EI245 Advanced American Culture

for SP 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


EI 245 Advanced American Culture


SP 2013 HO


Van Tress, Heather


Instructor of English - Adjunct Faculty


B.A. Classical Languages, University of Missouri - Columbia
M.A. Classical Languages, Washington University, St. Louis
Ph.D. Classical Languages, Radboud University Nijmegen

Office Hours

by appointment




Class Days


Class Time

1:30 - 2:45 PM

Credit Hours


Broukal, Milada and Milhomme, Janet. All About the USA 4.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Will be provided by the instructor.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
EI 245 Advance American Culture: This course broadens and deepens students exposure to American culture through examination and analysis of American music, movies, TV, literature, art, and other media. Students in this course put their English into practice and demonstrate knowledge of American culture by producing a project elucidating an aspect which interests them. It is designed to build upon the skills of cultural analysis taught in EI145, American Culture, but may be taken on its own. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor believes that students perform better in secure and friendly learning environments. The  class will be a  safe, respectful environment where all students are encouraged to participate. The students will work in groups, pairs and individually to complete the assignments. The instructor will use variety of activities to address the different learning styles of the students. The instructor aims to help students develop their academic , critical thinking and problem solving skills so that they can take control of and direct their own learning.

Class Assessment:

90-100%      A
80-89%        B
65-79%         C
55-64%         D
below 55%      F

Core Assessment:
Presentations    35%                              
Compositions     20%
Attendance at Culture Hour       10%
Homework          20%
Participation      15%

Presentations: You will have 3-4 presentations to do this semester.

Compositions: You will have 4 compositions this semester. These include writing about topics assigned, about texts read, and about films watched in class. You will be given ONE chance to revise your compositions in order to get a higher grade.

Culture Hour: Culture Hour meets every Tuesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Thompson. It is MANDATORY that you attend 10 of these sessions and report on them the next day. If it is absolutely impossible for you to attend 10 Culture Hour sessions, please speak to me as soon as possible to discuss other options. I will not discuss any other options after March 18.

Homework: There will be homework exercises assigned in the book that are due the next day of class.

Participation: Attendance and participation is extremely important as we cover a lot of material in class.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assignments are due to following class, with the exception of oral presentations which are due according to the schedule posted. The instructor WILL NOT accept assignments submitted late, except by pre-arrangement, or under extenuating circumstances. If there is a problem with meeting any of the due dates, let your instructor know as early as possible. If there is a problem with a date that involves others, work out the arrangements with your group members before informing your instructor. 

You must notify your instructor at least 3 days in advance if your assignment will be late (due to extenuating circumstances).

Attendance is mandatory and has a big influence on your grade. Advance notification of an absence qualify you for an excused absence. Students providing a legitimate excuse for their absence (doctor’s note or medical certificate) may submit work when they return to class without penalty. All athletes are expected to submit game schedules prior to any absences,  as well as permission slips from coaches stating when and for how long they will be absent from class.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
An open learning environment is critical to language learning success. Students will respect each other as well as the instructor. Unkind or derogatory comments about other students will not be tolerated. Class and group discussions are expected to be conducted in English. You are in this class to improve your English; I assume you do not need improvement in your own languages.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The following in-class activities and assignments are subject to change. All assignments are due in the following class, unless otherwise noted:


In-class activities

Homework Assignment

Week 1



Monday, Jan. 14


Unit 1

Re-read text in Unit 1 and do exercises for Unit 1

Wednesday, Jan. 16

Unit 1

Read text about Missouri and Kansas City; begin preparing for presentation




Week 2



Monday, Jan. 21

No Class - Holiday – Martin Luther King’s Day


Wednesday, Jan. 23

Unit 3

Re-read text in Unit 3 and do exercises for Unit 3

Continue working on presentation on Missouri and Kansas City.




Week 3



Monday, Jan. 28

Unit 3


Wednesday, Jan. 30

Presentations on Missouri

Read text for Unit 4 and do exercises




Week 4



Monday, Feb. 4

Unit 4

Read text about the American War of Independence

Wednesday, Feb. 6

Unit 4

Write composition #1 on the American War of Independence – Due Monday, Feb. 11.




Week 5



Monday, Feb. 11

Unit 5

Re-read text for Unit 5 and do exercises.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

Unit 5

Excerpt from Ken Burns’ The Civil War.

Watch excerpt from Ken Burns’ The Civil War again.

Read outline and text of The American Civil War.

Prepare for presentation on the American Civil War.




Week 6



Monday, Feb. 18

No Class – Holiday – President’s Day


Wednesday, Feb. 20

Unit 6

Re-read text from Unit 6 and do exercises.

Prepare for presentation on The American Civil War.




Week 7



Monday, Feb. 25

Presentations on The American Civil War

Read text for Unit 7

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Unit 7

Do exercises for Unit 7




Week 8



Monday, March 4

Unit 7

Read text on Holidays in the United States.

Wednesday, March 6

Unit 8

Re-read text for Unit 8 and do exercises.




Week 9



Monday, March 11



Wednesday, March 13






Week 10



Monday, March 18

Unit 9

Re-read text for unit 9 and do exercises.

Write composition #2 on The American Civil War – Due Wednesday, March 20.

Prepare for presentation on Holidays.

Wednesday, March 20

Unit 10

Re-read text for Unit 10 and do exercises.

Prepare presentation on Holidays.




Week 11



Monday, March 25

Presentations on Holidays and American Culture

Read text for Unit 11 and do exercises.

Wednesday, March 27

Watch “The Help” in class.





Week 12



Monday, April 1

Finish “The Help” (if necessary) Unit 11

Read text for Unit 12 and do exercises.

Write composition #3 on “The Help” – due Wednesday, April 3.

Wednesday, April 3

Unit 12

Read text on American Music.




Week 13



Monday, April 8

Unit 12

Prepare for presentation on American Music.

Read text for Unit 13 and do exercises

Wednesday, April 10

Unit 13

Prepare for presentation on American Music.




Week 14



Monday, April 15

Unit 13

Prepare for presentation on American Music.

Wednesday, April 17

Presentations on American Music

Read text for Unit 18 and do exercises




Week 15



Monday, April 22

Unit 18

Read text for Unit 19 and do exercises.

Wednesday, April 24

Unit 19

Re-read text for Unit 19 and do exercises.

Write composition #4 on Bill Gates, the Google Guys, or Steve Jobs – due Monday, April 29.




Week 16



Monday, April 29

Unit 19


Wednesday, May 1

Rounding off





Friday, May 3







Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:1/4/2013 2:39:36 PM