Welcome to Self and Community!

Submitted by Toska Olson on Tue, 08/28/2007 - 11:13am.


The major goal of this program is to link theory and practice. Students will have opportunities to understand abstract theories by applying them to projects and activities and by putting them into practice in real-world situations. This three-quarter program involves learning psychological and sociological perspectives in fall quarter, applying them to field work in winter quarter, and returning to the classroom in spring quarter to assess what worked and to suggest future improvements. Students who enroll in this program must commit to remaining for the entire year.

During fall quarter, students will study psychological and sociological perspectives on identity, society, social problems and human service work. Students will examine questions such as where do I fit within my community? How does my society influence me? How can I have a positive impact on my community and society? Students will explore the reciprocal relationship between self and community through program readings, class activities and fieldwork exercises.

During winter quarter, students will make meaningful service contributions to local, national, or international organizations by participating in an internship or volunteer work for 40 hours a week, the equivalent of 16 credits. Students will communicate electronically with the faculty during winter quarter to ask questions and discuss their learning. In addition, they may meet with faculty and colleagues for seminar discussions.

Students will return to the classroom in spring quarter to reflect on, critically examine and integrate their fall quarter theoretical learning with their winter quarter practical experience. The major project this quarter will be a synthesis paper that details this integration, proposes how to more effectively prepare students for community work and develops effective guidelines for serving the community. In the spring, students may continue their community work for four of the 16 credits.

Studies will encompass lectures, workshops, seminar discussions, reading, writing, research, small group collaboration and student presentations about topics related to self and community. Students who successfully complete this program will gain considerable experience with applied work in the social sciences and human services and with independent scholarly research and writing.

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Those with the appropriate permissions should be able to view our program's welcome letter, which is attached below.