College Studies


Dawn Abt-Perkins

Associate Dean of Faculty for Student Success

College Studies Courses

COLL 100: Personal Finance /Prof. Growth

(Personal Finance and Professional Growth.) Through class exercises and field research activities, students learn to manage their personal finances while developing pre-professional competencies (e.g. attitudes, dispositions, personal orientations/ethics, social skills). Personal financial planning topics include wise actions for managing budgets, taxes, consumer credit, housing decisions, insurance, investments, and the best ways to consider how you are financing education costs. Goal setting, creative problem-solving, team building, and working with a mentor will help students manage monetary stress and develop a plan for meeting their financial goals. Identifying and learning to communicate about personal qualities for career exploration are emphasized. Learning activities involve interactive experiences, case studies, and personal assessments to create a personal financial plan and professional development portfolio. No prerequisites.

COLL 102: Liberal Arts and the Workplace

Liberal Arts and the Workplace is designed to deepen student understanding of the fundamental skills and knowledge base that a liberal arts education brings to today’s and tomorrow’s professional cultures and innovative workplaces. In addition to curating the courses and experiences students have already had, this course continues to build essential workplace skills in communication, teamwork, resourcefulness, network-building, goal-setting, effective self-assessment, and research skills. Outcomes of the course include a career exploration research portfolio, a mentor network, a resume for internships, a plan for seeking and successfully completing high-quality internships, an articulated, well-researched career plan, as well as a corresponding academic and co-curricular plan of action. No prerequisites.

COLL 103: Success: Mindsets and Strategies

This course is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to learn and grow from their academic and collegiate experiences. Using theoretical application of self-regulation and self-control, students learn to achieve their short-term academic goals while remaining focused on their long-term objectives. Students study recognized resiliency practices—including principles of academic tenacity, anxiety reduction through effective time and project management, positive effective self-assessment strategies, and other strategies to retain a growth mindset. Students learn to most effectively use the tools and resources for academic success at Lake Forest College. Faculty, alumni, and current student leaders present on their resiliency stories and strategies. Throughout the course, students compile a portfolio of their experiences at Lake Forest College as a self-study in success practices. The course runs as a seminar twice a week with individual one-on-one meetings outside of class required. This is a partial credit 0.50 course. No prerequisites.

COLL 105: Nursing Professional Development

Nurses are at the front-lines of America’s healthcare delivery systems. As such, they need superior skills in communication, advocacy, and team-building. They need strong resiliency skills to manage the stressors of patient health-care management. This course is designed to build these essential skills for students who are admitted into our nursing program. No prerequisites but only open to students who have been accepted through the Nursing program.

COLL 110: Topics in Intergroup Dialogue

In this course, students participate in weekly intergroup dialogues, which are structured conversations in which individuals representing a range of identities come together in a classroom setting to learn from one another. Working with trained peer facilitators and overseen by a faculty supervisor, student participants explore identity, conflict, community, and social justice in the United States. Students are challenged to increase personal awareness of their own identity and experiences, expand their knowledge of the historic and social realities of other groups, and take action as agents of positive social change in their communities. This course requires a high level of participation from all students. Specific topics vary and will be announced in advance of each semester. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism requirement.)

COLL 119: COVID-19 Partial Credit Recovery

This course is designed to recover the credit hours (.5) successfully earned during the first half of a one credit course in the COVID-19-interrupted Spring 2020 term. It is available only as part of a withdrawal from the original course and recognizes the work that the student successfully completed before the midterm shift to remote learning. To qualify for this 0.5 credit, the student needed to be passing and regularly attending the course up until the midterm break. This course cannot be applied to any major or minor or toward the Forester Fundamental Curriculum.

COLL 150: Data Analytics using Excel

In this course, students learn basic and intermediate Microsoft Excel skills to help them analyze data and model outcomes. Students will learn how to perform spreadsheet calculations, create and interpret graphs and charts, execute Excel formulas and functions, manage workbook data, analyze table data, automate worksheet tasks, employ macros and VBA, and conduct "what if" analyses. Students who do not own a Microsoft PC computer will need to use the college computer labs to complete the work in this class. This course is administered entirely through Moodle. The instructor provides recorded lectures and hosts live office hours to provide support for students as needed. Self-guided work is to begin immediately upon the semester beginning. To start the coursework, students go to the Moodle page and read the syllabus to understand the sequencing of the course and to start working on the assignments. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Technology requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Social Science requirement.)

COLL 170: Your Future Self

[i]How do you identify, design, and live a life you love?[/i] This course utilizes design thinking in an entrepreneurial setting to help students from any major envision their possible future self and develop a plan to realize their vision for themselves. Using entrepreneurship frameworks, students develop a deeper awareness of self, others, and the world. Students also explore personal and career-path opportunities, and the importance of resilience, reflective decision-making, and goal setting in those pursuits. This experiential course offers personal and career exploration via distinguished speakers, lectures, class discussion, and readings. No prerequisites. Not open to seniors.

COLL 190: Talking Science

Effectively and accurately communicating about science is a highly valued skill not only for scientists, but also politicians, educators, healthcare providers, and even influencers. We begin by critiquing scientific communication in popular media and consider real-world implications of inadequate science communication practices. Then, students practice constructing and disseminating compelling and digestible stories about scientific findings across a broad range of disciplines including psychology, zoology, computer science, health science, and astronomy, empowering students to become fluent interprofessional communicators to diverse audiences. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Speaking requirement.)

COLL 210: Intergroup Dialog Facilitator Train

(Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator Training.) Students in this course train to facilitate intergroup dialogues, which are structured conversations in which individuals on many sides of an issue come together to learn from one another about questions of identity, including race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability. This training will develop facilitation skills that can be used in many settings—the classroom, the workplace, and beyond. Students in this course will learn to facilitate dialogue by participating in dialogue; thus, this course requires a high level of participation from all students. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Domestic Pluralism requirement.)

COLL 222: Powerful Academic Writing

Powerful academic writers write like great speakers sound--they move audiences to change their opinions, their actions, their perspectives. Good writers often read their writing aloud to be sure that each sentence communicates its intent. In this course, students read their writing aloud, give meaningful critique to others, work in writing teams (as if in the workplace) and, develop writing confidence through hearing as well as seeing ideas on the page. Most importantly, students write about facts and ideas with personal meaning, passion, and purpose. No prerequisites. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Writing requirement.)

COLL 310: Intergroup Dialog Practicum Facilit

(Intergroup Dialogue Practicum in Facilitation.) The Intergroup Dialogue Practicum in Facilitation provides support to students serving as peer facilitators for a 100-level Intergroup Dialogue. Students debrief their peer facilitation experiences weekly with the practicum instructor; refine their skills in facilitation; and deepen their own learning about identity, discrimination, privilege, and social justice. This practicum follows "COLL 210: Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator Training" and requires applied work (in the same semester as students take this course) in facilitating intergroup dialogues in COLL 110. Students participate in weekly COLL 310 seminars, in addition to facilitation time. Prerequisites: B- or better in COLL 210 and permission of instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Experiential Learning requirement.)