main photo

Harbor Institute

Tacoma Community College in Gig Harbor presents Harbor Institute, a program for active, engaged, and non-degree seeking adults who don't want to stop learning!

Harbor Institute is a new line-up of courses designed for the curious, the inquisitive, and the academically inclined - individuals seeking ongoing intellectual challenges! Courses are dynamic and topics are inspired.
Instructors are talented, highly qualified experts in their fields of study, motivated to share their knowledge and experiences with people who appreciate and crave further awareness about exciting, interesting, and relevant subjects.

Participants will continue to learn in an environment that supports face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers, about diverse topics in humanities, science, technology, social science, and public interest - without tests, term papers, or grades!

Browse course offerings and register now! New classes are offered every quarter and the most popular classes fill up fast... register early to secure a seat!

Fall 2014

What is All This Talk About Global Warming? Is it Just a Bunch of Hot Air?
Global Warming is one of the most controversial and least understood environmental issues of our time. Is it really a problem? Is it a natural occurrence or do we have something to do with it? Is it getting worse? Students will gather information they are hearing and reading about so we can sort out myth from reality. This is the first of two courses that will try and get to the bottom of Global Warming. 4 sessions. No class Oct. 17.
G201 GHHIN 001 Sept. 26-Oct. 24 F 8:30-10a GHC McCuddin $47

The "Swiftwater People" of Tuwawłqł : Gig Harbor's Native American Past Revealed
Every day cyclists, runners and walkers round the corner of Austin Estuary. Few are aware of the ancient history and cultural significance of the land passing beneath their feet. The Donkey Creek area is the ancestral home of one of western Washington's most significant, yet little-known indigenous peoples: the sxwebabš band, or "Swiftwater People," of the Puyallup tribe. This class investigates the culture, religion, social structures and economic life of Gig Harbor's Native American communities. 4 sessions.
G202 GHHIN 002 Sept. 26-Oct. 17 F 8:30a-10a GHC Pitcher $47

Current International Events: Why the Solution Isn't Easy
While solutions to international crises may seem easy, they rarely are. This class will tackle a different contemporary international crisis each week. The class will briefly discuss the history of the conflict, the key actors, and a few of the proposed solutions. The class will employ critical thinking to consider the pros and cons of each of these proposals. 4 sessions.
G203 GHHIN 003 Sept. 26-Oct. 17 F 10:30a-12p GHC Paganelli $47

Feasting with the Eyes: Food in Art and Food as Art
We eat with our eyes first. Consider paintings like DaVinci's "Last Supper"; Van Gogh's "Potato Eaters"; and Warhol's "Tomato Soup" as starters. Food photographers emerged in the 1970s and developed into artists in their own right. Through their magic, they tempt us to eat their artistic creations. In this class, we'll feast on selected samples. Warning: Eat before you come to class! 4 sessions.
G204 GHHIN 004 Sept. 26-Oct. 17 F 10:30a-12p GHC Bosanko $47

The Impacts of Global Climate Change and What You Can Do About It
This class will look at the effects of Climate Change on the world environment, the Pacific Northwest, and the economy. Is it serious? Compared to the rest of the world, where does the U.S. stand on the issue? We'll take a field trip to a local business that depends on a healthy environment, to see how they are being affected. Is there anything we can actually do about Climate Change, besides argue? 4 sessions.
G205 GHHIN 005 Oct. 31-Nov. 21 F 8:30-10a GHC McCuddin $47

Croatians, Norwegians, Indians and Pioneers: Exploring the Crossroads
that Created Gig Harbor

Six generations of fishermen, farmers, boat builders, loggers & merchants - their stories circulate the community of Gig Harbor, just waiting to be told. Tales of taming a rugged landscape, mastering unforgiving tides, creating a renowned fishing fleet and the birth of a self-sufficient town - all through the sheer grit and simple pleasures of pioneering life. While culturally diverse, each group possessed an exceptional set of skills that together forged the foundations of a unique Northwest community. Come and learn this fascinating bit of Gig Harbor history. 4 sessions.
G206 GHHIN 006 Oct. 31-Nov. 21 F 8:30-10:00a GHC Pitcher $47

The New Marijuana Law: What Does it Really Mean for Washington State?
Washington became one of the first states to legalize the production, sale, and use of recreational marijuana. But, as stores have been slow to open and medical marijuana businesses flourish, confusion persists about how I-502 actually impacts Washington State. This course will explore the legal consequences of I-502, the science behind it, and the outcomes for the state. 4 sessions.
G207 GHHIN 007 Oct. 31-Nov. 21 F 10:30a-12p GHC Rubenstein $47

Pacific Northwest History: Dismantling a Racial Hierarchy
In the late nineteenth century, the Pacific Northwest became a frothing stewpot of racial tension. African Americans and Chinese immigrants streamed into the region seeking economic opportunity and a better life. Instead they encountered resentment, fear and violence. Through stories of Americans and immigrants fighting for place, this course will explore the source of white fears and how the region came to grips with racial diversity. 4 sessions.
G208 GHHIN 008 Oct. 31-Nov. 21 F 10:30a-12p GHC Jepsen $47

