The ECON 495 Immersion Seminar is 1-credit-hour intensive colloquium offering a unique learning opportunity for economics, social science, and business students. It is a partnership of the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center, which hosts the class, and the Department of Economics.

Colloquium in 2007
The foundation of the colloquium is reading and discussing a classic or contemporary economics text of greater intellectual substance and focus than the typical undergraduate textbook. Examples of such a text might be selected readings from Adam Smith’s 1776 Wealth of Nations. Unlike lecture driven classes, it is the responsibility of the students to direct and develop the discussion of the text. It is modeled on the Socratic seminar format of Indianapolis-based educational foundation Liberty Fund.

In addition to undergraduate students, the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center also invites members of the Muncie and east central Indiana business and professional community to participate. Although not subject to course requirements, community members must follow the same rules of discussion as the students.

The class also develops a group project targeted for public display and use. The fall 2009 seminar had students interviewing two prominent local residents for their memories of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The interview, along with a student developed introduction, will be available on the Web.

The target size of the colloquium is 10 students and five community members, plus facilitating faculty.