Russell Scholars Program

Russell Scholars Course List

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Program Requirements

To graduate as a Russell Scholar, a student must successfully complete two writing courses or equivalents, three RSP seminars, and six credits of Learning Community Labs, the final lab to be taken during the senior’s spring semester. Students who are not taking RSP Lab who wish to earn service-learning credit must register for RSP 400 Independent Study with the instructor’s permission. Students planning to graduate as Russell Scholars are required to take RSP 110, RSP 111, RSP 210 or 211, RSP 310 or 311, and RSP 411.

RSP 100 College Writing (3 credits)
RSP 101W Russell Scholars Creative Writing (3 credits)
RSP 103 Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment (3 credits)
RSP 110 Learning Community Laboratory (1 credit)
RSP 111 Learning Community Laboratory (1 credit)
RSP 210 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 211 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 250 Seminar: Songs and Society (3 credits)
RSP 310 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 311 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 400 RSP Independent Study (1-3 credits)
RSP 401 Community Service Internship Variable credit
RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
RSP 410 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)
RSP 411 Learning Community Laboratory (1-2 credits)

Core Curriculum Requirements

Many Russell Scholars courses will satisfy the USM Core/General Education requirements. Students should consult with their mentor concerning the use of additional Russell Scholars courses to satisfy additional Core curriculum requirements.

Departmental Major

Russell Scholars courses are not intended to be counted toward the number of credits that departments require for graduation as a major. Students enrolled in the Russell Scholars Program should consult with their departmental advisors concerning the use of Russell Scholars courses to satisfy departmental major requirements.

Core Curriculum

Most Russell Scholars courses satisfy USM Core/general education requirements. Students should consult with their mentor concerning the use of additional Russell Scholars courses to satisfy additional Core curriculum requirements.

RSP students take only a fraction of their USM courses through the Russell Scholars Program. Russell Scholars courses are intended to be used to satisfy only USM Core or general education requirements or electives toward graduation. The RSP Core curriculum is made up of primarily humanities-based and social science-based courses. RSP students must take all other core requirements outside of RSP. Since all RSP courses are either core or elective courses, no RSP course is intended to satisfy any credit requirements toward any academic major.

Course Descriptions

RSP 100 College Writing
This course introduces students to the style and standard of writing expected of them in college. Students read expository writings grouped around a theme and use the ideas they encounter to develop and refine analytical essays in response. Emphasis is placed on building the skills of critical analysis and the writing process, specifically reading, drafting, rereading, revision, editing, and proofreading. Students are encouraged to integrate ideas from RSP Seminar into class discussions and individual essays, when appropriate. At the end of the semester, an RSP 100C student will be able to engage with complex readings and compose analytical essays that focus on a central theme using language that is relatively free of sentence-level error. Prerequisite: college readiness in writing. Fall semester. Cr 3.

RSP 101W Russell Scholars Creative Writing
This course is offered as a continuation of RSP 100C to help students define and meet their writing goals. Classes meet once a week, and include individual conferences. Creative Writing emphasizes style, organization, and development, with some emphasis on mechanics. Students must exercise the self-discipline necessary to work independently.Cr 3 .

RSP 103 Russell Scholars Seminar: Culture, Community, and the Environment
All first-year Russell Scholars and transfer students are required to take this course. This course will utilize scientific and humanistic anthropological theories and understandings to explore contemporary issues and dilemmas concerning the environment. It will consider values and approaches of different cultures in order to better understand the current problems of environmental damage and pollution, population growth, lifestyle impacts on ecology, ethnic conflict, and other threats to cultural survival and ecological balance. The seminar will attempt to analyze contemporary problems locally and globally, and to explore possible resolutions to these problems. An example of cultural types will be examined, including forager, agriculturalists, and industrial nation-states, in terms of their relationship with and values about the environment. Cr 3.

RSP 110 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
This forum for all Russell Scholars will convene bi-weekly in an informal environment to address topics such as campus issues, current events, and student interests. Russell Scholars Lab also takes students out of the classroom atmosphere by integrating field trips to enhance the learning experience. Cr 1.

RSP 111 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 111 is a continuation of RSP 110. Cr 1.

RSP 210 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 210 is a continuation of RSP 111. Cr 1.

RSP 211 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 211 is a continuation of RSP 210. Cr 1.

RSP 250 Russell Scholars Seminar: Songs and Society
This is an interdisciplinary, literature-based course focusing on the role of songs in world cultures. It is designed to introduce students to the influence that songs have upon societies, and likewise, the influence of societies upon the creation and use of songs. Like most art forms, songs are reflections of the prevailing values of a given society at any given time in history. The course examines songs as vehicles to motivate and mobilize people, to help them escape from drudgery, to worship, to express politicial sentiment, to approve or to protest, to celebrate, and to entertain. Students identify and analyze the range of song genres from martial songs and anthems to love songs, lullabies, and protest songs. The course traces the evolution of the traditional story-song from the epic ballads to its present incarnation as both high and pop culture. Students will also explore songwriting as both an art form and as a business driven by societies’ unquenchable appetite for songs, both old and new. Prerequisite: 24 credits or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

RSP 310 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 310 is a continuation of RSP 211. Cr 1.

RSP 311 Russell Scholars Learning Community Laboratory
RSP 311 is a continuation of RSP 310. Cr 1.

RSP 402 Russell Scholars Capstone Seminar: Community and Commitment
This capstone seminar will bring together the framework, principles, and experiences of four years in the Russell Scholars Program to prepare graduating seniors to become lifelong learners with a commitment to the common good. Drawing upon the lessons of identity and community, and other themes of the program, this classroom and field-based seminar will explore such questions as: What is the common good? How can we be at home in the world? How can we live within and beyond the tribe? What is our responsibility in the world? What does citizenship in the 21st century mean? How do we develop critical habits of mind? This seminar will include a significant service-learning field experience in a community setting. Cr 3.

RSP 410 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 410 is a continuation of RSP 311. Cr 1.

RSP 411 Russell Scholars Learning Community Lab
RSP 411 is a continuation of RSP 410. Cr 1.

Visit the Undergraduate Catalogs for up to date information on Core curriculum requirements and courses.