LEAP Course Descriptions

LEAP Course Descriptions LEAP Course Descriptions

LEAP class schedules are offered in an online delivery model in order to recognize and accommodate the unique challenges of students' professional schedules. Rather than asking students to attend on campus courses in a traditional college structure and format, the LEAP program brings the courses to the dancers. LEAP is committed to meeting students where they are, and offering an education that is intentionally designed to travel with the touring artist and flex around the rehearsal schedules that would otherwise disconnect students from a shared learning environment. All Saint Mary’s core courses are offered online, with a combination of live video class sessions (via Zoom) and discussion board engagement between students in each class.

LEAP Core Courses

The LEAP Core Curriculum is a series of 10 courses all LEAP students must take to complete the program.

Classes meet on Zoom, typically just once a week for 3 to 4 hours.

The Core Curriculum is designed to provide students a breadth of knowledge and experience in order to fulfill the requirements of the liberal arts degree.

This first seminar develops skills of critical thinking, critical reading and writing, and shared inquiry that are foundational to Collegiate Seminar. Students will read, write about and discuss a selection of classic and modern texts from the Western tradition. The reading list is current but subject to modi cation. From some texts only excerpts are read. 

This is a course to connect basic biology concepts using the human as an illustrative example. Basic scientific processes and the concepts of human biology will be explored through lecture. Topics will include science and society, the chemistry of living things, structure and function of cells, genetics, anatomy and physiology of the organ systems, reproduction, cancer, aging, evolution, human impacts and environmental issues.  

Students continue to develop the rhetorical and critical thinking skills they need to analyze texts and to structure complex arguments. In addition, students practice evaluating sources, exploring arguments through library research, and supporting original theses with appropriate evidence. Through a scaffolded process, students write and revise two or more essays, at least one of which is a substantial research essay of 8-12 pages that presents an extended argument. This course prepares students for the Writing in the Disciplines courses that they will encounter in their major. It requires the completion of at least 5,000 words of formal writing, and an additional 2,500 words of informal writing practice. A grade of at least C- in English 4 is prerequisite to enrollment in English 5. A grade of at least C- in English 5 is prerequisite to enrollment in Writing in the Disciplines courses. 

The exploration of the learning cycle, from reflection on experience to construction and application of knowledge. This analytical and self-reflective process is recorded in an Experiential Learning Portfolio, a collection of essays and supporting documentation, which may be further evaluated for academic credit.

The course examines the nature of culture and the diversity of societies worldwide. It focuses on cultures in Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Americas, and introduces the beginning student to some of the main topics of anthropology including kinship, gender, the world system, field work, magic and religion, race and ethnicity, social change and the political system of societies throughout the world.

A reflective examination of basic mathematical ideas and patterns. Through participation in the discovery and development of mathematical ideas the student will view the subject as a vehicle for human creativity. The course traces the historical and contemporary role of appropriate mathematical topics.  

Building on the Western tradition explored in the
second and third seminars, readings focus on the Great Conversation of the modern world, which includes the West but also includes important intercultural and global voices. The course focuses on issues of signicant relevance for a 21st century student, as well as texts that allow for integrative thinking across the entire Collegiate Seminar sequence. The last portion of the course will include student reflections on what they have learned and how they have grown, revisiting the steps of their intellectual development in a capstone experience. 

Global issues of wealth, poverty and socio-economic justice are explored through the lens of various sacred texts which have had a profound influence on religion, art, politics, and culture for over two thousand years. Focusing on the Torah and Gospels, this course will teach students to employ critical and scholarly tools for reading and interpretation.

This course examines dance from a critical and intersectional perspective through the lenses of power and privilege, using the medium of dance to explore race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age, etc.

The Senior Capstone is an individualized course of study designed for the student to embark on the independent research that leads towards a culminating project that allows students to demonstrate their expertise, and creativity and synthesizes the learning they have experienced within the LEAP Program.

Michalis Schinas

"Jay has been the best teacher I could have asked for [...] I feel with his way of teaching and flow I gained relevant knowledge I can use in everyday life.”

- Michalis Schinas about Jay Chugh, Biology Instructor

Norika Matsuyama

"I really enjoyed the readings and discussions in our Anthropology class. It was very stimulating and eye-opening to learn about different cultures near and afar.”

- Norika Matsuyama

LEAP Courses for the Major

In order to graduate with a Bachelor's in Performing Arts, all Saint Mary's students must fulfill 10 performing arts courses.

All LEAP students become Performing Arts majors through their fulfillment of these courses from existing professional experience.

6 of these courses are fulfilled upon acceptance into the program.

The remaining 4 courses (outlined below) are provided through an expedited process designed to help students fulfill the degree quicker, and cheaper.

Students with a BA in Performing Arts are eligible for any and all job and academic opportunities in which a Bachelor's Degree is required.

An introduction to the theory, history, and styles of acting with emphasis on the development of a character, script analysis, and the dynamics of performance.

LEAP students fulfill this course with only 3 Zoom meetings and successful completion of the final exam/presentation.

This course explores the ways in which we each are a product and conduit of dance history through our own embodied knowledge and lineages.

LEAP students fulfill this course with only 2 Zoom meetings and successful completion of the final paper/presentation.

This course emphasizes the history and aesthetics of music. Students hear music from all historical periods from Baroque to Jazz.

LEAP students fulfill this course with only 1 Zoom meeting and successful completion of the final exam.

A study of the history, tradition, and the recent developments of the various global dance styles, practices, and techniques.

LEAP students fulfill this course without any meetings upon successful completion of the final exam.