Power Play(ers): Actions and Their Consequences

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Fall 2016, Winter 2017, and Spring 2017 quarters

Taught by


To be formally admitted to the Tacoma Program prospective students must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete a minimum of 90 transferable college credits or a transferable associate degree . You will start at the Tacoma Program as a junior or senior.
  • Complete an in-person intake interview at the Tacoma location. You can interview either before or after beginning the online application, but your application will not be processed until after your interview.

To schedule an interview, contact the student services coordinator at (253)680-3005 or if you have questions about applying to the Tacoma program.

This program will explore colonial, postcolonial, and neocolonial issues as they are unfolding on local, national, and global stages. Colonialism has resurfaced in new forms of neocolonialism that we encounter in our daily lives and work. We will place emphasis on how individuals and groups acquire mental resistance, how to assert individual, family, and community values and identities, and how to decipher and reframe meanings from information channeled through mass media. This also includes analyzing the powers at play in societal structures, how to empower oneself and community, and how to understand the ways in which these structures of power and control impact the quality of life for ordinary people at home and abroad. These are some of the skills students will learn from Power Play(ers).

This upper-division program will examine local, national, and international policy issues of the postcolonial and neocolonial world in education, health care, social welfare, and the environment through interdisciplinary studies of law, biology, public health, environmental studies, the legislative process, mathematics modeling, sociology, psychology, American and world history, media literacy, and world literature and cultures. Research methods in social and natural sciences and statistics emphasized in this program will present students with a systematic approach and analytical tools to address real-life issues in research practice throughout the activities of the program.

The theme for fall quarter is identifying the problem and clarifying the question. The first quarter of the program will be used to lay the foundation for the rest of the year, both substantively and in terms of tools necessary to operate effectively in the learning community. We will explore theories, history, and practices of colonialism. Colonialism will be analyzed from the perspectives of both political economy and history. In seminars we will read, discuss, and analyze texts that will add to our understanding of the ways in which colonialism and neocolonialism have created unequal distributions of power, wealth, and access to resources.

Winter quarter's theme is researching roots, causes, and potential solutions . We will look at specific contemporary issues of power viewed from a variety of institutional perspectives, most notably in health, education, law, science, government, politics, youth, environment, community development, women's empowerment, and human rights. Students will investigate specific issues of unequal distributions of power with the purpose of identifying a particular problem, defining its dimensions, determining its causes, and establishing action plans for its remedy.

In spring the theme will progress to implementation. The program will devote the final quarter to the design and implementation of projects to address issues of unequal distributions of power identified in winter quarter. Seminar groups will combine their efforts to undertake actions to target current imbalances of power in the community. These actions may take the form of educational events, publications, multimedia presentations, or art installations. Academic courses will assist in the successful implementation and evaluation of the student group activities.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology community studies cultural studies environmental studies government health history law and public policy literature mathematics media studies political economy sociology writing

Preparatory For

community development, organizational development, law and public policy, education, social and human services, public administration, communication and media arts, environmental studies, and public health.


Fall Open Winter Open Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered

Day and Evening

Advertised Schedule

All students attend Tuesdays and two additional days. A standard schedule consists of the core Lyceum course offered on Tuesdays (six credits) and two five-credit classes offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This program is offered day (10am-2pm) and evening (6pm-10pm).

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$10 per quarter for entrance fees.