn techniques used by cultural anthropologists who frequently have to adapt to a new culture in order to conduct their research. Enculturation is the process where individuals learn their culture, and students will become aware of how this process happens on our campus and reflect on how it shapes them.

This course analyzes the causes and consequences of racial inequality in the U.S., with a focus on the experiences of African-Americans. Topics covered will include: residential segregation, unequal schools, hiring discrimination, and mass incarceration. We will also examine the work of movement activists fighting for racial justice.

How small is "nano"? How can your iPhone or laptop get any smaller? Why does sunscreen contain titanium oxide nanoparticles? Through an introduction of chemistry’s basic principles and discussions on a science fiction novel, this course will explore how nano-sized materials are analyzed and used in everyday life. We will investigate the use of nanomaterials in consumer goods (e.g., athletic gear), medicine, the environment, and global health. The class offers the opportunity to build scientific skills, from data analysis to technical writing and oral communication skills, all in the context of nanotechnology.

“The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed” (Lopez, 1990). Are you ready for the stories now? If yes, please join us in this conference course to engage with stories of children’s lives across diverse cultures through the lens of community. This course uses the power of personal narratives produced in the tensioned intersections between the dominant and oppressed cultures in education to explore the wounds that are made and could (not) be healed in schools and communities. It critically examines the concept of culture and its manifestation in society and focuses on the interplay of different cultures, abilities, languages and religions along with the role of school and other community institutions.

Children around the world are all the same -- but also very different! All around the world, each child is born into an eco-cultural niche -- a particular set of life circumstances that uniquely shapes a human life. In this course, we will study the genetic, cultural, environmental, social and economic forces that shape the lives of children in many countries around the world. Through a project-centered approach, groups of students will immerse themselves in understanding one chosen group from multiple perspectives. Then, we will use the tools of social entrepreneurship and leapfrog thinking to imagine and help create a better future for children.

China has changed dramatically in the past 70 years since the Communists came to power. How did Chinese youth culture--their ways of life— have evolved under the Communist regime? We are going to explore this question with the focus on the teenagers who grew up during the Cultural Revolution and later generations who grew up in the reform era of globalization.

In this course, you will be introduced to both practical and college life skills that will teach you how to be a successful biology student. Life skills will include how to balance your course work and life outside the science building, time management, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and effective study strategies. Practical biology skills will include an introduction to primary literature, referencing & citations, how to use Excel to construct proper figures and tables, experimental design, as well as scientific writing. Since students taking this course should be intending to declare a science (biology) major, all students will be co-enrolled in General Chemistry I (CHM 120) for the fall semester.

Social scientists who study communication climate explore the creation, maintenance, and transformation of relational communication patterns that foster an ongoing atmosphere that is defensive, supportive, or uncertain. No Rollins alumnus has better demonstrated skill in the art of creating a supportive communication climate than Fred Rogers. In this course, we use a performance technique known as Image Theatre to examine how to create supportive communication climates just like Mr. Rogers did.

This course is a meditation on the topic of “Discipline” in a variety of societal frames. The course is naturally interdisciplinary, drawing on a range of fields and topics in which discipline can be explored, including: Religion, Economics, Sociology, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Law, and Psychology. In each of the sections, the course will take as its primary focus a set of social problems that face our local and global communities. Examples include asceticism and the discipline of the body; minimalism, capitalism and the quest for the good life; retribution/justice and the prison industrial complex; technologies of the self/body; and sexuality and the body. These will comprise the main thrust of the course's objectives. Other areas of inquiry will include social movements that challenge humans to discipline their desires and consumption of world resources. Finally, a section of the course will be aimed at working with various "disciplinary" life hacks that can help new college students achieve success in their studies and beyond. We will, of course, also problematize these productive measures with a range of social theorists. We will take our time discerning just what Rollins means when we say, we want you to have a “meaningful career, and a productive life.”

The goal of this course is to further develop the students’ mastery of communicative skills in Spanish—speaking, writing, reading and comprehension—and improve their speaking level to near fluency. Students will be able to speak and write clearly in Spanish as well as understand spoken Spanish. Through contact with native speakers of Spanish, students will also develop intercultural and translingual communicative skills necessary to effectively communicate in the target language. Students will also be exposed to a variety of cultural components that will enhance their global awareness, their civic engagement with the Latin-American community, and their own perception of themselves in the world. (This course is designed for students who have completed 4 years of high school Spanish. Native and Heritage speakers are not allowed to registered for this course). This class is a third-semester Spanish course and assumes knowledge of the content of Elementary Spanish or have successfully completed two/three years of high school Spanish and need a comprehensive review of elementary grammar structures and vocabulary before proceeding to an intermediate level class. This course will be taught exclusively in Spanish and will be fast-spaced.

