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Bachelor of Arts Course Descriptions

It is expected that the following courses will be offered during at least one of the terms for the current academic year. The College reserves the right to schedule courses according to availability of instructors, demand, and other circumstance that may arise. On occasion courses may be offered that are not listed in the catalog.  All courses are worth 3 semester credits, unless otherwise noted.

COMP3010: Computer Skills for Trade Unionists - Level 1. This class is conducted completely online. This class covers how to use word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet applications to prepare labor union proposals, contracts, presentations, and budgets. Participants will learn how to search the Internet and effectively communicate with e-mail and web conferencing tools.  Class discussions revolve around how labor unions can best use computer technology.

COMP3011:  Computer Skills for Trade Unionists - Level 2 This class is taught completely online.  The class is a continuation of COMP3010 and assumes a familiarity with the use of Windows and Microsoft Office applications. The course covers advanced features of Microsoft Office word processing and spreadsheet applications. Students are also introduced to the creation of database applications.

ENGL3001:  Reading & Writing Critically Whether you're a brand new NLC student just returning to college after a long break or one already familiar with the challenges of the program, you're probably looking for academic skills to help you learn more. Have you ever struggled through a reading assignment only to reach the end and wonder what it was about? Have you ever organized your thoughts into a paper just to realize it was clear only to you? Don't worry, you're not alone. These are two of the biggest challenges college students face. Reading & Writing Critically offers solutions to these challenges by helping you learn how to interact with your readings and get more out of them and by teaching you how to craft clear, strong essays that reflect your personal style. Additionally the class covers basic research techniques and argument theories to prepare you for writing papers for your other classes.

ENGL4100: Writing about Labor and Literature.  Take this course to find out more about how work, unions, and the history of the labor movement have been portrayed in American literature. By analyzing the ideas about work presented in literature, you will enhance your knowledge of the history and experience of the labor movement, while learning about the forms of literature and improving critical thinking and writing skills. Readings include novels and excerpts from novels, short stories, poetry, songs, and essays.

LBCR4000:  Introduction to Labor Studies This course introduces participants to the required writing and analytical standards of the College. Through course discussions and essays, students critically evaluate recent scholarship in the field of labor studies. Subject areas include: labor and the economy, comparative union structure and governance, membership attitudes and behavior, labor movement theories, changing member demographics, labor law and legislation, labor history, organizing strategies, globalization and other contemporary labor issues.

LBCR4500: Educational Planning.  This course is designed to help students identify and clarify their educational goals.  By preparing a portfolio, students will be able to identify and categorize prior college-level learning.  This process will enable students to earn appropriate college credit as well as identify a major course of study.  A written, individualized plan will be drafted, along with a personal mission statement. These documents will justify how the course of study will help the student reach his/her educational goals.   Students will also learn basic study skills tailored to adult students returning to school.

LBCR4700: Comparative Research Methods.  The emphasis in this course is on learning to prepare a professional and well-researched paper, including proper footnote and bibliographical citations, paraphrasing, and the use of long and short quotes.  Students will be given the opportunity through exercises to apply certain rules of grammar and punctuation, while also learning how to structure and develop paragraphs and themes, write concisely using detail, and choose and develop a topic effectively.

LBCR4800:  Senior Seminar This course provides an opportunity for students to integrate their cognitive skills by bringing them to bear on a specific topic relevant to their major field of study and work experience.  Each student will choose an aspect of the seminar topics for extensive independent research (Senior Project).  Students will present their results  in both written and oral form.  Students will be introduced to types of research papers, methodology, and citation forms.  Students will be grouped by area of interest and faculty advisor.

LBCR4900:  Senior Project.  Students are required to complete a Senior Project in conjunction with the Senior Seminar.  The project should emphasize the student's role in the labor movement in conjunction with their classroom experience.  Students use the Senior Seminar to select a topic and faculty advisor.  Both oral and written presentation of the work is presented in the Senior Seminar.

LBCR4910: Senior Project Progress.  Continuation of Senior Project for those who did not finish Senior Project.

LBED4432:  The Adult Learner.   This class is conducted completely online. The Adult Learner is an online course that covers how adults learn, how to be a more proficient adult learner, and how to successfully instruct and communicate with adults. This course includes discussion of theoretical content and its practical application.

LBED4004: History of Labor Education.  Recreating the worker classroom experience in 1900, 1937, 1950, and 1974, students will explore the political, economic, and social factors that impacted on the education of trade unionists.  Study will be made of the need for a unique curriculum and the necessity to be open to innovation in order to achieve diverse educational goals.

