Social Justice Studies

Shelley Bradfield, Beth McMahon, Paulina Mena

Statement of philosophy

The minor in Social Justice Studies seeks to prepare students to apply knowledge and skills toward the work of positive, prosocial change for groups who have contextually and historically experienced marginalization. Students will develop skills in recognizing and analyzing the causes and consequences of social injustices from the perspectives of multiple disciplines, use theory and research to propose effective and sustainable ways to promote positive social change, investigate the ways in which they interact with the communities which they serve through critical self-reflection, and apply this knowledge through engagement in the Central College tradition of service learning and engaged citizenship. Minors in Social Justice Studies will graduate with knowledge and skills that are essential to being effective leaders and advocates in communities of which they are a part.

Major Communication Skills

Competency in communication skills is assessed by completion of SJS 499 Advocacy Capstone in which students reflect on their self-efficacy in engaging in social justice work and present their reflections in an oral form to the class.


Social Justice Studies Minor Requirements (minimum 19 credits)

Note: Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the minor, no more than 1 course can count toward both the social justice studies minor and other major(s)/ minor(s). Additionally, this minor requires a minimum of four disciplines represented, as indicated by program prefix, to ensure interdisciplinary work toward the minor requirements. The SJS prefix in not included as one of the four disciplines required.

1. Foundations: Complete two of the following: (6 credit minimum)
BIOL 210 Epidemiology (3)
COMM 250 Evaluating Contemporary Media (4)
EDUC 135 Children with Exceptionalities (3)
ENGL 213 Literature, Environment and Ecology (3)
ENGL 214 Literature by Women (4)
ENGL 215 African American Literature (4)
ENGL 216 LGBTQ+ Literature and Culture (3)
ENGL 252 The Haunted House of British Literature, 1785- present (3)
GENR 130 Why Gender Matters (3)
GERM 362 Germany & the Environment (3)
HIST 126 World History Since 1500 (3)
HIST 310 Studies in World History (4)
MUS 211 History of Western Music: Antiquity to 1750 (3)
MUS 312 History of Western Music: Pre-Classical to 1940 (3)
PHIL 121 Ethics (3)
PHIL 245 Environmental Ethics (4)
PHIL 275 Memory and the Holocaust (4)
PSYC 231 Psychopathology (3)
PSYC 330 Multicultural Issues in Psychology (3)
REL 274 World Christianity (4)
SOC 225 Social Problems (3)
SOC 346 American Ethnicity (4)

2. Critical Self- Reflection: Complete two of the following: (6 credit minimum)
ART 425 Theory, Criticism and Art Since 1945 (4)
COMM 268 Intercultural Communication (3)
ENGL 217 Literature and Film of the Middle East (4)
ENGL 270 Illness and Health in Literature (4)
ENGL 346 Discovering Shakespeare (3)
GENR 330 Witches and Warriors: Feminist Thought and Social Justice (3)
LAS 410 Rap, Hip Hop and Decolonizing the Classroom (4)
PHIL 240 Social and Political Philosophy (3)
POLS 344 International Law and Human Rights (4)
PSYC 240 Psychology of Gender (3)
PSYC 385 Principles of Counseling (3)
SOC 336 Status and Inequality in Social Life (4)
SOC 390 Collective Action and Social Change (4)
SPAN 350 Hispanics/ Latinos in the United States (3)

3. Integration: Complete one of the following (3 credit minimum)
COMM 276 Communicating Health and Illness (3)
COMM 340 Public Relations (4)
EDUC 215 Human Relations (3)
ENGL 246 Writing for Non-Profit Organizations (4)
GENR 230 Gender Studies in Context: From Aesthetics to Athletics (4)
HIST 235 The Immigrant Experience (4)
KIN 379 Epidemiology of Physical Activity (3)
POLS 242 Global Sustainability Politics (4)
PSYC 384 Adult Development and Aging (3)
REL 325 History of Spirituality in the Christian Tradition (4)
SJST 290 Social Justice in the City (6)

4. Empowerment (1 credit minimum)
Complete a 1 credit (minimum) course (SJST 300: Empowerment in Social Justice Studies) that supports the work toward and reflection of the Empowerment experience.

5. Advocacy Capstone (3 credits)
Complete a 3 credit independent study (SJST 499 Capstone in Social Justice Studies).