It’s no secret that fashion trends borrow existing materials, patterns, cuts, and styles, but have you ever wondered how fashion developed over time? Or about how our clothes communicate certain things throughout history? From the kimono to the codpiece, the corset to the three-piece suit, the hijab to denim jeans, we will consider fashion trends across time and region to explore lesser-known histories that complicate our hasty judgments today. We will use artworks like paintings and sculpture as well as items of clothing to explore these influences and trace designs across the globe. We will investigate how meaning is dependent on historical and cultural context and how our vantage point directly contributes to our understandings. We will also examine other pressing issues that concern fashion, including sustainability, technology, labor, and what constitutes appropriate attire based upon gender, class, age, religion, culture, and context. We will draw upon our own experiences to help us understand parallel examples outside our own society, and we may find similarities throughout time and space.

This course will examine Florida in literature, film, and popular perception. Readings will include short stories by Zora Neale Hurston, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Lauren Groff, and may include readings by Karen Russell and Carl Hiassen. Films will include The Florida Project. Popular culture discussions will include Florida Man, megachurches, theme parks, alligators, the Ocoee massacre, and Ted Bundy. 

 

In order to foster a sense of community within individual RCC courses and across the RCC program at large, all RCC students are required to attend several weeknight on-campus events throughout the semester. This course recognizes that commuter students’ lives do not always align with campus scheduling and thus, in lieu of attending some weekday evening on-campus events, students in this RCC section will participate in a weekend excursion to Amelia Island and their choice of 2 (out of 3) day trips.

 

Thanks to the generosity of an alum donor, the costs associated with all excursions (hotels, transportation, meals, admission fees, etc.) are covered.

 

October 2-4 Amelia Island, Florida

Depart campus: 3pm on Friday, October 4

Return to campus: 7pm on Sunday, October 6

On this excursion, we will visit Civil War cemeteries and slave plantations; explore the Okefenokee Swamp by kayak; tour Fort Caroline and a historic African American community; and hunt for prehistoric shark teeth.

 

Saturday, September 12  12-10pm (Merritt Island, FL)

Help the National Wildlife Refuge remove invasive species from the Intercoastal waterway, learn about Florida’s Space Coast community, and go on a bioluminescence kayak tour.

 

Sunday, October 18  8am-1pm United Against Poverty (Orlando, FL)

Learn about central Florida’s homeless population and working poor via volunteering at United Against Poverty’s grocery store.

 

Sunday, November 8  9am-5pm Day Reptile Discovery Center and Old Florida Homestead (Deland, FL)

Learn about Florida’s illegal exotic animal trade and watch cobras, rattlesnakes, and corn snakes be “milked” at a venom extraction lab; then visit an old Florida homestead and, (if we are lucky), encounter a few manatees.

 

Sunday, November 22 5-7pm Holiday Thankmus Party

Intensive elementary German language and culture.

Why do you believe what you believe? How can you discern between truth and bullsh**? How do your own cognitive biases affect what you believe about the world around you? This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to thinking about, well, thinking. We'll investigate different ways of knowing, and connect them to the liberal arts education you're getting at Rollins.

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to demonstrate command of the Arabic sound and writing systems and an understanding of the basic grammatical structures. Additionally, students will be able to understand and participate in simple conversations about daily life situations and discussions of topics of limited complexity, write compositions and letters, and read Arabic texts with low intermediate proficiency. Furthermore, students will be introduced to many aspects of Arab culture that influence the use of the language in daily life. More specifically, the students will be able at the end of the course to introduce themselves, their family, talk about weather, tell stories, express their liking/disliking, order food and drink with more complexities! This is the equivalent of Arabic 101 and 102 combined.

This course explores sexual orientation and gender identity with particular focus on LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and more!) identities, histories, and social movements. We will examine the construction, transformation, and fluidity of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the impacts of LGBTQ+ oppression. In addition, we will learn to identify, interrupt, and combat sexism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia (and more!) in ourselves, in others, and in social institutions. We will aim to become better advocates for ourselves and better allies to others.

