For years, individual professors and departments within the Green School have offered numerous courses at FIU’s academic center at I-75 in Miramar.
But in the spring of 2020, the Green School will launch an innovative partnership with the center dubbed “Green School Tuesdays at I-75.”
Spearheaded by the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies (GSS) and the Department of Public Policy & Administration, this partnership marks the beginning of a strategic, unified effort to bring together distinct disciplines within the Green School to foster student success at I-75.
A block of five Green School interdisciplinary courses will be available back-to-back on Tuesdays starting next semester. The courses range from Introduction to Sociology and American History since 1877 – courses that count toward the university’s undergraduate Global Learning requirement – to Managing Global Cities and other public service courses.
“This could be a model, a new way of looking at how the Green School offers classes at I-75,” says Guillermo Grenier, chair of GSS.
The block of classes at I-75, he explains, is a perfect fit for Green School students living near the location – and wondering how they can get to classes in the most convenient way.
Marisa Salazar, director of FIU at I-75, says the majority of students who take courses there live within a 15-mile radius of the location. This encompasses both Broward and Miami-Dade County areas, including Miami Lakes, Hialeah and Hialeah Gardens.
“Ultimately, this is about the students,” Grenier says. “We want to make sure our students know this is a choice for them.”
The Green School Tuesday classes were specifically chosen with the goal of allowing students to gain an interdisciplinary perspective while meeting requirements for graduation for various programs. The block-style schedule also allows for greater flexibility for students balancing work and school; several of the courses are hybrid, allowing for even more convenience as students can do a portion of the courses online.
“By scheduling these courses together, we are helping facilitate timely graduation for our students,” says Howard Frank, chair of the Department of Public Policy & Administration. “They don’t have to wait. They can fulfill their requirements and graduate on time with little commuting problems.”
Additionally, all of the Green School Tuesday courses count toward the new GSS bachelor’s degree in Global Studies – an interdisciplinary degree that offers a birds-eye view of globalization. Students explore the interconnectedness of political, economic, legal, ecological and cultural dimensions of social life as it relates to global studies.
“Packaging these courses in this way at I-75 is helping foster interdisciplinary perspectives in our students,” Grenier says. “This multidisciplinary aspect, by all measures, is where social science curricula are heading.”
Frank adds that the I-75 location is a hidden gem that all FIU students can take advantage of—whether near or far.
The center regularly hosts campus life and student engagement activities – and often puts its own twist on Panther Pride. Case in point: During this year’s homecoming, the I-75 team organized a grand-slam spirit fest. They designed homecoming shirts for students and had stations with custom decorated blue-and-gold donuts from Mini Donut World – a business near the location.
“The campus is a warm, welcoming place. It offers a quiet place of study with a family-like setting for students,” he says.
The location’s 10 study rooms offer particularly popular and comfortable places to concentrate. Each room can hold about five or six students and sports 70-inch displays, media ports and mini-computers complete with web cams.
“We provide a high-touch experience for students,” Salazar says. “Many of our students thrive on the intimate feel of our location. It’s great that the Green School is taking the reins and making sure its students are aware that this is an option for them.”
By Gisela Valencia