Honors Program Classes

Course PrefixCourse TitleDescription
ANTH 2301 Physical Anthropology This course introduces the student to the bio/cultural diversity of humans. The interaction between culture and biology produces a variety of human biological adaptations that are traced through the following avenues: the genetic makeup of modern populations, primate behavior, and the fossil record of primates, with an emphasis on human evolution.
ARTS 1303 Arts History I A critical and analytical study of the great historical works of art in architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts from prehistoric times to the Renaissance.
COMM 2311 News Reporting I, " A Few Good Men & Women: Journalism in Crisis" Why take a reporting and writing class when journalism itself is under siege? This honors course, taught by long-time Austin American-Statesman columnist Ben Wear, examines the questions raised by the financial troubles of print and broadcast journalism while simultaneously making better writers out of every student in the class. Students will learn the basics of gathering information, analyzing its meaning and presenting it to readers in a coherent and compelling way. Even if you never cash a newspaper paycheck, this course will give you skills and the added confidence in your writing necessary no matter where life takes you.
ECON 2301 Macro Economics Principles of Macroeconomics deals with consumers as a whole, producers as a whole, the effects of government spending and taxation policies and the effects of the monetary policy carried out by the Federal Reserve Bank. Macroeconomics is concerned with unemployment, inflation, and the business cycle. In honors we expand as time permits and according to the interests of students or instructor. Among the directions we may go: 1) A more skeptical and critical look at the effectiveness of government in managing the economy. 2) A more rigorous and "in-depth" look at the impact of international trade and relations. 3) A survey of the factors governing international differences in wealth, economic progress and the wealth of nations. 4) Appropriate topics of interest to the students. You will particularly enjoy this course if you are not afraid of simple algebra and have already taken the course in microeconomics, but this is not essential.
ECON 2302 Micro Economics Principles of Microeconomics deals with the interactions between individual households and business firms. The concepts of supply and demand will be studied; students will learn what these concepts mean, how they operate, and how prices are determined. Market structure, market failure and income distribution will also be considered.
ENGL 1301 Composition I: "Rebels and Revolution" The course is designed to introduce students to the various aims/purposes, modes/patterns and other rhetorical strategies available to writers, with an Honors Emphasis on the tracts, essays, declarations, pamphlets, songs, poems, letters, diaries, plays, paintings and other cultural productions of the American Revolutionary Age. This fifth anniversary edition of the course will evolve as a flexible combination of lectures, discussions, web site visits, group work, in-class assignments/workshops/conferences, readings aloud, music, film, play performance and no telling what else.
ENGL 1032 Composition II: "Contemporary Science Fiction" This course focuses on contemporary science fiction, ranging from 1960 to the present. Historically, science fiction has allowed writers to explore imaginative possibilities that are not readily available in more "mainstream" literature, and the genre continues to be a fertile ground for such possibilities, offering sophisticated critiques on a variety of contemporary issues. Students will read and analyze a variety of short stories by authors as diverse as Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Samuel R. Delany. SF film will also be highlighted Introduction to Speech: "Identity, Sex, Gender & Culture in Communication."
ENGL 1302 Composition II: "Texas Writers" Students will read short stories written by Texans and be visited by some of these would-be (or wouldn't be) cowpokes. No need to wear boots, but expect more than a smidgen of Texas friendliness and fun in class.
ENGL 1302 Composition II: "African American Writers" This course will focus on the African American culture & the seven elements of fiction: central idea, character, conflict, point of view, setting, language, and tone. A rich selection of literature will be discussed, from "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" to works from contemporary authors, such as Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.
ENGL 2322 British Literature I: "Shakespeare at the Movies" The plays of William Shakespeare continue to fascinate not only specialists in literature and the theatre but also the culture at large. As new generations of filmmakers have sought to embody Shakespeare’s great works on the screen, inherent difficulties in adapting Shakespeare have lead to truly remarkable and living works of art that carry the poet’s work to new audiences and keep him relevant.
Shakespeare’s plays reflect and reconsider the great themes of earlier authors and anticipate those of later writers in England. Through our reading and research, we will explore interconnecting themes from Shakespeare’s works to other works and authors.
ENGL 2328 American Literature II: "The Dirty 30s" Emphasis on depression era writers and agrarian themes with a walking tour of 1930's architecture.
