Conflict Studies & Dispute Resolution

ADP Course Descriptions- Conflict Studies & Dispute Resolutiion

CR 301   Dynamics of Conflict               3 credits                                                                     

As a core condition of humanity, conflict may be seen as reflecting the intersection of needs and opposing goals. To better understand the nature of conflict is to better understand human nature and the integral role of tension in creating opportunities for change. In this course, we begin by exploring the nature of conflict within the context of personal needs and values. The role of communication, competing interests, and the expression of power as currency in conflicts will be explored with emphasis on the development of ‘power in balance’. Students will be encouraged to assess their own interactional styles and learn those skills necessary to effectively use negotiation and collaboration in the moderation of conflicts. Finally, this course will explore the nature and importance of forgiveness and reconciliation in relationships.   

CR 304 Communication and Conflict                                                         3 credits

This course combines topics in leadership, persuasive speech, communication, and strategies of conflict resolution. Students will learn skills that will enable them to assume leadership roles in the resolution of conflict, whether in the workplace, in political forums or at the international level. Moreover, students will be taught to analyze conflict and put into practice their new skills in both writing, speech and in negotiation.

CR 306   Facilitating Change through Creative Problem Solving         3 credits

Have you ever found yourself in awe of people whose expression of thought is creative, imaginative, and visionary? Is it nature? Is it nurture? Can anyone learn to think creatively or is that reserved for the most exceptional among us? In this course, students will explore the creative process as a foundation of effective problem solving. Students will be encouraged to challenge preconceived notions and unleash the power of their own unique creativity as they seek to define problems and apply solutions to those problems within the framework of creative problem solving. Having emerged from the pioneering work of Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes, the field of creative problem solving has continued to be driven by the belief that change is possible when we are able to think outside the box and apply clear and directed steps toward achievement of the goal. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the Creative Problem Solving movement, explore the development of post Osborn-Parnes models, and apply the skills learned through selection of a preferred model.

CR 308 Courtroom Alternatives: Theories and Practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Meditation                                                                    3  credits                            

Courtroom Alternatives will introduce undergraduate students to alternatives to the courtroom in today’s litigious society. Traditionally, litigation is based on an adversarial model, which results in “winners” and “losers” in the courtroom. The American legal system now actively seeks non-court alternatives that produce mutually acceptable resolutions reflecting respect, cooperation and continuing relationships, rather than the “winner takes all” resolution in litigation.

The professor will introduce conflict diagnosis and alternative disputes theories and processes to resolve conflicts. Students will apply conflict diagnosis and ADR methods to propose solutions to conflicts outlined in the textbook, news media, the workplace and personal experiences.

CR 310 Labor Relations                                                                                   3 credits

This course examines the employment relationship and the interrelated interests of management, workers, unions, and the public. The social and political bases of employment relationships, collective bargaining theory and practice, as well as the basic legal principles of labor relations are explored.  

CR 312 Restorative Justice: Philosophy and Processes                      3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles and practices of restorative justice. Students will explore the roles and relationships of victims, offenders, community members and justice systems. Victim-impact panels, offender accountability, as well as prevention and control programming for youth violence will be examined.  

PS/PH 330 Conflict and Cooperation                                                          3 credits   

It is an unfortunate fact that in our increasingly populated world conflict between people appears all but inevitable.  While the world has recently witnessed the end of apartheid and the dismantling of the Berlin wall, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Rwanda, the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, and the ongoing racial tension in the United States remind us that strife is still prevalent throughout the globe. In this course, therefore, we seek to answer Rodney King when he asks, "Can't we all get along?"

The complexity of this inquiry requires an interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, we will draw from work in ethics, sociology, and political science. Since the concerns with conflict are both timeless and universal, the course material will be taken from many ages and many cultures. Just some of the works we will address include the following: Hobbes's Leviathan; Plato's, Crito; Garver's, "On Violence"; Locke's, Second Treatise of Civil Government; the Declaration of Independence, and the documentary, “Commanding Heights”. Specifically, we will focus on the concept of obligation and try to identify what kinds of obligations exist between individuals, between groups and individuals, and between a government and its citizens. Moreover, we will examine the unique interest of individuals, groups, and governments that lead them to ignore their obligations and thus engage in conflict. Finally, a clearer, understanding of the conditions of conflict will help us garner insight into globalization, terrorism as well as the world in which we can expect to live in the future.

