Got electives? Here are five possibilities

By Daniel Morgan, Contributing Writer

It’s pre-registration season, and students are claiming their spots in general studies sections and major-specific courses for the spring 2019 semester. There are a variety of classes being offered, many of which may interest students across various majors. If you need additional credit hours to keep a scholarship or are simply looking for an elective, here is a small sample of the classes you can consider.

Being that politics and politicians currently dominate news coverage (and since Congressional decisions impact everyday life) one might find professor Brian Fitzpatrick’s course on The United States Congress (POLS 306) worthwhile.

The class will provide an overview of Congress, from its history and the law-making process to the committee system, campaigning, and relationships with interest groups.

“We will also examine contemporary issues related to Congress, such as how economic inequality impacts representation in Congress, and how party polarization effects the legislative agenda and productivity of Congress,” Fitzpatrick said. “Put simply, if someone wants to know why Congress does what it does, and does not do what it does not do, and why members of Congress act the way they do, they will be interested in this course.”

Introduction to Computer Graphics (ART 190) is designed to familiarize students with Adobe Creative Cloud applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. While it’s a prerequisite for some art and design majors, course instructor Sarah Davis sees its usefulness for all students.

“Digital layout and editing is no longer ‘just for designers,’” Davis said. “If you communicate visually, and we all do regardless of our specialty, it’s important to learn the skills that can help you get your ideas across to an audience. Whatever your passion is, people need to see it to understand it.” Students who enroll in the course learn how to use and manipulate images and type to create various visual pieces.

Dr. Wally Hastings is offering a special topics class about Fairy Tales (ENG 478). The course is designed as an honors course, so there is a limited number of spaces for non-honors students. Expect a lot of reading and writing if you enroll in this course.

“We will explore the history of fairy tales, various theories that have been advanced as to their development and meaning, and finally examine some literary fairy tales (i.e., stories that have identifiable authors, not necessarily the product of oral storytellers),” said Hastings, “Obviously, I find it interesting (it emerges out of my 30-year-old doctoral dissertation and a current research project), but hey – who doesn’t like fairy tales?”

West Virginia and the Appalachian Region (HIST 302) offers a glimpse into the history of our region. Different points of history that affected Appalachia will be discussed in the course, including the Civil War, West Virginia’s statehood, the New Deal and modern issues.

Course instructor Dr. Richard Owens said students will “learn about the history and culture of W.Va. and the broader Appalachian region, with a goal of understanding the people, state[s], region, events, etc. of the past and the insights they provide to help us understand W.Va. and Appalachian today.”

Owens has published two books and a peer-reviews article on West Virginia history.

Dr. Eveldora Wheeler is offering Ethnicity, Diversity, and Cultural Awareness (SWK 201). Students will examine various multicultural groups, identify stereotypes, and draw from personal beliefs and experiences during discussions of numerous topics among other interactive activities.

“The purpose of this course is to increase students’ awareness of various multicultural groups and elements that create the fabric of our country,” Wheeler said. “The course is intentionally designed to invite critical viewpoints from all angles, and it is designed for interactive dialogue as well as quiet contemplation.”

Log into your WINS account to view the spring 2019 course offerings.

There are plenty of other classes from a variety of disciplines that you might find interesting, practical, or simply fun.

Photo Credit: Daniel Morgan