Inquiry Studies (IS) 101 is the foundational class taken by all first-year students. This class begins during orientation. The instructor for your section also will serve as your mentor, guiding you in making a successful transition to college.

Half the class includes content common across all IS 101 sections. You will have two textbooks in common, do some of the same readings, and complete similar assignments as all other new students. The other half of the class, while aiming toward the same goals, will be focused on the topic chosen by the instructor.

Please review these options carefully. As you sign up for a Summer Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) Day, you will be making your first big choice:

Which IS 101 classes will you list as your top choices?

IS 101 (Asking Questions, Making Choices) Courses

How To Solve It
IS 101: 01
We will be studying the classic problem-solving techniques of George Polya. We will solve a variety of mathematical puzzles and discuss how these problem-solving techniques apply to more than just mathematics.  INSTRUCTOR: BRIAN BIRGEN

Character, Ethics and Engaged Citizenship
IS 101: 02
This course will provide an in-depth look at your personal character and ethics. A wide variety of materials and activities will be used to explore questions and choices related to this theme. Students will have ample opportunity to select and consider materials, experiences, and projects as they engage in the inquiry process and end the semester with a deeper appreciation of what it means to be an engaged citizen. INSTRUCTOR: KRISTIN TEIG TORRES

Mindset Matters: Planning to Succeed
IS 101: 03
Through the process of self-exploration and evaluation, you will learn proven strategies to succeed in college and in life. You will gain skills to help you improve your academic, professional, and personal performance, set effective short and long-term goals, and learn how to express yourself more effectively in writing and other creative ways. Additional topics include: personality and learning style inventories, fixed and growth mindset theories, executive functioning skills, and action plan development.  INSTRUCTOR: CASSANDRA HALES

Faith and the Questioning Mind
IS 101: 04

Does faith have to be blind? Can you believe and still have questions? What is the relationship between faith and reason? Is there only one right way to believe? We will explore questions that interfaith dialogue, the intersection of religion and science, the problem of suffering, and other challenging issues raise for people of faith.  INSTRUCTOR: KRISTIN WENDLAND

From Surviving to Thriving: How to Have the Richest College Experience
IS 101: 05
You are on the brink of your college experience looking at the vastness of all that Wartburg has to offer; how are you going to ensure that you get the most out of your four years? What are the strategies to be successful? How will you implement these strategies in natural ways? This class will explore what you need to know about higher education, what you need to know about Wartburg, and what you need to know about yourself in order to not only survive in college, but to thrive in college. INSTRUCTOR: LINDSEY LEONARD

STOP: Collaborate and Listen
IS 101: 06
Inevitably, you will be assigned a group project in your college coursework. How does that make you feel? Most students cringe at group work, but the reality is, collaboration is key to being successful not only in college, but also in the world of work. In this course, we will explore the dynamics of a group, including the purpose and function of the group, as well the roles of group members. We will work on building leadership, collaboration, and communication skills and how to navigate through the process of a group project. End products such as poster presentations, slide presentations, and oral and written communication will be utilized. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much,” ~ Helen Keller INSTRUCTOR: MATINA CLARK

A Look into the Past, Present and Future of Education
IS 101:07
How far have we come? What has changed and remained the same about education in the past centuries? How will education evolve in the future? This course looks into education from the apprenticeships of the past to the modern-day classroom to the future and the gamification of learning. INSTRUCTOR: MURAD MAHMOUD

Diversity and the Media
IS 101: 08
Diversity and the Media presents a current analysis and historical perspective of various minority groups and how media depict these groups.  This course helps students understand why and how stereotypical media portrayals have been produced and how the under-representation of diversified images affects students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward others, contributing to multicultural illiteracy.  Students will investigate alternative media voices and creators, multi-cultural contributions to media, the image-rebuilding process, and corrective stereotypes. INSTRUCTOR: PAMELA OHRT

Vocation for the Welfare of the World
IS 101: 09
As a mentor from my college days asks, “Is it possible to know the world and still love the world?” A college education helps us to see the world more clearly, to notice the joys and sorrows mingled together. It also prepares us for leadership and service in a world that delights and frustrates us. We will consider how the choices we make during our college years help us to weave together belief and behavior. INSTRUCTOR: RONALD JOHNSON

Survivor: The Liberal Arts College
IS 101: 30

This section presents an overview of the history of the liberal arts college in the United States. There will also be discussions regarding skills, goals and choices to increase the chances of becoming a successful college student.

Global Issues, Grand Challenges and the STEM Professions
IS 101: 31
The problems facing the world today seem to be getting bigger and bigger. Global issues like those specified in the Engineering Grand Challenges and the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals include many multifaceted “Wicked” problems like Poverty and Hunger, Global Warming, Affordable Clean Energy, Reducing Inequalities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Clean Water, Health Care accessibility and advancement, Cyber Security and many others. These types of problems will need the collaborative work of many people from a variety of expertise areas and background in order to advance towards solutions. In this section of IS 101 we will focus on the particular responsibilities and opportunities for people with vocations in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields to addressing these problems. Though focused on STEM fields participation and input from non-STEM majors are encouraged. INSTRUCTOR: LEANN FAIDLEY

Where Will Santa Live?
IS 101:34 
Why should I be concerned about climate change?  How do my choices affect the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?  What simple changes can I make to reduce my carbon footprint and why does that matter?  These and other questions will be explored and answered through the use of various media, including graphic novels, movies, books and music. INSTRUCTOR: DAWN KELLER

Civic Engagement in College
IS 101:36
In this course, we will take a look at what it means to be a civically engaged member of a community. Everyone has a role to play in society, and through course readings, class discussions, projects, and civic engagement we will explore what that role might be for you . This course will provide opportunities to engage with learning inside and outside of the classroom, ask hard questions of ourselves, and discern what civic engagement might look like for you. INSTRUCTOR: JOSH BULTEN

Exploring Careers & Vocation
IS 101: 37
Development of an individual’s vocation and career action plan. Utilizing self-assessment instruments to develop an understanding of personal values, interests, skills, and personality, and connecting them to academic and career goals. (Castle Connection students only) INSTRUCTOR: VERONICA REECE

SCH 101 (First Year Scholar Seminar) Courses

Service & Leadership, Faith & Learning
SCH 101:01
How do service, leadership, faith, and learning shape what we do as a campus community? How have these things intersected to inform contemporary authors’ life stories? In this course, we will explore the four pillars of Wartburg College’s mission through common texts and experiences as well as several contemporary spiritual autobiographies from multiple religious traditions. We will explore some of the tensions and complications involved when we consider our various calls to serve and lead, and as we learn about multiple faith traditions that shape those vocations. INSTRUCTOR: CARLYN RISWOLD


Utopias and Dystopias
SCH 101: 02
The word “utopia” is based on a Green pun: it can mean both “no place” and “good place.” A utopia is a good world that doesn’t exist. In this course, we will examine the shifting characteristics of utopias (and their dark twins, dystopias) as we study literature, film, and music throughout history, from Sir Thomas More to Janelle Monáe. In the process, we will explore questions crucial to the future of humanity. How do we make the world better for everyone? How do we handle differences of religion, race, gender, sexuality, age, class, and ability? How do we strike a balance between the needs of the individual and those of the community? And what is the value of a liberal arts education in addressing these complex, urgent problems? INSTRUCTOR: RACHEL CLARK