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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.

The topic of the class—21st Century Business Trip—will serve you far beyond the end of this semester. The course will introduce you to the complex business world. We will work on developing thought leadership through exposition to complex issues facing global business leaders. Themes covered include sustainability, managing complexity, ethical decision making, critical thinking, teamwork, effective communication, and cross-boundary leadership skills. In addition, management opportunities and challenges, such as creating a diverse workforce, disruptive innovation, and managing through change are discussed. The course also introduces personal and professional development opportunities that enhance career preparedness. As a bonus, this course will also count as MGT 101: Introduction to Responsible Business Management, which is a required course for the Business Management major.

2,500 years ago, Plato urged that we ban flute-players from his ideal Republic, labeling them a dangerous threat to the state (flute-players: who knew!!) Germany’s Third Reich explicitly politicized art, running simultaneous exhibits of “Good German Art” (Führer- approved) vs “Degenerate Art” (DISapproved: guess which exhibit had off-the-charts attendance). In the 1990’s, the U.S. Congress/ Supreme Court debated what sorts of art are permissible/good for a democracy, worthy of government funds. Today, 2,500 years later, we’re still fiercely debating ways art can go ‘bad,’ or mis-fire—ethically, politically, aesthetically. Art in the ‘public square’ of democracies is hotly debated (confederate statues, or works that ‘unsettle’); a Tennessee school district votes to ban the Holocaust graphic novel Maus; Virginia passes the so-called ‘Beloved bill’ (referring to Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, rooted in the critique that novels depicting some horrors of slavery might be too traumatizing for High School Seniors); cultures note the increasing proliferation of simplistic pop entertainment objects, but decreasing general access to more complex, enriching artworks or art-engaging experiences. Our class examines these and other culture-clash debates swirling around fine and popular arts, over many artistic genres. Students trace competing interpretations, ethical codes, political policies, exhibition norms, and laws that comprise the background context of artworks and genres, along with the range of impact/effects such artworks have to persons, communities, & the culture at large.

We live in a new era of scientific discovery. Gravitational waves produced by black hole collisions relay messages from the other side of the Universe, systems of planets and moons have been detected around a host of stars, and galaxies race away from us as the fabric of spacetime expands. NASA and private companies are poised to take humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time in more than forty years. The next generation of space capsules and rockets will soon carry humans from right here in Florida. In this course, we will learn the basics of astronomy, as well as explore the history and future of NASA. 

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.

What is youth and youth culture? How to define and characterize them? How does youth culture evovle from generation to generation? We are going to use Chinese youth and youth culture as a case study to explore how they evolved over time in the changing histoical cotext. Students are encouraged to bring their own experiences and reflect upon their similaritis and differences with those of their Chinese counterparts.

Students in this course will explore the central role of communication in the development and evolution of cultural and social norms. Students will also analyze the ways in which verbal, nonverbal, and visual communication are used in interpersonal, public, and professional contexts to create meaning and develop relationships. Finally, students will evaluate a wide variety of communication sources, messages, and practices to develop their information literacy and critical thinking skills in the Information Age.

In this class we will look at different cultural views of the mind and the body while also delving deeper into the history and cultures of yoga to consider both how yoga has been globalized as well as the ways yoga can benefit our mental and physical well-being. We will study different philosophical traditions to better understand how American culture separates mind from body and how other cultures’ views may better support an integrated view of the mind and body. We will consider our bodies and minds in matters of sickness, health, beauty, race, gender, food, social media and fitness. Through it all, we will examine the tradition of hatha yoga from its origins to the multiple ways it is practiced in America and how it is implemented as a tool for self-regulation, practicing mindfulness, promoting social justice, and healing from trauma. We will further use yoga as a lens to better understand topics such as cultural appropriation, commercialized body image, and the science of breathing. What do societies deem as “normal” for mind and body? What is it like to live in a body considered “different”? How do other cultures treat mental illness and well-being holistically? Through this class, you’ll additionally gain life skills using yoga, mindfulness and meditation as a means of managing stress, and learn about what resources are available at Rollins to help you have a healthier, happier college existence. Our readings and discussions should prompt you to think about how what seems “natural” about our bodies is actually highly “cultural,” but also how traditions such as yoga may be borrowed and adapted in a way that is congruent with the original intent of the discipline.

This course applies design thinking to help students design their life and career. It offers a framework, tools, and individual mentoring to empower students to develop an effective approach to designing a meaningful and productive life at and beyond Rollins. Additionally, improving academic writing and public speaking skills are core goals of this course.

This course is a meditation on the topic of “Discipline” in a variety of social 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. My experience has been that, as first-year students, you will be as interested in the counter narrative to productivity as you will in our society's ordinary modes of engagement with success. 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.”

This course explores the current movement of making through the disciplines of physics and computer science. The course will cover foundational principles of electronic circuit building and will explore the interaction of hardware and software to sense and respond to the physical world using a microcontroller (Arduino). Throughout the course students will be encouraged to try new things and create with their newfound expertise in each domain.

