Staring in 1969, Portland State has offered ambitious students the opportunity to try their hand at a difficult and rewarding job: teaching. The Chiron Studies program allows students to submit proposals for courses they will prepare and teach themselves, all of which are offered as four-credit electives to interested participants.
Staring in 1969, Portland State has offered ambitious students the opportunity to try their hand at a difficult and rewarding job: teaching.
The Chiron Studies program allows students to submit proposals for courses they will prepare and teach themselves, all of which are offered as four-credit electives to interested participants.
In the past few years, Chiron has offered a variety of courses ranging from the study of comic books and sequential art, to a cultural history of textiles.
Chiron classes function like any other course at Portland State, so current students as well as interested community members can enroll, it is simply a matter of registering. Registration can be done at banweb.pdx.edu under the “Interdisciplinary Studies” section.
Patrick Beisell, the current program coordinator, attributes the wide variety to the program’s reputation.
“We offer that median of taking courses, resources, people and products and blending them together,” Beisell said. “[It is] representative of the fact that Chiron is able to connect with a lot of different organizations on campus that might be on polar ends.”
The course collection will continue over the summer, with the addition of three new subjects.
The Chiron Studies program has some big changes ahead, as Beisell comes closer to graduation, he has the responsibility of finding a replacement.
“I think it’s one of the best jobs on campus,” Beisell said. “We really just want someone with an interest and a will to work.”
As part of his legacy, Beisell hopes Portland State will someday host a summit for similar programs from across the country, as they are becoming more of a trend among progressive campuses.
For more information on Chiron Studies courses or to apply for the position of Chiron Studies program coordinator, log on to chiron.pdx.edu.
Summer Chiron class offerings
Alternative Energy Design/Build: A workshop setting, the final intent is to create a personal energy machine, with the focus on an “off the grid” lifestyle.
“We’re sort of riding the wave of Sustainability,” Beisell said.
Young Adult Literature Northwest Focus: This course will explore popular Northwest authors in the young adult genre, and what effect young adult fiction has on adolescents.
Introduction to Asian-American Studies: A class to fill in more specifics on Asian-American history and culture, primarily from 1850 to present day.
“We wanted to sort of fill the niche by drawing broadly on a lot of different cultures and histories,” Beisell said
Fall Chiron class offerings
Fundamentals of Sound and Engineering: A popular class that was offered winter term 2009 is returning for another term. The class focuses on sound recording and engineering.
Middle-Grade Fiction: Students have the chance to write short stories for fourth and fifth graders, and present the pieces to a local elementary school classroom for review.
Discovering Your Heritage: Examining personal family history, ancestral roots and the evolution of culture and heritage.
Great Painters and Film Auteurs: The course will examine connections between film art and canvas art.
“If you want to know the similarity between Michelangelo and Martin Scorcese, take this class and you might find out,” Beisell said.