 This course aims to make students more productive and successful by teaching them Mindfulness. The quality of mindfulness is sometimes described as the ability to intentionally focus one’s attention in the present moment with curiosity and interest. By practicing mindfulness, students begin to notice when their minds have wandered, which enables them to more easily let go of distractions. Students who are mindful can make better choices today, which increases the likelihood of a more productive and fulfilling tomorrow. In this course, students will read about, study, and practice a variety of techniques in order to build heightened self-awareness. Classroom sessions will include discussions of assigned readings, meditation exercises, and meditative movement explorations. Students will then document these experiences in formal writing assignments.

An introduction to neuroscience and neuropsychology focusing on studies involving music.

Designed for commuter students, this course takes seriously the popular perception that Florida is the nation’s magnet for everything weird, surreal, and otherwise unimaginable. By conducting critical examinations of alligator wrestling matches and python hunts; amusement parks and megachurches; snow birds and spring breakers; and serial killers (hello Ted Bundy) and dumb criminals, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the relationship between urban legend and historical truth; reputation and self-representation; and conservation and commodification.

 

In order to foster a sense of community within individual RCC courses and across the RCC program at large, all RCC students are required to attend several weeknight on-campus events throughout the semester. This course recognizes that commuter students’ lives do not always align with campus scheduling and thus, in lieu of attending some weekday evening on-campus events, students in this RCC section will participate in a weekend excursion to Amelia Island and their choice of 2 (out of 3) day trips.

 

Thanks to the generosity of an alum donor, the costs associated with all excursions (hotels, transportation, meals, admission fees, etc.) are covered.

 

October 2-4 Amelia Island, Florida

Depart campus: 3pm on Friday, October 4

Return to campus: 7pm on Sunday, October 6

On this excursion, we will visit Civil War cemeteries and slave plantations; explore the Okefenokee Swamp by kayak; tour Fort Caroline and a historic African American community; and hunt for prehistoric shark teeth.

 

Saturday, September 12  12-10pm (Merritt Island, FL)

Help the National Wildlife Refuge remove invasive species from the Intercoastal waterway, learn about Florida’s Space Coast community, and go on a bioluminescence kayak tour.

 

Sunday, October 18  8am-1pm United Against Poverty (Orlando, FL)

Learn about central Florida’s homeless population and working poor via volunteering at United Against Poverty’s grocery store.

 

Sunday, November 8  9am-5pm Day Reptile Discovery Center and Old Florida Homestead (Deland, FL)

Learn about Florida’s illegal exotic animal trade and watch cobras, rattlesnakes, and corn snakes be “milked” at a venom extraction lab; then visit an old Florida homestead and, (if we are lucky), encounter a few manatees.

 

Sunday, November 22 5-7pm Holiday Thankmus Party

Have you ever found yourself wondering: how do musical instruments produce the beautiful notes we hear? How do bicycles move? What causes light bulbs to emit light? In this course, we will use the principles of physics to answer the question “How does THAT work?” We will explore familiar objects, such as microwaves, televisions, bathroom scales, and engines, and use physics to explain the inner workings of the world around us.

Learn how business and social entrepreneurship can be a force for good in the world by addressing wicked problems involving environmental issues, human rights, and poverty. Students will learn how business skill sets work in for-profit, non-profit and innovative hybrid combinations that integrate business practices with social impact. Special topics for this course include principles of entrepreneurship, business planning, human-centered design thinking and venture pitches. Throughout the course, students will experience a global tour of case studies where business principles are put to the test to solve social dilemmas, bringing real-world applications into the classroom. Personal development and teamwork skills are emphasized through hands-on projects.

This course draws on contemporary scholarship in learning some of the key concepts from Confucian and Daoist traditions. We will put these concepts in both historical and contemporary contexts, not only to learn and appreciate Chinese ancient ways of thought, but also to expand our views in dealing with some of the most pressing issues in a modern world, such as life and death, marriage and family, reproduction and abortion, and private and public life.

From Animal House to Legally Blonde to Neighbors, college life has been depicted in a variety of ways in popular culture and in the media. In many cases, colleges and their students are portrayed by outdated, inaccurate, and unflattering stereotypes. Using identity development theories, the history of higher education, film, books, and popular media, this course will explore those stereotypes in an effort to unearth their origins and to compare and contrast them with the experiences of today's undergraduates.