"Our lives are filled with moral dilemmas; daily we are confronted with ethical questions about how to act in our personal lives and in the world as responsible and engaged citizens. This course will provide grounding in ethics and moral theory and an overview of the most current and controversial issues in applied social and political ethics. We will study moral theories and frameworks that justify moral judgments. And we will examine debates for and against certain particular issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, immigration, healthcare as a right, multiculturalism and women’s rights, food politics, and world hunger relief.

We will address questions about our individual responsibility and positions, as well as our social and political responsibilities as global citizens, such as: What shall we do? How to act rightly? Is the death
penalty immoral? What are the salient issues behind the abortion debate? Should we lend a hand to the destitute and impoverished abroad, even if we don’t know them? Should politicians be permitted to act immorally, i.e., by allowing torture, if by doing so they will save the life of millions? Are we ever justified in disobeying the law? What about patently unjust laws? Do we have a moral right to impede immigrants from entering our borders? These issues currently motivate heated debates. In this class, we will try to understand the analytical and reasoned arguments often invoked to justify or reject them. Many of those arguments are oftentimes used (in a simplified fashion) in the political arena or the media more generally. By taking this course, you should expect to learn how to argue more effectively for and against a moral position, as well as to understand the theoretical moral framework underlying the position, and to apply theoretical frameworks to contemporary political and ethical issues."

In this course, students will gain an understanding of the scientific method and critical thinking by taking part in several psychology experiments that explore sensation and perception, memory, and reasoning. Students taking this course should be comfortable with the idea of supervised handling of small animals (rats and mice), though the majority of the experiments will feature the students as both subjects and experimenters.

Ballet, déjà vu, menu, fiancé…you’re probably already using many French words without even realizing it! After all, French is the language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, and much more! So why not develop your communicative skills in French through the exploration of these very cultural items? In this intermediate-level French course, students will expand their ability to interact in a French-speaking environment by engaging with a variety of multimedia resources drawn from contemporary Francophone popular culture. Throughout the semester, students will enhance and refine their linguistic and cultural competences while gaining a deeper understanding of French youth’s day-to-day lives and habits. This course, conducted entirely in French, also fulfills the F competency requirement. The course is not suitable for native or heritage speakers.

"What is happening to the system of free public schooling in our country? Since Horace Mann initiated universal education in Massachusetts in 1837, public schools have been a cornerstone of our American democracy. Today, across the nation, these schools face unprecedented social, political, economic, and philosophical challenges. What is their purpose? What should students learn? How should schools be funded? How should they evolve? Who should make these decisions? Does the fabric of oursociety hang in the balance? This course begins with an analysis of the social, political, economic, and historical background of the contemporary American school system, and how social forces have shaped the curriculum, organization, and purposes of formal education, particularly as it applies to the education of children from historically marginalized populations. Using this understanding of American schools in the past, students will examine the current state of the American public school, study a variety of perspectives on the future of schools in America, and finally develop their own informed visions of how future Americans will be educated. This course is a Community Engagement (CE) designated course. To better understand an American public school in 2021, students will travel to Brookshire Elementary School each Friday morning and develop a meaningful relationship with a kindergarten student and her/his teacher."

This course is centric to understating your own (and other individuals) behavior. Economics, at its core, is truly a behavioral science and this is what you will get to explore in this course! We will first introduce you to the basic tools of economics, intuitive thinking in economics and some common economic problems. We will learn everything through participating and observing our behavior in experiments (set-up as games) in economics on specific topics such as trading in a real-stock market, and making decision of consuming collective goods such as a local public park or public library in your community. The next step will be to apply the basic economic tools to some important real-world policy issues. Overall, in this course, you will learn and discover economics behind the individual behavior and the interactions of individuals with each other in day to day lives.

Making Art in the 2D is a broad, cross- disciplinary investigation of art, artists and processes. Basic visual art concepts will be covered while we discover contemporary artists and think about contemporary art themes. Projects incorporate drawing, painting, mixed media and will help you solve visual problems and increase your ability to read, analyze and make art. This course counts for ART 110 Two-Dimensional (2D) Foundations for the Art Major and Minor.

This course will focus on the development of modern architecture in the area surrounding Rollins College in the mid-1900s as a way to help students understand their local community and built environment. In addition to getting to know Winter Park and Orlando through site visits, students will learn how to read an architectural plan, describe a building for different audiences, as well as analyze how architects have adapted architectural trends to the unique Florida climate.

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 and without judgment. 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.

In this course we examine sex, romance, and love in contemporary America. We use a sociological lens to look at how people negotiate intimate dynamics within society. Among other things, we will discuss sexual identities--including LGBTQIA+ experiences in sex and love--how we choose sexual and romantic partners, hookup culture on college campuses, the proliferation of dating apps, what happens when we want more than just sex in a hookup culture, the pleasure gap between men and women, sexual violence, and the experiences of those who opt out of hookup culture. We will place all of these inquiries into a socio-historical context revealing the ongoing tension between human agency and social pressure to conform. We will also employ a critical, intersectional lens to unveil the role that privilege and oppression play in all of these dynamics.

