Social Change and Social Issues

Full Course Title: 
Social Change and Social Issues
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
156: TR 3:30 – 4:45 pm
Fall 2016
Service Learning
RLC Name: 
Service and Leadership

We are all connected to the world around us as inhabitants of ecosystems and communities.  Given the hectic pace at which we often move through our busy schedules, there is a tendency for us not to consider our place within, our impact upon, and how we are shaped by the communities we inhabit.  In this course, we will explore our personal and collective relationships with local environments and cultures.  We will examine the extent to which we have the power and responsibility to work for change as participants in these relationships.  Our awareness of these relationships will be fostered through class discussions, service learning with local organizations, community based research, attendance of cultural events, and engagement with assigned and student-selected literature and media. Students will choose topics to explore through discussion and writing, on their own and in groups.

Additionally, during the course of the semester, students will be introduced to some of the many resources at their fingertips as members of the Appalachian community, and how to take advantage of these opportunities.


NOTE:  Enrollment in this section is restricted to members of the Service and Leadership Residential Learning Community.


Andy has been deeply interested in connections between different subjects and classes since he was in middle school. When he came to Appalachian State University as an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to participate in Watauga College (now Watauga Global Community), gaining experience as part of a residential learning community, and learning more about the value of an interdisciplinary approach to education.  While he was working toward his MA in English at ASU, Andy taught composition courses for two years.  During this time, he pursued his interests beyond the traditional bounds of English and composition, teaching writing courses linked with Biology for Majors, and exploring the value of cultivating intentional writing communities based upon interest.  Also at this point, he began including Service Learning in his courses, having his students participate in and write reflective pieces on the Big Sweep River Cleanup Project.

Shortly after graduate school, Andy began also teaching First Year Seminar, having designed a course called Ecosystems and Communities, which includes Service Learning to a greater extent as a major component of the course.  For four years now, he has also been teaching Social Change and Social Issues, the First Year Seminar course linked to the Service and Leadership Residential Learning Community.  During the time since he first participated in Watauga College, Andy has continued gaining appreciation for the value of learning communities and of Service Learning.

Among Andy's interests beyond the classroom are hiking, trail building, conservation, and music.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

QEP Global Learning