ENGL 2328 American Literature II, "The Best of the Best: "American Nobel…." This inaugural version of the course will survey representative works of the ten American authors awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. We will read novels, short stories, poems and a play. In additional, we’ll explore “the politics of the prize” – who wins and who doesn’t and why – and also study each recipient’s acceptance speech. In addition, as time allows, we’ll view clips of some of these works that have been adapted to film, inspired music and art, etc.
ENGL 2328 American Literature II, “Burned, Banned, Blacklisted” This course will investigate the values of artistic expression in American Literature and analyze what it takes to get a work burned/banned/blacklisted in American culture.  This will be a frank and open discussion of works that test the bounds of Free speech, Creativity and Expression in America.  We will investigate and analyze the standards and mores of censorship and what makes a work unacceptable, using works which have troubled lives (such as works by Twain, Alexie, Seton, Jordan, Vonnegut, Cisneros, Lethum) to study the “rules” of censorship and how  it occurs in American literature, movies and music.
ENGL 2332 World Literature I: "Tales of Epic Heroism" This World Literature I class focuses on heroes as portrayed in ancient and medieval texts, comic books, and one twentieth century film. The primary focus is the ancient world, but with each text examined, we will explicitly compare the values shown and emphasized with those of 21st century America.
ENGL 2332 World Literature I: "Ancient World through Renaissance" World Literature includes major Western works from the Ancient World, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. British works are excluded due to time constraints and with the hope that courses in those works will make up the deficiency. The genres include narrative epic poetry, tales, drama, lyric poetry, and novel. Students use the Class Notes page on the course website (http://www.austincc.edu/phillips/ ) for focus and direction in studying the terms and the content for the course. Students will focus on the meaning and relevance of the works, their importance in the body of literature, and the importance of myth. Mythology will be the unifying concept for the course. Myth, as defined by Keen and Valley-Fox in Your Mythic Journey and as influenced by the many works of Joseph Campbell, is “an intricate set of interlocking stories, rituals, rites, and customs that inform and give the pivotal sense of meaning and direction to a person, family, community or culture." Assignments integrate terms, content, and the creativity of the student.
ENGL 2342 Introduction to Literature: "Gothic Literature and Its Popular Accomplices" Curious about where the current vampire craze got started? Want to see how spooky cultural icons achieved their status? Want to debate about high art versus low? Please join us for an exhilarating, invigorating ride through literary and cultural history and help us define and explore all things Goth.This Introduction too Literature class will explore Gothic Literature from its origins, up to 21st century literature. We'll have fun discovering the various definitions of "the gothic" as they appear in diverse texts, art, and music, through uniquely tailored presentations and student directed research.
ENGL 2342 Introduction to Literature: "Native American Literature" Students will study historical and current issues that shape contemporary Native American people, their culture, and their literature. Topics of discussion include programs to eradicate Indians, as well as programs designed to help Indians; intersecting cultures and contemporary Indian identity; self-determination and sovereignty; life ways and stereotypes. All readings and films for this course are written and produced by Native Americans. We will use their texts to understand the significance of stories, symbols, themes, and narrative structures. Some of the readings include novels by Sherman Alexie and Susan Power, short stories by Irvin Morris and Leslie Marmon Silko, essays by Vine Deloria, Jr. and Charles Eastman, poetry by Lucy Tapahonso and Joy Harjo, and plays by William S. Yellow Robe, Jr.
ENGL 2342 Introduction to Literature: "Reader's Choice" Students choose their own readings from a variety of selections and choose their own assignments from a number of suggestions. The course fulfills the requirements for English 2342 by introducing the students to short story, novel, drama, and poetry. Details are found at www.austincc.edu/phillips.
ENGL 2342 Introduction to Literature "Texas Writers" This class will focus on the myth of Texas and how it is presented in novels, short stories, poetry and songs. Because I expect us to have a number of guest speakers (and singers), the schedule will be somewhat loose and open to change.
ENGL 2342 Introduction to Literature: "Subtext and Stereotypes in Literature, Movies and Media" The course emphasizes symbolic analysis in literature and in media. Analysis and projects will focus on classics like Joseph Campbell's archetypes in "The Hero's Adventure" as well as subtext and stereotypes in various types of media, such as movies, television, X-Box video games, and Rap/Hip-Hop. Students are encouraged to develop and use deep thinking and deep watching skills to analyze current media and the effect it has on everyday life.
