From apocalyptic comics to saving the world, the Kodiak College catalog boasts some new classes this fall, broadening the offerings at the local University of Alaska Anchorage site.
“There’s a lot of energy on campus right now,” assistant director of academic affairs Jared Griffin said.
During an open house Monday, staff and instructors pitched the range of opportunities and facilities, while students filled out their schedules ahead of the start of classes next week.
Griffin, an English professor, is excited about his new course that will use graphic novels, comics and film to explore how a work gets realized in different media.
“It’s going to be a fun class,” he said. “There’s different schools of adaptation theory that we explore.”
Despite the use of material from popular culture, students will use literary analysis to explore serious themes, including different apocalyptic visions.
If the end of the world sounds too depressing, students can opt for Thia Falcone’s social problems class. The hands-on offering might address local hunger, homelessness, child abuse — whatever the students decide to take on.
“They pick the problem, then they pick the project,” Falcone said.
Although she has led versions of the class about every other year since 1987, it always turns into something different. Until the students come through the door, Falcone doesn’t know what they will do and tries to stay flexible.
“You have to have great comfort with unknowns to do something like this,” she said.
And while the pressure of written tests is off — Falcone doesn’t like to give them — students may be expected to “Change the world.”
In another class oriented toward the future, Kitty Deal of the UAA Teacher Education Program will lead an introduction to education class for the first time face-to-face at the Kodiak Campus.
“Do I want to be a teacher? That’s what this class addresses,” Deal said.
The class counts toward the UAA teaching degree and is offered to high school students for dual credit.
It comes as part of the Munartet Project grant shared between the college, Kodiak Island Borough School District, the Alutiiq Museum and the Kodiak Arts Council. They aim to encourage students to consider teaching careers in their local communities.
Introduction class students will spend some time observing professionals in action.
“They’ll go out and work with students in the schools,” Deal said.
These and other classes at Kodiak College still have some slots open.
New student orientation takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Room 130 of the Benny Benson Building, and classes begin Aug. 29. The last day to add classes without a late fee is Sept. 9.