Draft Syllabus

SEM 2 B2109              Mondays 6-10 PM         

This 4 Credit course offering is open to current MPA students, special students and upper division undergraduate students.

Joan Bantz, Member of the Faculty

Phone: 360-867-5095

Office: LAB I, 3011


Healthy Communities collaborative premise moves beyond changing one behavior or person at a time, isolated from family, neighborhood, and work. Systemically, ecologically, multidisciplinarily, multisectorily, utilizing leaders(plural) it acknowledges health vectors outside traditional healthcare, e.g., despair, inequality, education, unemployment, domestic violence, lack of connection – lack of community – that huge knot of problems society pushes from hand to hand, seeking easy, one-shot solutions. Students will select local collaborative projects working to build a healthy community. They will be asked to test their own assumptions and move theory to practice by doing participatory research and action learning, practice social-ecological and inter-sectorial options and reporting regularly to the class on their efforts.  The class is being coordinated with Department of Health, Masters in Environmental Studies and Masters in Public Administration. 

Lappe, Frances Moore (2006) Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life (Hardcover). Jossey Bass, Wiley Imprint: San Francisco, CA. ISBN:0787943118

Durning, Alan  (June 10, 1999) Green Collar Jobs: Working in the New Northwest (New Report, 8) Pub: Northwest Environment Watch.  ISBN: 1886093083 

Minkler, Meredith  (October 25, 2004) Community Organizing and Community Building for Health (Paperback) ISBN: 0813534747 Rutgers University Press; 2nd edition


A.   Define healthy people in healthy communities and healthy tomorrows.

We begin building our own definition of a Healthy Community with one the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition’s uses in their work with the diverse communities of Ontario to strengthen their social, environmental and economic well-being.  By the end of the quarter students will create their own definition.

Healthy Communities are based on the following principles:

Healthy Community process involves:

Qualities of a Healthy Community include:

B.   Develop an understanding of international, national, state and local efforts to build healthy communities.

C.   Learn effective ways to move theory to practice locally.

D.   Participate directly with an organization building healthy communities.

E.    Refine skills of critical thinking, writing, speaking across differences, active listening, and building a healthy learning community.


1. Intellectual Journals.  20 minutes weekly we will write in class after our guest speakers have left. Turn in the journals during the fifth and ninth week of class to faculty. 

2.  WebCrossing Posting.  The Wednesday before class you will post 1-2 page overview of your community explorations.  These papers should reflect academic work and provide your readers a glimpse into how the theory of the course work relates to practical application.  As well you will respond with a paragraph to one peer a week with constructive insight that will support their success, lessons you took away from their posting, etc. by the Saturday before class.

3. Seminar Preparation.  Credit in this class will weigh heavily on seminar participation.  The course is similar to a senior seminar, where deep learning is sought through meaningful dialogue.  We will review building learning communities the first week of class.

4. Define Healthy Communities.  Your definition of healthy communities will be developed this quarter and posted during week 8.

5. Working in Community. The entire quarter you will work directly with an organization in a manner that allows you to better understand different ways to build healthy communities.  We will discuss options the first night of class.  You will teach one another weekly by exploring your lessons learned and progress on WebCrossing.

6. Guest Speaker Preparation. Although the speakers are of course entertaining, they have been selected for their expertise in differing areas of healthy communities.  You will be expected to research their areas of expertise before they speak in class, and be prepared to interact appropriately.  Some will wish to wait until they have finished for questions, others will offer to respond during their presentations. 


A.         Credit:  Students will receive 4 graduate or undergraduate credits based upon satisfactory and on-time completion of all course requirements and assignments.  The seminar faculty will make credit denial decisions.  Partial credit will be awarded.  Plagiarism, failing to complete one or more assignments, completing one or more assignments late (without having made special arrangements in advance of the due date) or two non-excused absences, may constitute automatic denial of credit.

