Studying Community Food Systems at Regis

Community Food Systems students learn to consider the interrelationships of culture, ecology, economy, health, and society through analysis of the dominant food system and its practices.
Classroom

Community Food Systems

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Why should I study Community Food Systems?

Improved food access, municipal collaboration and community capacity creates healthier people and communities. This minor will help you understand how to analyze social systems and discern whether those systems mediate or disrupt our ecological and social communities. You will also develop the ability to resourcefully identify and acquire the elemental materials for building food production.

Is Community Food Systems for me?

Do you dream of growing your own food? Are you concerned about food desserts? Are you interested in the growing alternative economies that center on entrepreneurship and urban food production? Does bio-intensive cultivation and permaculture tweak your curiosity? Then this minor is for you.  

Through classes, hands-on training, field trips, stints at farmers markets and apprenticeships, you can expect to develop the following skills:
  • Permaculture Design of both landscape and invisible structures (ethics, design principles, basemapping, design implementation)
  • Bio-intensive cultivation methods of to produce vegetables, fruits and grains, using practical and ecological techniques that promote fertility, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase biodiversity. (maintaining soil fertility, plant diversity/identification and natural solutions to pests and diseases)
  • A better understanding of a healthy biological soil system.
  • The ability to resourcefully identify and acquire the elemental materials for building food production (infrastructure materials, compost materials).
  • Awareness of the elements involved in an inclusive community food system.
  • The necessary tools to creatively participate in growing alternative economies through entrepreneurship (growing mushrooms, plants, fish, food etc. for profit, identification of existing and proposed municipal policies that support or challenge urban food production).
  • Working with fellow students, faculty and community members throughout metro Denver, you will be empowered as a life-long learner and leader in your community now and into the future.

    During your Community Food Systems program, you will:

    1. Identify the social and ecological relationships within which you exist.
    2. Learn to interact and collaborate with your social and ecological relationships. 
    3. Develop skills in food production using bio-intensive and permaculture approaches, and produce food. 
    4. Learn the theory and practice needed to build capacity in yourself and your communities. 
    5. Understand how to analyze social systems to discern the way that those systems mediate or disrupt our grasp of ecological and social relationship. 

    You will also learn more about the food and environmental movement by actively contributing to various efforts taking place in Denver. 

  • Program Requirements

    Regis College students must complete the Core Studies requirements in addition to their minor requirements. Core Studies consists of:

  • Core Foundation: 6 credits, or two courses taken over the fall and spring of freshmen year
  • Distributive Core: 40-46 credits that represent a variety of offerings in disciplines that provide the underpinning        of a solid liberal education
  • Integrative Core: 12 credits, or four upper division courses taken in the junior and senior year

  • More information about Regis College Core Studies can be found here.

    NOTE: While most students within Regis College will begin the minor program in the spring semester of their sophomore year, special exemption can be granted to students who would be unable to complete the minor program in the fall of the junior year. These students would be allowed to begin the minor program in the spring of their freshman year. Exemptions will be considered on a case by case basis and will be granted at the discretion of the program chair.

    Courses
    1. Introduction to Urban Food Systems 3 CH 
    2. Field Practicum Spring 3 CH
    3. Field Practicum Summer/Internship/Apprenticeship (optional but definitely encouraged)

                 *The CFS minor program will use a variable model where students can sign up for a summer practicum course for anywhere from 0-2 credits.
    Electives (6 CH)
    The courses below exemplify the types of courses we will seek to offer as electives.
    The Anthropology of Food, Gender and Culture: AN 411 (C) SO 411 and WGS 411
    Introduction to Permaculture: AN 469Q (C) SO 469Q 
    Justice Oriented Farming Practices: ENVS 424 (C) PJ 480 
    History and Practices of Communal Environmentalism: ENVS 407 (C) HS 407 and PJ 437E
    Food Justice: AN 412 (C) SO 412 and PJ426)  
    Sustainable Communities: ENVS 441 (C) PJ 441 and SO 441)
    Permaculture Design Practicum

    How to Apply

    Admissions criteria

    Because of the natural physical limitations of our current garden spaces, the needs of our community partners who will be managing them, and keeping in mind the number of students who can be reasonably be expected to participate in the practicum, we will limit our yearly cohorts to 12-15 students. Students will be required to submit an application and complete an interview prior to being accepted into the minor. Students will be required to apply for admission into the minor in the fall to begin the program with their first practicum in the spring of that same academic year.

    Materials needed for application and admission

    Application materials will be made available in the fall of each academic year.