LBED4410: Distance Learning for Labor Education. This class is conducted completely online. The class offers an in-depth look at distance learning methods and applications that labor educators can use.  The course examines the importance of distance education and its impact on future trends in education.  The online and traditional learning environments are compared in the areas of instructional technology, design, administration and learning strategies.  Participants will identify the characteristics that make a successful distant education student and discuss how to best prepare the distant student for the online learning environment.

LBED4450:  Instructional Systems Design.  This class is conducted completely online. Instructional Systems Development is the primary curriculum development method in use in adult training and education in the U.S. and around the world. It consists of a five-part system. This course covers the fundamentals of ISD and includes exercises and assignments that give students practical hands-on experience. Students have the opportunity to develop a curriculum design plan and a lesson plan.

LBED4460: Instructional Technology. This class is conducted completely online.  The course provides participants with a practical understanding of the instructional applications of modern technology. The emphasis is on using technology to increase communication and collaboration in the distance learning environment.  Students will learn to present educational content using software, such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, and audio/video conferencing tools. Students will use and evaluate course management systems and develop online student assessments. Students will learn to think critically about the appropriate uses of instructional technology and strategies to increase student learning.

LBHT4000: History of Labor Movement- Part I (1790-1929).   This class will examine the evolution of the American labor movement from the 1790s Industrial Revolution to the 1920s employers' "Open Shop" offensive.  Major emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding how the modern labor movement was formed. Specifically, class participants will examine the transition from the 19th century "producers" organizations (such as pre-Civil War working mens' political parties, National Labor Union, Knights of Labor, etc.) to the trade unions of the early American Federation of Labor.

LBHT4001: History of Labor Movement - Part II (1930 - Present).  Course participants will examine the American labor movement from the 1930s Great Depression to recent times.  Major emphasis is placed on the rise of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the impact of World War II, and the subsequent social, economic and political transformations experienced in the postwar era.

LBHT4002: History of Labor and the Law. This course examines the historical interaction of labor and the law from the post Revolutionary era to the New Deal. Topics include: the 19th century emergence of the common law legal order, the post Civil War expansion of judicial power and laissez-faire doctrine, the law's impact on labor's organizational and political strategies, and the role of worker resistance in reshaping the dominant legal regime.

LBHT4003: Gender and Identity in Labor History.  This course examines the central role of culturally constructed notions of gender, race, and ethnicity in shaping labor's past.  Materials produced by the Knights of Labor, AFL, and CIO will be examined, including: posters, murals, photographs, pamphlets, speeches and other work.  The course will focus on constructions of working class femininity and masculinity and "whiteness" and "blackness" from the Victorian era to the World War II and postwar era.

LBHU4110: History of Labor Theater This course will explore the rich legacy of labor theater.  Students will be required to read three plays by American playwrights, write a term paper on essay questions developed from the class discussion, and develop a working script based on their own experiences as trade unionists.  In addition, students will be required to attend a live theater performance and provide a critical analysis of the play as it relates to class discussion.

LBHU4160:  Images of Labor in Film. Working people, their unions, labor issues in general, and political movements involving the working class have not been a major presence in films.  But when images of labor do appear, they are rarely presented in a favorable light.  It is, therefore, very important to see and to understand those images that have appeared because we live in a culture that receives so much of its information (and ultimately many of its opinions) from visual media.  The course will survey a number of important films that have strong images of labor, both positive and negative.  Students will be expected to see four or five films during class hours.

LBOR2330:  Structure of Union Organizations.  This introductory course takes a look at the history, structure, institutional arrangements, and philosophy of labor organizations at various stages of industrialization and formation.  The contrast between union structures of the early and late 20th Century will be examined.

LBOR4000: Organizing the Global Workforce. This class explores the question of how labor and other grassroots groups are working to affect the shape of the global economy and rebuild labor movements around the world.  The class first traces the international division of labor by looking at emerging forms of work across the globe and the problems they pose for workers, unions, communities, and economies. It then examines new forms of organizing that are emerging to deal with the problems. The class also addresses the role of race, gender, and migration, and the barriers and opportunities they present for activists trying to build local and international solidarity.

LBOR4151:  Union Structure & Governance.  This course examines union governing and administrative structures and functions at the local union, district or regional, and national levels within the framework of the local central body, the state labor council, and the national federation (AFL-CIO).

