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SPIA 2024: Community Systems Thinking

This course provides an introduction to systems thinking concepts and their application to community-based problem solving and decision making, with an emphasis on identifying interactions between technical and contextual dimensions of persistent, complex global problems. Students will complete problem-based service-learning projects, exploring systemic frameworks for defining problems, identifying and engaging stakeholders, ideating interventions, selecting and employing criteria for decision making, and creating feedback mechanisms for iterative design.

Why take it?

This course is open to any student, of any major, who seeks to understand how their own interests, expertise, and experiences can be utilized to address community needs. Working in collaborative teams, students will have significant opportunities to practice interpersonal communication and critical thinking skills, while designing ethical, evidence-informed community interventions with ongoing stakeholder engagement.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Reasoning in the Social Sciences, Ethical Reasoning, and Intercultural and Global Awareness.