Course Descriptions

Resource Conservation and Biodiversity

5 credits – 5 hours per week

Scientific process and reasoning meet real world application as students learn to understand human/environment interactions. Hands-on field studies in both natural and human-created ecosystems will bring to life the concepts and importance of biodiversity. With an eye toward positive and sustainable growth, students will explore options in energy use and production; land use and agriculture; and conservation ecology and biology. Methods include observation, data collection, and systems thinking with chances for fieldwork in marine biology, river ecology, and agricultural land management.

Applied Language Arts: Media and Communications for Social Change

5 credits – 5 hours per week

Students delve into essays, novels, journalistic pieces, and speeches to improve their skills in generating public dialogue toward positive social change. A special emphasis on the role of the public media allows students a chance to put their reading, writing, and speaking skills to use. This course aims to develop students’ media literacy as well as their desire and ability to engage in important social issues. Students apply their studies and the skills they have learned in projects and presentations that have real world value and relevance.

Applied Math

Mathematics Elective
5 credits – 5 hours per week

Emphasis is placed on understanding math for everyday situations through focused fieldwork, particularly with regards to comprehending sustainable living situations. Applications include building construction; budget analysis and management; electronics calculations; and statistics. Students learn such relevant math skills hands-on from non-profit administrators, farmers’ market vendors, building professionals, and working scientists.

Spanish Language Immersion

Foreign Language
5 credits – 5 hours per week

*This course is only offered during spring semester

Extensive travel throughout Baja California, Mexico gives students an authentic immersion in a culture different from their own. Frequent interactions with local community members provide the exposure and repetition to bring the Spanish language to life.

Sustainable Economies and Civic Engagement

Social Studies
5 credits – 5 hours per week

Students will gain an understanding of the inner workings of democracy and market systems through intensive studies of small, local communities. Comparison of local versus international models helps to provide global context. Investigation of successful economic and government models throughout history and across cultures will provide students with a foundation for life-long social engagement. In-the-field learning opportunities may include non-profit management, interviews with policy makers, engaging with CSA directors, and participating in conservation campaigns.

Documentary Filmmaking

Visual Arts Elective
5 credits – 5 hours per week

This course gives students the opportunity to explore filmmaking as a positive means of sharing sustainable solutions with others. From initial research, interviewing, and storyboarding to filming, editing, and presenting, students are empowered as educators in issues of sustainability. Ideas and content for these films derive from students’ investigation of food, energy, transportation, shelter, culture, and environmental conservation throughout the semester. Wide distribution of films gives students an experience of the potential influence and impact of their work on society.

Wilderness Adventure and Outdoor Leadership

Physical Education Elective
5 credits – 5 hours per week

Throughout the semester, students will have various opportunities to develop resourcefulness, independence, confidence, and physical strength in the great outdoors. Emphasis on team building creates supportive and positive learning and social competence. Students develop leadership skills that are applicable to all aspects of their adult lives. Possible adventures include backpacking; canoe expeditions; rock climbing trips; multi-night camp outs; and high- and low-ropes course challenges.

Credits & Accredidation

Finding the Good issues formal, standard transcripts for each student participant, in addition to detailed narrative evaluations of the student’s work during the semester. Students will earn 5 academic credits per course offering with Finding the Good. We work closely with each student’s sending school to ensure that  credits transfer back. Additionally credits can be issued through our partner school Bitney College Preparatory High School.

Each Finding the Good semester student enters our program with slightly different needs, depending on his or her current standing in high school and desire – or not – to continue on to college. Finding the Good is committed to ensuring that no semester student falls behind in their studies, but rather emerges from the semester refreshed, energized, and more prepared for engaging in their education than a typical high school experience might allow.