LW/HS 410 Child and Family Law                                                                 3 credits

Prerequisite: Upper Division Status

This upper level interdisciplinary course will blend the disciplines of law, social science and human services. The course will familiarize the student with some of the basic concepts of child and family law and how these impact upon contemporary family life. Topics to be examined include marital relationships and cohabitation, the parent-child relationship, domestic violence, children as victims or perpetrators of crime, the rights and responsibilities of minors, and the role and responsibilities of paralegals, law enforcement officers or helping professionals within the family law system. Several themes run throughout the course. These are:

-the ethical obligations and limitations of those working in the legal as well as helping professions

-the legal constraints imposed upon those who work with children and families

-the difference between the adversarial (legal) model, accusatorial model (law enforcement) and the helping (therapeutic) model

-the inherent tension and conflicts that exists between the legal system, law enforcement and therapeutic interventions.

-the role and application of alternative dispute resolution in the resolution of family conflicts

-the role of mediation, conciliation and “collaborative divorce” will be covered, as alternative dispute models to traditional divorce proceedings.  

CR 401   Negotiation Theory and Practice                                                  3 credits

Prerequisite: CR 301              

This course will familiarize students with negotiating principles and conflict resolution strategies. Course content includes: negotiation theory, tactics, and styles used during conflict resolution between individuals and/or groups from diverse backgrounds. Communication styles and the practice of non-violent responses will be explored, as well as the ethics in negotiation practices.  

CR 402 Mediation Theory and Practice                                                       3 credits

Prerequisite: CR 301 

This course offers an examination of contemporary approaches to the theory and practice of mediation. The legal and cultural context of mediation, strengths and limitations of mediation, and various problem-solving approaches to mediation and communication styles will be explored. The “stage process” of mediation as well as the ethical issues related to the practice of mediation will be analyzed.  

CR 403 Facilitation and Consensus Building                                            3 credits

Prerequisite: CR301                       

This course addresses the theory and practice of facilitation and consensus building. Group process theories, consensus-building models, and the role and function of group facilitators will be explored. Innovative consensus solutions to social problems and collaborative conflict management through the utilization of participative democracy are also examined.

 CR 404 Senior Seminar                                                                                   3 credits

Prerequisite: Senior status, CR 301, and one of the following: CR 306, CR308, CR 312

As the departmental capstone course in Conflict Studies, the Senior Seminar has three main areas of emphasis. First, the seminar will challenge students to more fully integrate the knowledge, skills, and values learned in previous conflict studies coursework. Students will engage in a problem-based learning project in which they will assume the role of mediator, negotiator, and/or facilitator in a case study as their capstone project. Second, students will analyze their own conflict management and interactional styles in order to increase self-awareness and enhance their professional skills. The seminar format of this course will provide the opportunity for in-depth discussion and analysis of current issues of relevance in the field of conflict studies.   The third purpose of the seminar is to facilitate the transition from the Hilbert environment to either employment or graduate education. Students will explore career and learning goals for the future and develop objectives to meet those goals. As part of that experience, students will conduct a professional job or graduate studies program search, investigate certification, professional memberships, and continuing education options. Students will prepare a professional portfolio to include a resume, references, cover letter, and/or writing samples.

 CR 405 Conflict Studies Internship          (Optional Elective)                  3 credits

Prerequisite: Senior status, CR 301, and one of the following: CR 306, CR 308, CR 312

CR 405 Internship may be taken as an elective in order to provide students the opportunity for relevant field experience. The Internship will require 120 field hours at a location to be determined by the student, faculty advisor, and agency providing the practicum experience. Students will register for CR 405 in a given semester and complete 120 field hours in no more than two consecutive sessions, i.e., 14 weeks.   Oversight of the Internship shall be determined by the program chairperson.