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 addition to their feature-length films, PIXAR Animation Studios has produced an impressive range of celebrated “shorts.” This class will examine the techniques, characters, and themes within these short films, and this analysis will inspire your essay topics throughout the semester. Because it fulfills the Writing Competency in the General Education Curriculum, our course prepares you for the academic writing that you will complete at Rollins, with a particular focus on thesis-driven arguments, critical analysis of primary sources, and academic research. Finally, our examination of this fascinating company will encourage us to reflect on the writing process itself, including a project’s inspiration, development, and revision. These lessons are beneficial in any field, and we will discuss their application to your own lives, especially your studies at Rollins and goals for your future.

Our contemporary U.S. political mediascape is intense, polarized, rapidly changing, and hugely consequential. This course will focus on ways that political media interact with personal and social identities, cultural values, social institutions, civic deliberation and public policy. We will study current media messages and use insights from critical cultural and rhetorical scholarship to both analyze and produce political media messages.

Students will learn how business and social entrepreneurship can be a force for good in the world in the context of global and local social issues and personal motivational fit. Students will learn the principles of effectual entrepreneurship and be introduced to key problem-solving tools such as solutions mapping, design thinking, the business model canvas, and venture pitches. Critical entrepreneurial skills will be enhanced, such as creativity, innovation, resilience, risk-taking, transformative communication, and teamwork through hands-on projects. Student will learn new approaches to making change in the world through for-profit, nonprofit, or hybrid social enterprises, as founders, employees, and ecosystem developers, among other roles.

Drawn from some contemporary scholarship on Chinese culture and philosophy, this course explores some key concepts of ancient Chinese culture and put them in historical and contemporary contexts, examining what they meant to Chinese people and what those ideas and thought could offer us in modern American life.

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 course designed to explore issues connected to intergenerational relationships across the lifespan. This course adopts a communication and social justice perspective to examine what it means to age, the impact of aging on human relationships and organizations, and intergenerational communication patterns in service contexts. Across the semester, we will participate in service activities that will enhance our learning.

Introduces basic concepts and examines key forces impacting international business. Examines global, political, economic, cultural, legal, demographic, geographic, and historical processes to understand how the world economy functions. Discusses international institutions, country market evaluations, foreign direct investment, the multinational company and its functions (organizational behavior, finance, marketing, operations), as well as the ethical environment of global business.

"This is the first of a two-course sequence for intermediate-level Spanish curriculum, which
develops writing, speaking, and reading skills through the study of grammar and oral exercises. The course emphasizes all four language skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. This course fulfills the “F” general education requirement. "

This class offers a comprehensive review of elementary Spanish with a focus on building communication skills and learning about the Spanish-speaking world. The class is for non-native speakers of Spanish who have taken the equivalent of three years of High School Spanish, but who need more practice before proceeding to an intermediate-level course. The class will be fast paced and will be taught in Spanish to provide an immersive language-learning experience.


Prerequisite: No more than 3 years of high school Spanish

Are you nervous about the transition from learning about science to becoming a scientist? Are you worried you might not have all the tools you need to succeed? The readings and assignments in this course will build on your current communication abilities and informational literacy. You will develop and refine effective learning strategies and connect with related campus resources. You will begin to navigate the balance between academics and your life outside of the classroom. The skills and mindset that you will learn in this class will hopefully remain with you long after the semester is over, preparing you for success in your future classes at Rollins.

What does it mean to be a “musician” in today’s society? That term has been used to describe Bach, Beethoven, the Beatles and Britney Spears. After we decide what the term “musician” means, we will find out what it takes to become one, and potentially make a living that way. The class will look at all different sorts of musicians and music related fields. We will look at different works from William Byrd to John Williams to John Lennon to John Legend to see all the differences and even the similarities of musical techniques used throughout the centuries.

This course examines how psychology, neuroscience, drama therapy, literature, film, and theatre have used their disciplinary ways of knowing to increase inclusion of individuals on the autism spectrum. We study how theatre can lead to transformative social change, both for individuals and groups, as seen in the work of theatre revolutionaries like Augusto Boal. We put theories into practice by enthusiastically and respectfully engaging our autistic peers in theatre games and constructing a short performance that takes place at the end of the semester.

This course employs games, exercises, and case studies as teaching tools. These tools help link abstract concepts and real-world problems: a “hands-on” approach to “learning by doing.” This experiential learning methodology provides students an opportunity to apply management concepts to actual business problems simulated in a classroom laboratory. The course introduces the core aspects of management as a business function in keeping with the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). The course curriculum is structured in such a way that students are first given a foundation for the importance of being a Responsible Business Manager and then exposed to the building blocks needed to develop into a high-performing business manager. The four building blocks of management—Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling—are explored to help develop the role of a manager in providing effective leadership, motivation, team building, communication, and decision making.

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.