GOVT 2305 U.S. Government: "Globalization & U.S. Politics Post 9-11" This course offers an in-depth analysis of the current international political and economic structure and its impact on U.S. government and politics. Topics covered include the impact of globalization on U.S. policy on jobs and the economy, the connection between U.S. foreign policy and terrorism, the impact of the WTO and NAFTA on U.S. democracy, and the relationship between U.S. law and international law, such as the Geneva Convention.
GOVT 2305 U.S. Government: "Undressing the Constitution: Philosophic…" This honors course in US Government will cover the basic information in the introductory survey course, but will place great emphasis on the political and philosophical thought on which our nation's government, constitution, institutions, processes, and policies are based. We will complement readings in the textbook with source texts, as we seek to understand what kind of thinking motivated the framers to create a government unlike any the world has seen? For instance, we will seek not only to understand that our nation is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy and the self-guided pursuit of happiness, but how the founders came to those ideas and what they mean. Further, we will try to gain an understanding of and appreciation for the unique nature of American Government by setting it in the context of the classical political thought which preceded it, the modern political thought which spawned it and the contemporary political thought which challenges it.
GOVT 2306 Texas State and Local Government: "A Hands on Guide" This course is an honors course designed to provide you with a framework for analyzing Texas state and local government, including the constitutional basis and the institutions, processes and policies of Texas state and local government. In addition, the course includes a number of assignments and activities designed to include you in Texas state and local government and increase your understanding through firsthand experience.
HIST 1301 History I: "US Wars in Film/Print" This course is will acquaint the student with the basic facts of United States History from 1607 to 1877 focusing on the U.S. military in both print and film using a textbook, classroom exposition, outside readings, a research paper with a classroom presentation of the results, and audio-visual techniques.
HIST 1301 History I: "American Indians" Description n/a
HIST 1302 History II: "American and the World in Film/Print" As with all US History II courses, this class will address the principal themes of modern US history since 1877. But US History II: America and the World will take advantage of the honors format to also examine in detail the role of America in world affairs and, in turn, the influence of the world on life in the United States. To make sense of such a sweeping view of history, the class will concentrate on four distinct but interrelated periods: 1877-1920, 1920-1945, 1945-1989, & 1989-Present.
HIST 1302 History II: "Terrorism in America and the World" The purpose of this course is to provide students with a useful framework from which to interpret some of the important themes in modern United States history and the interrelationship of foreign policy on life in America since 1877.
PHIL 1301 Introduction to Philosophy, "If You're Happy & You Know It: Philosophy & the Meaning of Life" This course introduces major figures and movements in philosophy by examining a core problem in the Western tradition, viz., the meaning of life. Various texts that deal with this problem, drawn from philosophy and literature, will provide an opportunity to learn and practice philosophical analysis. For additional information, contact contact or Learn more.
PHIL 2306 Ethics, "Sex and the City: Ethics & Sexuality" This course introduces the major ethical theories of the Western tradition by applying them to issues in human sexuality. Various philosophical and literary texts, film, and works of art that deal with the ethical aspects of sex and sexuality will provide opportunities to learn and practice philosophical analysis.
PHYS 2425 Engineering Physics This class emphasizes solutions of physics problems with the aid of the Mathematica's graphical and visualization tools as well as its powerful symbolic algebraic manipulation capabilities. Mathematica can open new possibilities to physics students in situations where the traditional, purely algebraic analysis techniques fail. It puts powerful symbolic and numerical analysis, as well visualization techniques in the hand of students, enabling them to solve more sophisticated and realistic problems.
PSYC 2301 Introduction to Psychology, "Brain and Behavior" This course emphasizes the biochemical and neurological aspects of behavior and mental processes such as cognition, sensation, perception, learning, memory, stress, and psychological disorders. We will hear from several local guest researchers who are involved in projects related to the course topics. Each student will have the opportunity to explore current scientific literature in their psychological topic of choice.
PSYC 2301 Introduction to Psychology, "Focus on Peace and War" Explore the psychology of peace, violence, and social justice. We will cover all required topics and emphasize their relationship to conflict management and peace studies (CMPS). For example:
  • Brain structures involved in controlling aggression
  • Memory processes involved in post-traumatic stress disorder in individuals exposed to violence or trauma,
  • Processes involved in the reintegration of child soldiers into society. Are child soldiers "damaged goods"? How does psychology inform us about helping them readjust to a life outside the war zone?
