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Quality Enhancement Plan

Appendix F: Civic Inquiry Program - Sample

Candidates for Year One Courses Include:

  1. Civil/Environmental Engineering 412: Hydrology and Watersheds Analysis. Professor Philip Bedient engages students in his revolutionary research on flood control and water quality issues in Houston and the Gulf Coast region. Student groups evaluate community risks for flooding using data they obtain on sites in the Houston Metropolitan Area.
  2. Visual Arts 327: Documentary Production. Brian Huberman, whose film credits include documentaries aired on PBS and a widely respected cinematic oral history of Holocaust survivors, teaches students the expressive possibilities of documentary film production using digital systems.
  3. Spanish 440: Bilingualism: Cognitive, Linguistic and Social Factors. Rafael Salaberry and his advanced students analyze bilingualism from cognitive, linguistic and socio-cultural viewpoints, while working directly with dual language schools and the Hispanic community in Houston.
  4. Political Science 441: Common Property Resources. Common property resources (CPRs), such as aquifers, fisheries and the Internet, pose a fundamental governance dilemma involving economic and political institutions because they are public goods that can be privately consumed and depleted. Professor Rick Wilson's students identify CPR issues in Houston, study community organizations' efforts to resolve them, and present their findings to community partners.
  5. Sociology 309: Race and Ethnic Relations. Michael Emerson's students study historical and contemporary theories of race and ethnic relations in the U.S., while conducting field-work in Houston neighborhoods, focused on group patterns of assimilation and conflict.
  6. Architecture 426/429: Designing the Low-Cost House. Under the auspices of the Rice Building Workshop, students collaborate with community organizations to design, permit, and construct a small house in mid-town Houston for Project Row House, a noted grassroots project promoting neighborhood revitalization and community service.
  7. Bioengineering 451: Design I (Maria Oden). In this project-based course, senior Bioengineering students, working in teams, design devices in biotechnology or biomedicine in collaboration with partner researchers and physicians in the Texas Medical Center.
  8. Biosciences 310: Independent Study for Undergraduates. In concert with the Consortium in Conservation Biology Zoo Project, students in Professor Lisa Meffert's course conduct research on endangered species at the Houston Zoo.
  9. Sociology 308: Houston: The Sociology of a City (Stephen Klineberg). Students in this course assist in the design, administration, and analysis of the Houston Area Survey, which for two decades has set the standard for urban sociology case study research on a major metropolitan area in order to explore contemporary social change.