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Leadership for Social Justice Seminar
Designed as a model that can be used by other institutions, the Leadership for Social Justice Seminar was developed to provide the context of leadership and social justice for students to see their subsequent professional preparation and to equip students with the communication and critical thinking skills necessary for leadership in a culturally diverse environment.
See a sample syllabus of the leadership course required for Mount Mary College first year students.
Leadership: Students will identify opportunities for developing leadership skills in their service learning experience: risk-taking, problem solving, dealing with conflict, collaborating with others, etc. They will analyze how they responded to the situations and how their own leadership skills have developed or could develop further.
Self Learning: Before they begin their service learning experiences, students will identify the assumptions they bring to the particular project they've chosen (e.g. if homelessness, then assumptions about homeless people, shelters, social service personnel, etc.). Through class discussion and writing assignments they will recount their perceptions as they begin their service and describe any changes in their assumptions and perceptions as they complete their service.
Service Learning Project: Because service is part of the college mission and because it is an integral dimension of leadership, students in the Leadership for Social Justice Seminar are required to participate in a minimum of six hours of approved service learning activities outside of class. The project enables students to learn experientially with nonprofit agencies throughout the area, reflect on what they learn in the process, and share their experiences with their classmates orally and in writing.
Social Justice: Through their service learning experience, students will become more aware of social inequities and injustices. They will make connections between what they are observing and what they are leaning about through assigned readings, videos, and class discussions. They will document this awareness and the connections they are making through written and/or oral communication.
Funding for this course was provided in part through a FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education) grant and the U.S. Department of Education.