Interdisciplinary Classes

IDS105E Loss and Grief
This course focuses on the psychodynamics of loss. The responses to loss are explored through analysis of the grieving process. Covered are loss through death; losses of health, marital or other relationships, sexuality, body-image, and self-esteem; and ethical issues in loss and grief.

IDS106E Child Abuse
The course will focus on child maltreatment, which includes emotional, physical, and sexual abuse as well as neglect of children in contemporary American culture. The biological, psychological, and sociological factors affecting child abuse will be utilized as the broad conceptual framework for prevention, identification, and treatment with potential and actual battering families.

IDS107E The First Five Years: Early Childhood

Many psychologists consider the first five years of a child’s life to be the most important. This course examines in detail the multitude of changes that take place during infancy. Special attention is given to the psychological, social and developmental processes, child-rearing practices and family structure. 1 credit

IDS108E Coping With Adolescent Behavior
The adolescent years are the most difficult ones to understand for parents, teachers, and even for the adolescent. It is a time of conflict and confusion, a questioning of authority and moral values, and a time of experimentation with alcohol, drugs and sex. This minicourse presents a framework of methods that help the student cope with adolescent behavior. 1 credit

IDS109E Effective Parenting
Our society does not prepare us in any manner to assume the awesome duties of being a successful parent. The aim of this course is to overcome some of that deficiency by developing and improving parenting skills. Parents experiment with and assess a variety of techniques that will help them communicate with their children. 1 credit

IDS110E Coping With the Loss of a Child
The syndrome of grief experienced after losing a child differs in some of the manifestations from those ordinarily experienced following loss. The effects of loss for parents, grandparents, siblings and many other individuals who have assumed a significant role in the life of the child are considered. The developmental stage of children’s death concepts is explored as a foundation to the explanation of death to other children, particularly siblings. 1 credit

IDS111E Who Speaks for the Child? Rights of School-Aged Children
This course is designed to give lay persons an opportunity to study the laws that directly affect the school-aged child. Using non-technical language, participants are given a basic understanding of the law in areas of confidentiality, liability, special education (Chapter 766), handicapped (P.L. 504) and equal opportunities for female students (622).1 credit

IDS112E Creative Ways to Help Children Grow
Have television and the internet become the main sources of your children’s knowledge? Are there more productive ways for promoting the creative processes within our children? This course allows you to discover new techniques in such areas as rhythm, drama, poetry and language. There is special emphasis on storytelling in the areas of fairy tales and folk literature.1 credit

IDS125E Mind/Body Medicine
This course offers a curriculum for those students who are interested in learning about the field of Mind/Body medicine (also known as Alternative Medicine, Complementary Medicine) which has been embraced by the public. Students learn about many of the modalities of care comprising this ancient form of health care, as well as how to practice one or two of them in their daily lives. Students investigate one Mind/Body intervention and its use in treating one type of illness or health problem. Also, students are required to examine the ways in which Mind/Body medicine may benefit both themselves and society while exploring the reasons why this type of care is not fully accepted in the Western medical arena at this point in time.

IDS125E Mind/Body Medicine
This course offers a curriculum for those students who are interested in learning about the field of Mind/Body medicine (also known as Alternative Medicine, Complementary Medicine) which has been embraced by the public. Students learn about many of the modalities of care comprising this ancient form of health care, as well as how to practice one or two of them in their daily lives. Students investigate one Mind/Body intervention and its use in treating one type of illness or health problem. Also, students are required to examine the ways in which Mind/Body medicine may benefit both themselves and society while exploring the reasons why this type of care is not fully accepted in the Western medical arena at this point in time.

IDS203E Attitudes and Values in Business
‘The greatest discovery in our generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.’ William James. This course is designed to increase the participant’s awareness towards his/her own attitudes and values and the influence of attitudes in the areas of communications, motivation, time management, goal setting, and self-assessment. The goal of the course is to enable the learner to enhance his/her relationships in order that he/she may become more effective in the world of work.

