LC02: Flourishing: Expressions of Well-Being

This Learning Community consists of a first-year seminar in Psychology and a Composition 1 course in English, in addition to a FYE course: University Studies. The first-year seminar is an introduction to the basic methods of study and knowledge of human behavior in relation to the social, cultural, and natural environment. The composition course integrates the topics of positive and social psychology, with emphasis on film, with discussions of strategies in the writing process. The point of departure is a vision of popular culture as a form of social problem-solving as students learn to read more critically.  In your FYE course, you will have opportunities to connect course-work with campus engagement opportunities as you discover how to Flourish in college life together.


Students will be enrolled as a cohort in the following courses:


 Term Days/Times  Course ID  Course Title - (credit)  Course Type  Instructor
 Fall 2013 T/R
12:30 - 1:45
 PSY 190  First-year Seminary in Psychology: Flourishing: The Psychology of Well-Being - (3)  Liberal Studies - First year Seminar  Dr. John Habel
2:00 - 3:15
 USI 130  University Studies: Flourishing LC - (1)  A FYE Transition Pathways Course  TBA
 Spring 2014 TBA  ENGL 101  Composition 1 - (3)  Liberal Studies - C1  Dr. Margaret Bruder

PSY 190 - Flourishing: The Psychology of Well-Being
The name of our seminar comes from the term, “flourishing,” which psychologist Jonathan Haidt uses for what we also refer to as fulfillment, well-being or happiness. In our seminar we will look at the research in positive psychology and in social psychology about both the external conditions of life and the conditions of human growth and development that increase the likelihood that a person will flourish. Our seminar is not a “how to” course for achieving happiness, but an opportunity to study how scholars struggle to define and study happiness from a variety of perspectives, both recent and ancient. Topics include reciprocity, love, virtue, empathy, friendship, why we find fault in others, and how we make up our minds and change our minds. Our primary text is Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Happiness Hypothesis: (

John HabelInstructor Bio:  Dr. John Habel is an educational psychologist who has taught in the Department of Psychology since 1993. He has long-standing interests in positive psychology and in promoting tolerance in educational settings. For some years he has served as the chair of the Diversity Committee of the College of Education and Allied Professions (CEAP). In addition, he is a member of the General Education Task Force that was formed in April 2010 to proposed revisions to WCU’s Liberal Studies Program. Dr. Habel also has been a member of the First Year Experience (FYE) Cabinet since 2010.

ENGL 101 – Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies
First year composition approaches writing composition as a process and product.  The course emphasis is on writing as a tool for reading, thinking, and communicating. This course uses the conceptual frameworks explored in the learning community cohort to integrate the topics of positive and social psychology, with an emphasis on film and discussions of strategies in the writing process.  In working out ideas through writing, the goal is for students to recognize the value of their personal experiences and cultural backgrounds in determining who they are, what they think and how they communicate ideas in an academic environment. In that vein, students do a lot of careful reading, deep-level thinking, and creative discussion as they improve their writing skills. (Liberal Studies - C1)

Instructor Bio: Dr. Margaret Bruder has her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with an emphasis on Film and American studies. She has been on the faculty of the English Department since 2007, teaching composition, literature and film studies classes. Her primary areas of interest are Hollywood film and digital culture.  Before coming to Western Carolina, she taught at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.  Dr. Bruder also has been a member of the First Year Experience (FYE) Cabinet since 2010.

USI 130 - University Studies
This course is an introduction to the university and to higher education will help you make a seamless transition to your new community at WCU as you “Calibrate your compass.”  You will be introduced to the academic, procedural, and social elements of your new community.  Class sessions are interactive and focused on personal and academic growth, helping you to integrate your classroom learning with co-curricular activities and residence hall programming as you discover your place in your new community. This section of USI 130 is designed to address the specific goals of The Flourishing Learning Community and enrollment is limited to students enrolled in LC02.  To learn more about FYE Transition pathways, you may visit here.


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