Universal Human Rights ... Or Not?
Human rights are universal to all humans around the world, hence the term universal. The trick lies in determining what these rights are as different cultures view human rights differently. This class will briefly discuss the history of human rights, several conflicting views, and how these conflicts result in international controversy. 4 sessions.
G209 GHHIN 009 Oct. 31-Nov. 21 F 10:30a-12p GHC Paganelli $47

Winter 2015

Intro to Understanding American Foreign Policy
We all like playing armchair quarterback and criticizing American foreign policy. Our "friends" overseas enjoy this sport even more than we do. This class is designed to explore how our foreign policy is made, as understanding how the policy decision-making process works is the first step in understanding the policies that our political leaders make. 4 sessions.
G210 GHHIN 010 Jan. 9-Jan. 30 F 10:30a-12p GHC Paganelli B $47

Food Goes to the Movies
While food and eating scenes have long been a part of film, it wasn't until the 1970s that food films began to emerge and develop into a genre. Food appeals to us visually and aesthetically, and has long been used in film to advance the plot, to denote a particular time and place, and to reveal a character's inner struggles or desires. In this class, we'll view food and eating in selected films to discover how food advances the story, reveals character, and feeds both body and spirit. Warning: You'll never look at food the same after this class. 4 sessions
G211 GHHIN 011 Jan. 9-Jan. 30 F 10:30a-12p GHC Bosanko $47

Understanding the "Arab Spring" - Changes, Challenges and Possibilities Facing Today's Middle East
With seemingly endless wars, uprisings, and opposition movements ongoing throughout the region, we witness a flurry of Middle Eastern turmoil with little to orient our perceptions of these historic times. The purported catalyst - an "Arab Spring" - endeavors to enact long awaited military, economic, democratizing and secularizing reforms; and yet, we see little evidence of such transitions "on the ground." American media representations routinely confine our vision to the dangers of religious authoritarianism, the oppression and subordination of women, and the ready recourse to violence in this "volatile" region. Such portrayals impart not only a uniform and prejudicial impression of a great diversity of Arab cultures, they are predicated on the assumption that the Western liberal model is the only equitable definition of human and social life. This class investigates the changes, challenges and possibilities facing modern Arab societies in an effort to both contextualize their crises and appreciate their diversity. 4 sessions.
G224 GHHIN 015 Jan. 14-Feb. 4 W 5-6:30p GHC Pitcher $47

Three Faiths, One God? ... Parallels and Distinctions between Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Shared patriarchs, a tradition of prophecy, the Ten Commandments, a promise of redemption ... these are but a few of the attributes that "People of the Book" (the Bible) - Jews, Christians and Muslims - have in common. And yet, conflicts between these faiths have marred human history for millennia. In this class, we will explore the parallels and divergences of Judaism, Christianity and Islam from a historico-cultural perspective in an attempt to understand why kinship and community between faiths remains so elusive. 4 sessions.
G225 GHHIN 016 Feb. 18-Mar. 11 W 5-6:30p GHC Pitcher $47

Trying to Understand Terrorism
The use of the term "terrorism" is intentional. Terrorism is an age-old and brutal set of tactics that is intended to influence people and nations by causing terror in a population. This class is designed to introduce the study of terrorism by exploring definitions of terrorism ("one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"), and some of the perceived "causes" of this bloody phenomenon. 4 sessions.
G212 GHHIN 012 Feb. 13-Mar. 6 F 10:30a-12p GHC Paganelli, B $47

Do you know chocolate was once a banned food? Is there good and bad chocolate? Do you know recent surveys indicate that 15 of every 10 persons interviewed love chocolate and consume some 60 million pounds of it annually? Together, we'll trace the history of chocolate from its beginnings in the New World to the Old World and back again. We'll learn why chocolate not only tastes good but is very good for us. We'll do some tasting and end by raising a cup and saying, "Thanks Q!" and you'll know why. 4 sessions.
G213 GHHIN 013 Feb. 13-Mar. 6 F 10:30a-12p GHC Bosanko $47

Fair-Trade at the Grocery Store: A Primer for the Interested Consumer
This class will look into the movements, such as Fair Trade and Co-op., that adorn items from coffee to cotton t-shirts. We will cover what these movements are, who they affect, and the debates surrounding the concepts. Ultimately, this class will help you, the consumer, make knowledgeable choices at the grocery store. 4 sessions.
G214 GHHIN 014 Feb. 13-Mar. 6 F 12:30-2p GHC Paganelli, S $47

Pacific Northwest History: A Frothing Stewpot of Racial Tension
In the late 19th century, the Pacific Northwest became a frothing stewpot of racial tension. African Americans and Chinese immigrants streamed into the region seeking economic opportunity and a better life. Instead they encountered resentment, fear and violence. Through stories of Americans and immigrants fighting for place, this course will explore the source of white fears and how the region came to grips with racial diversity. 4 sessions.
G208 GHHIN 008 Feb. 13-Mar. 6 F 12:30-2p GHC Jepsen $47

Please consider rating the content on this page:
Poor Outstanding
Your comments about the content on this page:

If you would like us to get back with you, please share your email address (optional):