IDS204E Children and the Law
This course provides a survey of the history, current status, and future trends of the law concerning children in America. Special emphasis is placed on developing students’ critical thinking regarding current problems in public policy and the law as it applies to children.

IDS205E Women and Aging
This course in social gerontology invites students to examine important issues in the field of gerontology through analysis of current films and literature depicting the lives of older women in contemporary American society and culture. For each class, students view a movie and/or read a fictionalized or journalized account of the life of an older woman. The course includes discussion and analysis of these cultural materials in light of sociological, psychological and biological theories and research in the field of social gerontology.

IDS207E Children and Violence
This course examines various psychological studies concerning the causes of youth violence. Special emphasis is placed on understanding indicators of potential violence and the prediction of violence. The second half of the course considers the response of courts to youth violence, and the interdisciplinary cooperation between lawyers and psychologists in children’s law

IDS209E Conflict Resolution
An introduction to the theory and practice of conflict resolution. Exploring the nature and extent of violence and strategies of nonviolent intervention from family and workplace mediation, to the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), to international negotiation.

IDS210E Scientific Evidence and the Courts
This course examines the critical role scientific evidence plays in American courts of law. Starting from the landmark murder case from 1923, Frey v. United States, where a primitive form of “polygraph” testing was first offered at trial, the readings detail the explosion in the use and importance of such evidence. The impact of this evidence’s use on the everyday lives of Americans is explored through reading cases on the use of radar in speeding cases, breathalyzers in drunk driving cases, and DNA testing in high-profile murder cases. The importance of an informed public in the area of science and law as a guarantee to the fair administration of justice is the goal of the course.

IDS211E Mental Health Law
In today’s world of high expectation and heavy stress, mental health is a very fragile commodity. Students discuss the many federal and state laws which affect a human being in various mental conditions. From forced hospitalization to losing control of your assets, we follow the options offered by legal and social agencies. Do the present laws protect the patient and ward or do they protect the state’s rights and the heirs of the mentally impaired? Who makes medical decisions for this group of citizens?

IDS212E Stress Management: A Spiritual Synergy
This course explores two key understandings and approaches to stress: the biological/medical viewpoint, and the spiritual/holistic perspective. We look at each aspect and then unite the two in a unique and exciting healing process. The course utilizes interactive study, guided meditation, and chanting.

IDS213E Well Informed: Growing Old with Health & Wisdom
As America ages, we look forward to continued advances in life expectancy, but only recently have we attempted to ensure that we live out this increased life expectancy with full mental, social and physical health and vigor. This course is an adventure in wellness for seniors, families, human service professionals and health care providers. Topics include “normal” aging, coping with memory loss and depression, health choices and rights, disability, medications and alcohol, and community resources. “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be…” R. Brownin

IDS214E Othello: Shakespeare’s Vision of Domestic Violence
This course uses William Shakespeare’s play Othello, the Moor of Venice to explore the nature of domestic violence. Critical literary scholarship and current research in domestic violence is used to deepen students’ understanding of the destructive impact this form of abuse has on families. Finally, drawing on the play and other readings, the class considers strategies for men and women in the prevention of domestic violence.

ID216E The Relationship of Science and Religion
This course proposes that a Science-Religion dialogue is necessary for the survival of our Western Culture. It provides an historical review of past and present Science-Religion relationships. Special attention is given to the momentous shift in the content and methods of 20th century Science. The new Science not only disallows the pretensions of its earlier materialistic model but opens the door to a fruitful relationship with Religion. The essential need for purpose and meaning that only religion can provide to this relationship is the central message of this course

IDS217E Women and the Law
This course studies the law of sex discrimination from several perspectives: as an institutional development, as an occasion for fundamental ideological disputes, and as a key dimension of the feminist movement. Special emphasis is placed on news coverage and commentary as a continuous source of stories and opinions relating to the subjects of the readings and classroom discussions.