  • Psychological conditions that foster conformity in events such as the Abu Ghraib abuse in Iraq and the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
  • Biological and environmental roles in the development of personality, especially in the context of aggression and self control.
For more information, please contact Dr. Shirin Khosropour at shirin@austincc.edu, or 512-223-3282.
PSYC 2314 Human Growth & Development, "Stress & Wellness" This course is intended for students in disciplines that require knowledge and understanding of how people grow and develop throughout the life cycle. It provides (1) an in-depth discussion of theoretical perspectives and research findings that have helped to increase our knowledge and understanding of factors that influence our physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development, and (2) an in-depth discussion of factors that may affect our overall health and sense of well-being, including chronic stress. The theories and research findings on human development are discussed and integrated with relevant theories and research findings in health psychology, giving special attention to stress-related health issues. Topics such as cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and asthma are discussed, focusing on the potential psychological and social impact that these health conditions and/or their treatments may have in children, adolescents, and adults. Also, this honors course provides an overview of stress mastery practices as well as other practices that promote healthy development. Some of these practices will be demonstrated in class.
SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology : "Sociology of Power" Max Weber once wrote: "a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory." In this class, we will tease out what it means for the state and other groups to create and enforce the use of power from different sociological perspectives. We will read from various scholars who emphasize the political, economic, social and psychological dimensions of the use of power to control society. We will also ask the important question: What would society look like without the state as the legitimizer of power? (Anarchy). Come and join us as we read, discuss and research ideas on power from antiquity (Aristotle) to the middle ages/renaissance (Khaldun, Machiavelli) to modern Sociology (Marx, Weber, Foucault, Bourdieu).
SPAN 1511 Spanish I Study of fundaments of Spanish: conversation, basic writing, listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary building, grammar and culture. It is highly recommended that students with no previous experience with a foreign language also enroll in a Spanish I Lab course.
SPAN 1512 Spanish II Continuation of SPAN 1511 with more advanced conversation, basic writing, listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary building, grammar, and culture.
SPCH 1311 Introduction to Speech: "Communication for Health Professionals" This course will focus on how to enhance your communication skills with patients, health care workers, and family members. Improve the delivery of healthcare by developing your communication skills in the health care setting.
SPCH 1311 Introduction to Speech: "Identity, Sex, Gender & Culture in Communication" Take a step further into being a cosmopolitan member of the emerging world culture. Music, food, sports, fashion, how to say hello, family, work: it's all culture and how we communicate about it. Study how culture influences communication in contemporary society. This course examines differences in communication of cultural diversity. Topics include: identity, constructing differences and similarities of self and others, ethnocentrism, gender, emerging cultural trends, transcultural communities, cross cultural interactions, language, and the cultural influence of media and technology of global culture.
SPCH 1315 Fundamentals of Public Speaking: "Environment, Rights, Humanitarianism & the Rhetoric of Change" As with other Honors courses, the course is limited to 15 students, creating the ideal speaking workshop to help you develop your own personal public speaking style. This is the class that unveils the public speaker in you. Student speeches and speech artifacts focus on the the Rhetoric of Change and making a difference by presenting speeches as a concerned citizen. Pick your cause; have a voice. Speech elements include: personal presentational style, confidence building, the elements of presentational public speaking, informative speeches, persuasive speeches, special occasion speeches, and preparing presentations (including research, organization, introductions and conclusions, audience analysis, listening, presentational critiques, and presentational credibility).
SPCH 1318 Interpersonal Communication Interpersonal Communication is the study of theory and practice in verbal and nonverbal communication with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Emphasis is on improving interpersonal skills and helping increase communication competence in everyday social exchanges.
In the Honors course, film is the primary teaching methodology. Students view and analyze modern American films to discover how interpersonal communication concepts are portrayed at home, at school, in social settings, and in the workplace. The films focus on interpersonal relationship with friends, family members, and romantic partners. Students also read from a variety of primary contemporary writings on the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships.
SPCH 1321 Business and Professional Communication This Business and Professional Communication honors course focuses on developing students' leadership knowledge and abilities as related to communication. Students planning to enter leadership positions will learn how to communicate as leaders. Students research leadership concepts and take on leadership roles within the class, which include leading discussions and collaborating in exam creation. The overall focus of the course is to develop the student's communication competencies in leadership roles.