This course will focus on student re-enactments of three key events in the history of democracy: the recreation of Athens after the wars with Sparta in 403 BCE; the US Constitutional Convention of 1787; and deliberations to create an independent India in 1945. In this "Dungeons and Dragons meets nerdy historians" class, each student will assume a pivotal role in each event, research its history, read contemporary accounts, write and give speeches, and conspire with factions. Each historical character has a different, and secret, path to success in each game.

This is an introductory-level mathematical modeling course that presents problems in which mathematics has been utilized as an interdisciplinary tool. The course focuses on the real-life applications of mathematical topics. Using mathematics as its main focus, it will study culturally and socially relevant problems in complex issues such as spread of diseases, population growth, and game theory to promote critical thinking. We will learn how to implement such models with Microsoft Excel. No prior knowledge of Excel is needed but a solid foundation of high school mathematics is essential.

The Rollins Transition Seminar is a course designed to assist new transfer and exchange students with their adjustment to Rollins College. The seminar will provide an introduction to the liberal arts and campus support services as well as an overview of general policies and procedures. A variety of topics, including Global Citizenship, Responsible Leadership, Career and Life Planning, Information Literacy, and Campus Involvement will facilitate the transition to the college academically and socially.

This class is a third-semester Spanish course and assumes knowledge of the content of Elementary Spanish or have successfully completed two/three years of high school Spanish and need a comprehensive review of elementary grammar structures and vocabulary before proceeding to an intermediate level class. Sudents will be able to speak and write clearly in Spanish as well as understand spoken Spanish up to the intermediate level. Students will also develop intercultural and translingual communicative skills necessary to effectively communicate in the target language. Students will also be exposed to a variety of cultural components that will enhance their global awareness. This course will be taught exclusively in Spanish and will be fast-spaced.

The course explores various pathways that famous composers took to make their products successful. These musical geniuses not only composed great music, they also knew how to conduct business and manage finances, understand culture and appreciate literature. They were fluent in languages, the arts and had a vast knowledge of psychology and the sciences. These disciplines allow us to look at composers with different lenses. Students in this course will enjoy listening to masterpieces of different genre, learn to write music and market their own product. The course also offers an excellent opportunity to develop skills in critical and creative thinking that are vital to the study of any subject in college. It is therefore, interdisciplinary in nature, emphasizing scholarship and research by addressing issues such as ethics, responsibility and integrity. As such, it is directly linked to our Rollins’ mission statement.

This course is an examination of the ancient Greek concept of the Hero and its relevance to contemporary life. Student will examine a wide range of Greek Heroes and Heroines. We shall attempt to identify the traits that promote human excellence and examine ancient and modern “virtue ethics.” We shall discover that Heroes come in many forms, shapes, sizes, and genders and that the Heroic life requires serious commitment, training, discipline, and hard work. In short, Heroism is the product of cultivated human excellences. Finally, we shall consider what a 21st century hero should look like and attempt to identify contemporary role models and examine how they rose to greatness. This course is for those who are not satisfied simply to fit in, take the easy way, and be part of the crowd. It is for those who wish to live remarkable lives.

“The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat”: Sports and Sportswriting. In this class, students will examine the wide world of sports through the lens of creative nonfiction, especially the longform journalism that many sportswriters craft. We will study this genre as a form of literature, focusing on the techniques that authors use to mold language into a transformative experience for their readers. In the process, we will examine the many ways that athletics overlap with the disciplines of a liberal arts curriculum, and we will discuss the ethical questions that lurk in the shadows of our favorite sports, becoming more thoughtful fans—and citizens—in the process.

This course provides an overview of the industrialization of the U.S. food system. Students probe the problems created by industrial food and examine sustainable alternatives. The course takes a public interest perspective on food and agricultural policy. Real-world food policy controversies affecting the environment, food safety, nutrition, product labeling and advertising, food retailing and restaurants, consumer welfare, federal assistance programs, food insecurity, and the poor are the primary focus. Implications of US food policy extend well beyond our national borders and require us to make difficult choices between competing social objectives. So, while US Food Policy is part of the problem, it is also part of the solution for a sustainable national and global food system.

Come explore the history and beauty of Florida! We will visit historic sites, natural areas, and a museum or two to develop a deeper understanding of the state, its history and culture, and its challenges. This may include hiking, alligators, and springs!