IDS218E Sexuality and Aging
Longer life expectancy, early retirement, and improved health status are increasing the time between work cessation and old age for millions of Americans. It is reported that both men and women are experiencing greatly enhanced levels of sexual activity, with people over the age of 65 as sexually interested as they were in their youth. The purpose of this course is two-fold: 1) to explore the myths, taboos, and realities associated with sexual expression in the older/aged individual; and 2) to identify common health concerns and illnesses that may interfere with peak sexual functioning in the later years, including ways to promote sexual health.1 credit

IDS219E Women & HIV/AIDS
There are currently more new cases of AIDS among women in the United States than among men. In 1995 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified Worcester as one of 15 cities in the U.S. where AIDS is the leading cause of death for young women. Women differ from other groups affected by HIV/AIDS — not only by gender, but by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, risk behaviors and self/health care practices. Until recently, there has been an overemphasis on women as vectors of HIV/AIDS (carriers of a deadly virus to offspring and sexual partners), rather than as women with the disease. This course presents an overview of the spectrum of HIV disease as experienced by women, including their special and unique medical, psychosocial and spiritual needs. 1 credit

IDS220E Law Through Film
This course examines different aspects of the law as portrayed by film. The focus is on the fundamental structure of our legal system, with particular emphasis on the jury system, rules of evidence, and Constitutional Law, specifically the First, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment Rights and the separation of Church and State.

IDS221E American Family in Film and Literature
Students examine the contemporary American family as portrayed in film and literature. These cultural representations of the family are analyzed using concepts, theories, and data from the sociological perspective. Readings may include works by Maya Angelou, Anna Quindlen, May Sarton, and others. Movies may include Dad, Parenthood, Ordinary People, Secrets and Lies, American Beauty, and others.

IDS222E Elder Law

As life expectancy increases and the population of America ages, there is a growing focus on the law as it applies to the elderly. This course covers a wide variety of topics, including: transferring assets; wills, trusts, and conservators; guardians, medical treatment, and housing; financing health care; long term care insurance; Medicaid and Medicare; and tax issues.

IDS223E Health and Wellness

An introduction to health concepts and current issues in wellness, with an emphasis on developing health and wellness strategies within the context of daily life. Topics include psycho-social health; stress, violence, and abuse; interpersonal relationships; addictive behavior and substance abuse; infectious and noninfectious diseases; fitness, weight control, nutrition, and eating disorders; alternative therapies; healthy aging; death and dying; and the environment.

IDS224E Obesity: A Childhood Health Crisis
An introduction to the socio-economic, cultural, physical, and genetic factors leading to obesity and other related weight disorders in children. Students receive current data on obesity and have an opportunity to examine and distinguish between the realities and misconceptions contributing to weight problems in children and adolescents. Students gain an understanding of effective intervention strategies and develop the expertise necessary to implement positive weight management behavior in children. An excellent course for parents, educators, health care professionals, and child care workers.

IDS225E Comprehensive Stress Management
This course reviews strategies and techniques of stress reduction and stress management, including a critical discussion of advantages and disadvantages of numerous procedures to reduce stress and assessment of relative effectiveness. Topics include occupational stress, nutrition and exercise, relaxation techniques, and stress and the elderly.

IDS285E Women’s Studies I: Images
This course is an introduction to the study of women. The course develops a coherent integrated view of women and their roles, emphasizes the full range of contributions and the limited opportunities for women, examines and appraises the experience of women and critically examines the thinking about women at various times and from various perspectives. The basic approach is interdisciplinary and the concentration is on women in North America from the 18th century to the present.

IDS316E Public Relations
This course explores the profession, the function and the skills of public relations. It examines the role of the PR professional in the profit and nonprofit sector. Students learn to define and influence public opinion, to establish and manage a public relations program, and to apply strategies to motivate, inform or sell to varied publics. The use of media, publications, and public speaking are covered.

IDS256E Special Topics: Violence in the Family
This seminar provides the student with a greater awareness of the problems associated with family violence and makes them more knowledgeable about its many aspects. Together, students examine their experiences, explore their stereotypes, beliefs, values, and attitudes they have about both family and violence, and question their cherished assumptions, as well as, perhaps, their behavior.