1. Class Overview
As per its name, Intro to Gangs introduces you to the American gangs. From Hispanic gangs to white gangs to Asian gangs, this class covers it all. For the class, he recommends you to get the book he authored – “Gangs Across America.” He does assign readings from the book; however, a bigger portion of the quizzes is based on lecture info. Thus, the workload is almost non-existent if you attend lectures.
Lecture, in fact, is quite enjoyable. The material is interesting and, with his credential as an ex-police officer, his personal experiences are always intriguing to listen to. Moreover, he has lots of short video clips in his powerpoint, so there really isn’t a dull moment during the lecture.
As aforementioned, workload is minimum in this class. Occasionally, he makes you read the chapters, but you do so for your own good because some quiz questions are derived from the book. Also, for the class, there are only four quizzes and no midterms or finals – all of which are questions from lecture notes, so an easy A is surely guaranteed provided that you jog down some key notes during class.
The only drawback of the class is that it is an 8 AM class. Fortunately, Dr. Valdez does occasionally upload online lectures, so you don’t have to wake up for every single lecture.
Ultimately, this class (despite not being a GE), is a good class to get a bit more street savvy. A lot of people think of this as a GPA booster, but you truly take lots of things away from this class. So it’s definitely recommended to those who are interested in learning about gangs and need some social science credits to take this course.