B.         Evaluations
: Each student is expected to write a self-evaluation and participate in the end of quarter evaluation conference with faculty, unless they are in an MPA Core program. Students are expected to provide a written evaluation of their faculty member. If you are not required a face-to-face evaluation, your self and faculty eval are due the last day of class.
Students can expect the faculty member to be prepared for classes and seminars, to be available for office hours as posted and for scheduled meetings outside of office hours, to respond to telephone or email messages in a timely manner, and to provide timely feedback on assignments. All students will receive a written evaluation of their academic performance by their faculty.

C.         Covenants: In furtherance of our learning community, we expect students and faculty to:

·   Act in accordance with the Evergreen Contract and Student Conduct code.

·   Promote a cooperative, supportive atmosphere within the community; give everyone opportunity for self-reflection and expression.

·   Use high standards in reading the text and preparing papers, lectures, and comments in seminar.

·   Handle all disputes in a spirit of goodwill.

Both students and faculty agree to discuss any problems involving others in the learning community directly with the individuals involved, with the right to support from other course members during those discussions, if that seems helpful. For example, students must first discuss any problems involving a student member directly with the person in question; others will refrain from discussing details of any such problem except in the above format.





Assignments Due                   

Week 1

April 3rd

Building the learning community
Review Expectations


Week 2

April 10th

Guest Speaker: Victor Colman, Community and Family Health, DOH
Healthy Communities: Broad overview and definitions:
What does it mean?  Who does it involve? Is this definition different for different groups?

Lappe 1st half

Web Research on Healthy Communities


DUE: Community Work Posted by April 5th and response by April 8th
(This posting may be only a narrowed focus but the following week must be actions)

Week 3

April 17th

Guest Speaker: Lin Nelson, PhD and Anne Fischel, PhD, TESC, MES
"Beyond Borders: Community, Workers and Asarco", an evolving study of the impacts of the Asarco company in Tacoma and many other communities in the US, Mexico, and elsewhere.


Research Sustainability


Due: Community Work Posted by April 12th and response by April 15th

Week 4

April 24th

Guest Speaker: Peter Guttchen, Northeast Neighborhood Association
Healthy Communities projects in Olympia Northeast Neighborhood; policy dev. process; barriers and opportunities for shaping agendas.
Guest Speaker: Kyle Unland, Nutrition and Physical Activity Program, DOH
Projects, grants and partnerships for healthy communities. What is the future of ˜healthy communities projects and partnerships?

Lappe 2nd half

Research Neighborhood Associations

Class Journal

DUE: Community Work Posted by April 19th and response by April 22nd

Week 5

May 1st

Guest Speaker: Martha Henderson, PhD, TESC MES
Geography and the interface of class, race and gender.


Research: Geography/Social impact

DUE: Journal to Faculty

DUE: Community Work Posted by April 26th and response by April 29th

Week 6

May 8th

Guest Speaker: Frey Constance, LM, CPM
Around the Circle Midwifery
An International Perspective



DUE: Community Work Posted by May 3rd and response by May 6th

Week 7 

May 15th

Invited Guest Speaker: 
Sylvie McGee,  Coordinator
Center for Community-Based Learning and Action

Taking Action



DUE: Community Work Posted by May 10th and response by May 13th

Week 8

May 22nd

Student Presentations


DUE: Journal to Faculty

DUE: Community Work Posted by 17th and response by May 20th

Week 9

May 29th

No Class          Memorial Day


Final Postings: Project and

Healthy Community Definition

(No peer responses due)

Week 10

June 5th


Wrap up

Evals Due if no

Our Agreements (an example only)

We show up to all classes on time.

We are prepared, listen, and share our views.

What is said in this room, stays in this room.

We respect others.

We disagree with ideas, not people.

We do no harm as we engage in the learning process.

We are honest.

We do our best work.

We turn work in on time.

We actively and enthusiastically engage in learning.

We invest in ourselves.

We create a safe place.

We have fun.