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First Class Courses

The Environment of Audubon Park

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Issues

Students in this course will explore global environmental issues such as climate change, water, human population, and sustainable living in urban environments. Students will study the history of present-day Nola, starting with the creation of land during the past 6,000 years to how the city was created more than 300 years ago, and environmental issues causing flooding and subsidence in our neighborhoods in 2020. These current environmental issues have economic, political, technical, cultural, social, and ecological implications and thus will be studied from an interdisciplinary approach, allowing for students to use sharpened critical thinking skills about human involvement and unintended consequences of living below sea level. But because we should also challenge ourselves to develop solutions, we will delve into current technologies such as green infrastructure being used in Nola and around the world.

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Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Issues - Course Syllabus


A History of New Orleans

A History of New Orleans

Living in New Orleans we cannot help but be aware that they are surrounded by history. By American standards, New Orleans is old and that fact is central to our identity. Indeed, to walk through the city is to immerse yourself in a tangibly historical landscape, something we market endlessly to tourists. But ask around about the history of New Orleans and you will receive wildly different interpretations of what it is, usually in the form of stories that use creative fictions to distort historical realities. This course will invite you to challenge such mythologies by unpacking the motivations that have kept such narratives alive. Our material will encourage you to think critically about tangible matters affecting Loyola’s home from roughly 1650, when it was only a concept, until the late 20th century, including the social, political, economic, cultural, and geographical factors that have shaped who we are. Along the way we will hear from voices that have for too long gone unrepresented. Lastly, we will explore the factors that drive a common tendency to think of New Orleans as “unique” and therefore exceptional by considering the many ways it is representative, and thus, universal.

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A History of New Orleans - Course Syllabus


Friends on the Mississippi

Nola's Sonic Landscape - Chasing the Musical Experiences and Evolution of Public Performance in New Orleans

Students in this course will explore New Orleans' street music in all of it's forms. From musical buskers to Mardi Gras Indian culture, vegetable men, and second line brass bands, students will gain a new perspective on the evolution of both the city and it's sonic landscape, within which we are so deeply immersed. Lastly, in addition to learning about New Orleans' rich tradition of cultural torch bearers, students will study the practice of performance and what makes these iconic sounds so lasting and revered.

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Nola’s Sonic Landscape - Course Syllabus


Figuring things out

Design Thinking

We are often asked in life to solve problems that don’t have a simple solution and sometimes we have to do this in a certain amount of time. In order to harness our thinking and maximize creativity on a deadline, we can employ the same methods used everyday by designers to solve problems for their clients. These methods, called Design Thinking, involve planning, strategy and the use of a set of systems to develop creative solutions whenever necessary.

Design Thinking is the practice of strategic problem solving and decision making, a technique that has been used by designers for generations, but is now being used in hospitals, businesses, and in education to enhance team planning creative outcomes. Design thinking was originally developed from user interface design, a field in which designers must consider the user first while thinking creatively on a deadline. Students taking the Design Thinking course will use empathy, prototyping, and design systems to increase their creativity, efficiency and organization in any area of life.

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Design Thinking - Course Syllabus


students in business class

How to Make Money

This class is for people who want to change the world for the better… and get rich in the process. Being in business is about anticipating needs, solving problems and creating value through storytelling. This class explores the philosophies and practices that help today’s business people understand what creates and drives value in the marketplace. We will focus on both the big-picture (how markets and competition work) and the small-picture (the psychology of the individual consumer). Over the course of ten weeks, this class will train you to out-think and out-maneuver your competition, and how to systematically monetize being exceptional. We will explore concepts like branding, competitive advantage, differentiation, creativity, innovation and the customer experience, and how they apply to you in a business and you as a business.

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How to Make Money - Course Syllabus