LBHU4170: Ethics in Decision Making.  This course examines choices through an ethical lens and the study of ethical theories as applied to a series of moral problems.  Issues from the workplace will be examined to see which principles of right conduct, if any, clarify, guide, or determine their decisions.  Labor case problems will be included.

LBOR4181: Organizing and Representing the New Work Force.  As new immigrants and young workers enter the workforce in ever larger numbers, there are many new challenges for unions to face in involving these workers in the union movement, especially in organizing and bargaining campaigns.  This course will explore the challenges and opportunities this new workforce brings to the labor movement, and look for solutions in both historical and present day campaigns. Questions of race and gender and how the union movement deals with these issues will also be explored.

LBPE3000: Bargaining in the Global EconomyThis is a sectoral bargaining class that focus on problems posed by international trade.  The sectors and industries on which the class focuses will rotate. Depending on the industry issues addressed will include out sourcing and plant relocation, wage competition, job training, local and regional economic development and industrial strategies, as well as special issues regarding trade in services.

LBPE3050: International Labor Campaigns in the Global Political Economy.  Labor parties around the world are in crisis, and so are labor movements. Along with Organizing the Global Workforce, International Labor Campaigns in the Global Economy explores the question of how labor and other grassroots groups are working to affect the shape of the global economy and rebuild labor movements around the world.  This course focuses on the role of international campaigns - whether by unions, human rights activists, or environmental and consumer groups - around issues affecting work and workers lives.

LBPE4986: Where the Local Meets the Global (Train the Trainer) This course is a companion course to Where the Local Meets the Global (Domestic). It provides a train-the-trainer component so students can return home with ideas from the course and share and discuss them with co-workers.

LBPE4989: Where the Local Meets the Global (Domestic). This is the companion course to Labor in the Global Economy: Good Jobs, Bad Jobs, Many or Few Jobs (International) and may be taken before it or after it. While Labor in the Global Economy gives students the foundation to understand the forces shaping corporate-led globalization, Where the Local Meets the Global gives students the foundation needed for critical understanding of how the structure of the global economy affects and limits domestic economic policy and growth in both the U.S. and the Third Worlds. Discussions during degree week will cover basic economic concepts and terms needed to understand current debates and issues.

LBSH4600:  Hazardous Materials Transportation Students will be trained in recognizing and researching hazards, including the nature and causes of occupational diseases; relating OSHA standards to unsafe or unhealthy conditions; protecting workers and union rights under OSHA and NLRA; and using involvement techniques for safety and health purposes.

LBSH4601:  Workplace Hazards and the Law This course provides an introduction to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including OSHA standards, enforcement procedures, and workers' rights and responsibilities under OSHA, and examines techniques for health and safety hazards recognition and abatement.

LBSH4605: Hazardous Materials Transportation/Chemical Emergency Response This five-day course addresses OSHA and DOT-required procedures, different levels of response, and worker protection in the event of a hazardous materials emergency or release. Training includes advanced classroom instruction, intensive hands-on drills, a simulated hazmat response in full safety gear, and provides participants an additional training opportunity for completing an OSHA 10-Hour Outreach Course. Training is funded through a worker training cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

LBSH4620:  Industrial Hygiene This is an applied course.  Students are encouraged to use this class to collaboratively develop solutions to their industrial hygiene problems on the job.  Industrial Hygiene principles will be critiqued.  Controversy regarding the use of permissible limits for exposure to hazards is discussed.  Students learn to use the Internet and other resources to research workplace exposure issues.  Solutions to problems on the job and/or case studies will be explored.

LBSH2630:  Ergonomics This course reviews strategies for protecting workers' health and well-being through the better adaptations of machinery and production processes to the human being, and insuring worker safety.

LBSH2640:  Hazardous Recognition and Abatement.  A a survey of methods used to protect workers from job hazards will be presented in this course.  Workplace design and engineering controls, worker training, and personal protective equipment issues will be explored.

LBST4020: Labor Law. Statutes, cases, and governmental agencies that affect organizing and collective bargaining will be explored in this class.  The areas of study will include the development of public policy, employee rights, employee representation, duty to bargain, arbitration, economic pressure, and the duty of fair representation.

LBST4021:  Employment Law Statutes, cases, and governmental agencies that affect organizing and collective bargaining will be explored in this class.  The areas of study will include the development of public policy, employee rights, employee representation, duty to bargain, arbitration, economic pressure, and the duty of fair representation.

