The Living-Learning Conversation

At Westmont in San Francisco, there is a high value on students taking responsibility for their own learning. While faculty provide guidance, students are expected to be self-motivated and develop their own learning goals. With internships, guest speakers, field trips and service projects, students are offered an experiential approach to learning.

Each semester, students get to hear from many guest speakers who are working in San Francisco.  These speakers offer unique perspectives on culture, social justice, the Church, and innovation throughout the Bay Area and the world.

Required Courses: I.S. 190 Urban Practicum (8 units), I.S. 195 Urban Studies (4 units)

Elective Courses: ENG134 Ethnicity, Race, & the City in Literature (4 units, Fall only); ENG104U Modern Grammar and Advanced Composition (4 units, Spring only); I.S. 194 Independent Studies (2-4 units, by request); City College San Francisco


I.S. 190: Urban Practicum (Required, 8 units)

This 8-unit course is centered on participation in a 24-hours/week (MWF) internship related to the professional and vocational interests of each student. Internship opportunities exist for students of all majors. The amount of major credit received is determined by departmental guidelines and the type of internship selected. Components of the course include attendance at all placement orientation workshops during the first week of the semester; interviewing with at least three agencies/organizations prior to selecting an internship site; development of a detailed learning contract in consultation with one's site supervisor; and engagement with regular reading and writing assignments aimed at the reflective integration of theory and praxis. This coincides with a required weekly seminar. IS 190 meets the G.E. option “Serving Society; Enacting Justice” under “Competent and Compassionate Action.”

karen/chinatownI.S. 195: Urban Studies (Required, 4 units)

Introducing students to various aspects of urban life, the weekly Urban Studies seminar explores the meaning of the city, especially for people of faith, in our world today. This interdisciplinary seminar provides a forum for thoughtfully examining the kinds of experiences and questions students encounter in the city, and for pursuing these experiences and questions in broader intellectual frameworks. San Francisco serves as the context for studying the selected issues and questions, such as: Who is my neighbor? Where is God? How will I be changed in the city? How will I make a difference? What does it mean to serve society and enact justice? Local guest speakers supplement significant text readings, reflective writing and guided discussions. The seminar meets once a week. IS 195 meets the G.E. option “Understanding Society” under “Common Inquiries.”

saraI.S. 194: Independent Studies (Elective, 2 - 4 units, by request)

I.S. 194 is an elective tutorial of advanced study on a topic of the student's choice, either for interdisciplinary credit or for elective major credit from selected departments (and not for GE credit). Students who are approved for the I.S. tutorial are expected to develop a well-focused course of study related to their selected topic, including the requisite reading, writing, meetings with instructor, and field research. Specific projects and assignments may differ from student to student, depending on the topic and type of credit sought. NOTE: For those students seeking major or departmental credit, each "learning contract" is subject to written approval by the department.

ENG 134: Ethnicity, Race, & the City in Literature (Elective, 4 units, Fall only)

Prerequisite: one lliterature course or the consent of the instructor. This upper division literature course has a prerequisite of one literature course or the consent of the instructor. Together we will explore traditions in America's diverse cultural literatures, and literary representations of relations between and within different ethnic and racial communities. We emphasize The City as a crucible of cultural transformation. We will read mostly Modern and Contemporary American narratives, including some poetry. The course focuses on representations of immigration, assimilation, alienation, racism, exclusion, ethnic pride and cultural difference in The City. ENG 134 meets once a week. ENG 134U meets the G.E. options “Reading Imaginative Literature” under “Common Inquiries” and “Writing and Speech Intensive Course” under “Common Skills.”


ENG 104U: Modern Grammar and Advanced Composition (Elective, 4 units, Spring only)

Prerequisite: completion of the first-year writing for the liberal arts requirement. ENG 104U is a nonfiction prose workshop for students with some experience in writing essays. We will emphasize revision and style, through peer-review sessions, in-class writing, mini-lessons, workshops and oral presentations. Throughout the course we will read nonfiction prose by diverse writers, exploring how our writing tasks may be managed through narrative, interpretive, descriptive, persuasive and expository writing. Students will also have the opportunity to hone their investigative research skills, using the resources of the city of San Francisco. ENG 104U meets the G.E. option “Writing and Speech Intensive Course” under “Common Skills.”

stephenCity College San Francisco

As needed, students may take courses at City College San Francisco to fulfill their academic requirements. Please note this may require arriving earlier or leaving later in the semester to accommodate the CCSF academic calendar. Students must get consent from WSF faculty before enrolling in couses. More information can be found here: