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Special Interest Courses


SPI 100
American Culture for International Students

This course presents an overview of U.S. culture for international students. Topics include: history; immigration (ethnic diversity); government; education; the environment and regionalism; cultural life (art, architecture, music); sports and recreation; and short literary selections. Satisfies general studies humanities-advanced foreign language culture requirement.

SPI 101 and 102
American English Usage and Practice

These courses teach English for academic purposes to non-native speakers of English. The courses emphasize vocabulary development, strategies for effective reading and the fundamentals of expository writing. Students who are not native speakers of English are required to complete both these courses in order to complete the general studies foreign language requirement, unless exempted by the English Department or by scoring at least 600 on the TOEFL Exam (paper based). Failure to complete these courses as required may result in the student not being allowed to return to Albright. Successful completion of SPI 102 is a prerequisite for any English or communications course and First-Year Seminar (FYS 100).

SPI 125
Career Decision Making: Selecting Your Concentration

A career planning course designed to assist freshmen and sophomores, especially Alpha students, to select an appropriate concentration and career direction. Weekly seminars, discussion groups and self assessments enable students to assess their interests, skills and other factors necessary to the career decision-making process. Elective credit only.

SPI 203
Science in the Modern World with Laboratory

This course is designed to enable students to develop an appreciation for how science works through the study of select topics in the natural sciences. Specific topics change each time the course is taught, but are drawn from areas of study throughout the natural and physical sciences. Sample topics are likely to include: current developments in animal behavior, genetics, nutrition, the environment, health and medicine, and applications of physics. Topics are addressed in a way that enables students to construct a framework of key scientific concepts and make connections to human life through consideration of the applications of basic scientific principles. In the laboratory, students become involved in the process of doing science, by working in small research teams to design and implement lab exercises aimed at answering specific questions, which also provides the opportunity to develop an appreciation for how science works. Satisfies the natural science laboratory requirement.

SPI 206
Nutrition Concepts and Controversies

An overview of nutrition principles that influence eating behaviors, impact energy metabolism and maintain health. Surveys the science upon which dietary standards and popular nutritional claims are based. Students perform a comprehensive analysis of their nutritional intake, energy expenditure and fitness patterns. Includes a three-hour lab per week.

SPI 230
Jewish-American Literature and Film

This course explores the Jewish experience in America from the end of the 19th century until today. Through the media of literature and film, the course explores: the immigrant experience, the move toward assimilation, the reaction to the Holocaust, and the return to (a modern form of) tradition. The goal and objective of the course is to gain an understanding of the development of Jewish-American literature since the great migration of the 1880s, and to show how this literature reflected the issues faced by Jewish immigrants as they became part of American society. In addition, the works studied raise issues related to all ethnic groups in America, as well as to fundamental American values such as freedom, equality, justice, opportunity and family. General studies humanities-literature credit and Holocaust studies program credit.

SPI 232
The Holocaust in American Literature and Film

Why did the Holocaust become such an important event for Americans in the 1970s and 1980s after being avoided in the late 1940s and 1950s? This course traces the development of the Holocaust as collective memory through its representations in American literature, film and television. General studies humanities-literature credit and Holocaust studies program credit.

SPI 234
The Holocaust in World Literature and Film

This course approaches the Holocaust by examining the challenges and problems encountered in trying to imagine and represent its horror through the media of world literature and film. It treats a broad range of issues, including the politics of memory, the value of testimony, the problems of witnessing, the weight of history and the ethics of representation. The goal and objective of the course is to gain an understanding of important issues relating to the Holocaust, as they have been addressed in world literature and film. General studies humanities-literature credit and Holocaust studies program credit.

SPI 235
Topics in World Literature

These courses, designed primarily for general studies credit, focus on selected authors, major literary forms, or significant intellectual issues in world literature. Foreign literary works are read in translation. Because these multiple-sectioned courses are intended to offer a variety of options for students, course topics are made available prior to registration each semester. The course may be repeated with a new topic. The instructors for these courses are generally from the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures Department.

SPI 260
Computer Applications in a Business Environment

This course is an introduction to the use of computers as an accounting and business management tool. Students use various packages to prepare forecasts, budgets, financial statement analyses and management reports. Course assignments require an introductory knowledge of spreadsheets and word processing.
Prerequisite: ACC 101

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