Short Courses

Short courses are offered as individual seminars (3 hours) and focus on a single topic. Courses can be curated to align with the interests of a particular industry, such as: healthcare, education, and/or business. Bring the Academy 2U and make learning a continuous process.

  • The Blues as Communication Strategy
  • Listening and Leading
  • Cultivating Creativity
  • Assessing Talent
  • Data Reading Comprehension
  • Cultural Competence (Regional specificity, globally)
  • Innovation
  • Super Competence (new offering)

The Democracy of Education

Cultural Historian Albert Murray writes, “Tradition” is not only “that which continues; it is also the medium by which and through which continuation occurs.” (Albert Murray, The Hero & the Blues, 72) If we think about our educational system as a tradition, what do we learn about our nation and the way we educate? In what ways and to what extent does our tradition of education reflect or conflict with our nation’s democratic values? To what extent is education an egalitarian endeavor and can/should we make it more so? In an effort to place current debates in education in the context of our national identity, this course will explore some of the key topics in k-16 education including: student, teacher and school assessments; high-stakes testing; the rising cost of higher education; and MOOCs. Students will investigate these topics through independent and/or group research, articles, blogs and reports from select organizations and will participate vigorously in class discussions.

This course introduces participants to the culture of the blues and jazz and through a series of discussions and interactive musical activities illuminates the relationship between blues-based jazz and business including the following areas: collaboration; talent identification; strategy; leadership; organizational structure; change, resilience and competitiveness.

Cultural Diplomacy in the Spirit of Pops & Duke

Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington toured Europe in the early 1930s, decades before the United States Department of State began its formal support for such international collaborations. Armstrong and Ellington transported a particular style of music abroad, swing style jazz that was rooted in the blues. Jazz was also used successfully as a covert weapon in the ideological battle during the Cold War. Today, world-class Pulitzer Prize winning musician educator Wynton Marsalis travels the globe performing the same style of music to widespread international acclaim. What is it about swing that encourages collaboration? Why are these legendary musicians insistent on using the blues as a guide for their musical creations? What lessons for business collaboration and engagement can we learn through a close study of the blues and swing? In what ways can such lessons be applied to improve business practices and policies?

Tough Choices: Soft Power in a Hard World

During the Cold War, the US began a series of State backed jazz tours that featured world- class musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. This covert strategy became a model for diplomatic activity after the Cold War had ended but the tradition of using hard power persisted. In what ways do the use of hard and soft power reflect the relationship between US domestic and foreign policy concerns? This course will examine the shifting relationship between the use of hard and soft power as a national security strategy in the Post-Cold War era.

From Swing to Bling!

Swing — “the ultimate form of cooperation” — is the energy that drove Henry Ford’s conveyor belt. The rhythmic back and forth, the consistent, steady beat was the sound of efficiency created by multitudes of workers acting collectively. Collaboration helped Ford achieve financial success and gave the world a model for efficient work flows. Schools of thought have worked to distill the process of efficiency down to essential parts that could be duplicated across sectors, maximizing human efficiency and minimizing human error. To a great extent, this method of improving works flows has been successful but what happens when it fails? What happens when we are faced with unforeseen disruptions? What happens when the “human” in us just won’t be snuffed out? How do we create collaborative or cooperative environments — swing — while accounting for disruption? How do we sustain the energy of cooperation long enough or successfully enough to achieve Bling! or financial success? How do we — can we, should we — sustain Bling! and if so, what are the consequences?  This course explores the relationship between swing and Bling! in business, education, healthcare, and governance.

Global Swing in an Improvised World

The Post-Cold War ushered in an era of globalization and interconnectedness between people and nations of disparate parts of the world. Managing relations between nations and integrating the voices of previously unheard peoples into the diffuse power structure has presented unique challenges. In what ways can lessons from the Cold War be transferred meaningfully into a guide for effectively navigating the contemporary global environment? This course will examine the ways in which blues-based jazz, with its tradition of call-and- response and improvisation, provide pragmatic lessons for the realm of global governance, and leading and sustaining multilateral relationships through culture.


History is a guide for contextualizing the contemporary moment. By integrating key historical domestic events into a wider sphere of understanding, the relationship between the domestic and international comes into focus. 1961 was a trying year domestically and globally. The US Freedom Rides, erection of the Berlin Wall, Bay of Pigs invasion, founding of the Peace Corps, and the US-Soviet space race were key events in 1961 that offer insight into the tensions between the domestic and international spheres. This course will consider key domestic events of 1961, relate them to the contemporary global environment and examine their current relevance.

10 thoughts on “Courses

  1. Anis says:

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    • How lovely. I am deeply humbled by your kind words. Thank you so much and please, keep reading and commenting.

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  4. Monsieur Ledoux says:

    Bonjour Jacquie !
    Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to the article
    “The Benefits of Failing at French” by William Alexander, NYT, July 15, 2004.
    I found your comment about that very interesting and useful.
    My name is Pierre, 58 yo, professional Teacher of French,
    with many years of Teaching French abroad.
    Méthodes de français: FORUM-1, TOUT VA BIEN-2, ALTER EGO-3, etc.
    la conversation, la prononciation, le vocabulaire, les verbes irriéguliers,
    les exceptions, la Lecture, l’Ecriture, les chansons, CD, vidéo, etc.
    Also I teach over the phone and Skype
    and may be you would be interested in this information.
    Merci bien !
    Au Revoir !
    A Bientot !

    from Pierre from Chicago
    French Teacher
    / former French Instructor at Alliance Française/
    French Private Lessons,
    also by phone and on Skype
    / Monsieur Ledoux /
    phone: 808.264.2627.

    Some of my students are singing “Happy Birthday” in French:
    CHANSON 1 :
    ” En ce Joyeux Anniversaire,
    Nous te disons notre amitié,
    Si tu n’étais sur cette terre,
    Le monde serait-il entier ?
    Nous te disons notre amitié ” / 2 fois
    interprétée par une petite chorale francophone de Chicago,
    les apprenantes de Monsieur Ledoux.
    Bonnes Fêtes à vous tous !

    • Bonjour Pierre,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me and the article and student information. French is such a lovely language. I’ll be delving into language learning later this fall but haven’t made a firm decision about which language. I will certainly keep French in mind.

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