Interest-Based CAT Communities

What is an Interest-Based CAT Community?

Interest-based CAT Communities allow students to explore an interdisciplinary area of study while working with an expert professor and undergraduate learning assistant who share similar interests. Listed below are the interest-based CAT Communities offered in the fall of 2014. Most of these will be offered again in the fall of 2015, and an updated list will be made available early in the spring semester.

Chasing the American Dream 

This learning community will examine the creation of American identities and the pursuit of the ever-changing American Dream. By looking at the intersections of history and text, we will consider how race, history, and literature write each other into being. We'll undertake this investigation by sharing intense class discussions, viewing films, and attending on-campus events. This class will be a place for first-year students to build relationships, find community, and take intellectual risks.  

ENGL 285 Intro to American Ethnic Literatures, section A [13998]

HIST 252 History of the U.S. Since 1877, section C [14722]

DAS 199 Chasing the American Dream, section T [14934]

Gender, Diversity and Morality

This CAT community provides students with the necessary tools for analyzing the roles that gender, class, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and age play in shaping an individual’s and culture’s moral views.  Students will learn about and analyze moral issues that are raised by cultural difference and disagreement, and they will apply their knowledge to topics such as abortion, sexual orientation, human rights, female circumcision, sexual harassment, violence against women, etc.  A guiding question for the course will be this: if we believe that we should respect other cultures and their moral beliefs, then how can we critique and try to change cultural practices that we see as violating human rights?

WOMST 105 Introduction to Women's Studies, section F [13398]

PHILO 130 Introduction to Moral Philosophy, section I [16091]

DAS 199 Gender, Diversity and Morality, section Q [14905]

Making the Ultimate Playlist: American Culture Revealed

Longfellow once famously wrote, "Music is the universal language of mankind." Drawing on this notion, our CAT Community approaches music as a cultural mirror to reveal how Americans have viewed their world and themselves through time. Students will create an "ultimate playlist" of recordings and videos to reflect the diversity, history, and values of American culture from its origins to today.

ANTH 200 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, section A [10131]

MUSIC 245 Introduction to American Music, section A [12649]

DAS 199 American Culture Revealed, section A [11099]

Predicting the Future: Mind vs. Math

We make predictions every day - we estimate the likelihood that a team will win, where the car will stop when pressing on the brake, and the productivity of a prospective employee. Most often, we rely on our own human judgment in making these predictions, but statistics offers a more mathematical approach.  We will explore the conditions under which mind or mathematics is superior and why both perform poorly for some prediction problems. 

PSYCH 110 General Psychology, section N [12979]

STATS 325 Introduction to Statistics, section I [13129]

DAS 199 Predicting the Future, section D [17211]

Sustainability and You: People, Planet, and Profit

We each make thousands of decisions each day, some big and potentially life-changing and others small and routine.  But have you ever seriously considered how those decisions may impact the lives and well-being of others or the condition of the planet?  This interest-based CAT Community introduces concepts of the “triple bottom line” and “circles of sustainability” to help students think more critically about the consequences of their actions – both intended and unintended – and to better understand complex social, environmental, and economic issues.

ECON 110 Principles of Macroeconomics, section A [11196]

GEOG 221 Introduction to Physical Geography, section B [11847]

GEOG 221 Introduction to Physical Geography (Lab), section of your choice

DAS 199 People, Planet, and Profit, section E [17212]

Understanding the Weather 

We care about the weather. We may buy our clothes based on the climate, but we dress for the weather. We check the latest forecast, we discuss the weather, and the weather can have a significant impact on our lives. This CAT Community combines a social science class on culture and cultural differences with a lab science class on the workings of the Earth's atmosphere to better understand how any subject can be viewed using multiple perspectives. The class will visit a local weather forecast office to learn about making and communicating a weather forecast. In addition to framing how we think about the weather from both a science and social science perspective, this class will also discuss Native American knowledge and other 'ways of knowing' about the weather.

GEOG 235 Atmospheric Science, section A [14848]

GEOG 235 Atmospheric Science (Lab), section of your choice.

ANTH 200 Intro to Cultural Anthropology, section A [10131]

DAS 199 Understanding the Weather, section P [14904]

What's the Matter with Matter? 

This CAT community will allow students to more deeply explore the chemical world that they will learn about in Chemistry I through discussions about the different ways we have of understanding chemical models, justifying chemical methods, and deciding how to apply chemistry in society. We will explore questions such as what orbitals "really" are and how we ought to assess risks associated with chemical technologies. The philosophy of science course will introduce students to theories of scientific testing, explanation, and interpretation that will be used in our CAT discussions. This learning community is intended primarily for chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering and physics majors.

CHM 220 Honors Chemistry 1 (Lecture), section A  [10782]

CHM 220 Chemistry 1 (Lab), section of your choice  

CHM 220 Chemistry 1 (Quiz), section 01Q [10785]

PHILO 125 Intro to Philosophy of Science, section A [15194]

DAS 199 What's the Matter with Matter, section W [15704]

Who Will You Be? 

Prepare for a fully-engaged college experience by exploring who you are through Expository Writing 1 and Introduction to American Ethnic Studies, and deciding who you will be through our learning community discussions and activities. Together we will create a learning space that promotes critical thinking and active learning while also fostering relationships that can become your K-State foundation.

AMETH 160 Intro to American Ethnic Studies, section B [10129]

ENGL 100 Expository Writing 1, section BA [11530]

DAS 199 Who Will You Be, section M [14551]


To request a space in one of these CAT communities, please email