LBST4030:  Labor and the American Political System "When you're born they give you a birth certificate. When you die they give you a death certificate. Everything in between is politics."  This course covers the basics of political theory, campaign management, and government operations. Learn why union members vote the way the do, how to run a winning campaign, and how to make the legislative process work for you. Explore what messages motivate members and why. Discover what Machiavelli has to do with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and modern American politics.

LBST4070: Employment Rights.  This course examines federal laws that govern nonunion and union workers, including anti-discrimination laws, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

LBST4929: Current Issues in Labor Each of the six days of class, a major national or international leader of the labor movement will join the class in a roundtable discussion on a key issue facing unions and working people. There will be readings to prepare for each guest and the ensuing discussion. After the week-in-residence, students will write an interpretive paper based on readings and class discussion.

LBST2988: Labor in the Global Economy (International). This class is the foundation class in the political economy curriculum.  It traces the historical development of the global economy as it is currently structured; examines how workers in the U.S. and abroad are affected by trade and the global economy; looks at how policies of the U.S. government, Word Bank, and International Monetary Fund shape the course of trade and globalization; and details how globalization affects not only trade in goods but how public services are delivered.  Students will explore case studies involving Wal-Mart, NAFTA, and privatization of public services at home and abroad, and discuss alternatives for reshaping the rules under which globalization is taking place.

LBUA4900: Union Administration.  This course will provide a comprehensive understanding of virtually all aspects of the administration of unions.  Students will be exposed to a wide variety of situations and problems encountered by union officials in carrying out their duties.

LBUA4030: Fiduciary Duties. This course outlines the legal duties of trustees regarding pension fund management. Trustees will develop a full understanding of the fiduciary requirements imposed by ERISA and how ERISA affects the investment decision-making process.  The class will analyze relationships between fiduciary responsibility and capital stewardship.  Topics covered will include: the exclusive benefit rule, the duty of loyalty, procedural prudence, diversification, prohibited transactions, and role of Qualified Professional Asset Managers.

LBUA3040: Active Ownership and Corporate Governance. Trustees enrolled in this course will gain a thorough understanding of the benefits of active ownership through proxy voting and monitoring corporate governance.  Trustees and plan professionals will develop a personal philosophy about maximizing long-term value through corporate governance.  Topics include: appropriate topics of shareholder proposals, the fiduciary duty to vote proxies, execute compensation and other proposals that affect stock value, the duty of loyalty as applied to mergers and acquisitions, and case studies of shareholder activism.

LBUA4060: Capital Stewardship.  What is capital stewardship?  Why is pension fund investment important?  This course introduces trustees and union leaders to the importance of capital stewardship and pension activism.  Case studies will spotlight pension funds investments that create union jobs and high performance workplaces.  Trustees will also learn how they can monitor corporations to encourage responsible corporate governance and to promote ethical corporate citizenship.  Additional topics will include the role of the trustee and plan professional in collective bargaining and funding issues.

LBUA4110: Health Care Bargaining. This class will begin with an overview of the U.S. health care system, emphasizing key features such as hospitals, prescription drugs, testing and medical devices, and cost-drivers such as over-treatment and Rx marketing and research schemes. Students will learn bargaining dynamics by participating in a health care collective bargaining scenario during the week-in-residence. Following that week, each student will complete a research project chosen from a list provided by the instructor but customized to his his/her own interests, experience, and union setting.

LBUS3080: Strategic Grievance Handling. This class focuses on the concrete skills needed to handle grievances effectively while also building the local union. Participants will explore one or more grievance problems. Specifically, the grievance(s) will be analyzed for contract and legal violations; subsequently participants review the possible opportunities for member organizing and involvement. The final phase of strategic grievance handling will involve practicing skills for effectively reaching out to members.

LBUS3710: Instructional Methods.  This course will provide an in-depth look at instructional methods that can benefit labor educators.  It covers the basic principles of instructional methods and explores the relationship between learners and cognitive learning styles and includes a discussion of "multiple intelligence."

SCIE3030:  Physics for Unionists.  This course is designed for people who like to use their minds and develop their ability to understand and interpret what they see in the work around them.  Physics is an area of study that is beautiful, exciting, logical, philosophical, literal, historical, relevant, mathematical, and fun.

 

The College reserves the right to schedule courses according to availability of instructors, demand, and other circumstance that may arise. On occasion courses may be offered that are not listed in the catalog.