The mission of Justice, Community and Leadership is to prepare students through a social justice framework to be leaders who address critical challenges of our times.
Justice, Community and Leadership is an interdisciplinary program in which students learn how to analyze and engage with some of the most pressing social, educational and environmental justice issues of our times. Through training in critical theory, leadership studies, policy and education, and emphasis on humility and self-reflection, we prepare our students to participate in and lead collective endeavors to make the world a better place.
Many of our courses include working with community members and organizations to learn from their expertise on both the impact of and ideas for addressing structural inequity. Together with these community experts, we grapple with the complexity of policies, laws, and cultural practices that disadvantage some groups of people, while benefiting others and consider how we can be a part of leading for social change. Students in our program go on to work in diverse fields-such as education, the non-profit sector, law, social entrepreneurship, government, and public health-yet they share a common aim to make the world more socially just.
Faculty and Advisory Board
Monica Fitzgerald, Professor, Director
Manisha Anantharaman, PhD, Assistant Professor
Shawny Anderson, PhD, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts
Alicia Rusoja, PhD, Assistant Professor
Tamara Spencer, EdD, Associate Professor, KSOE
Michael Viola, PhD, Assistant Professor
Learning Outcomes for the Justice, Community and Leadership Major
Students who complete this program will be able to:
- KNOWLEDGE Demonstrate an understanding of engaged pedagogy, critical theory, and social systems as related to justice and leadership studies and be able to apply theoretical explanations to empirical examples.
- RESEARCH Use data analysis and interpretation, appropriate library and information literacy skills, and field research to articulate and interpret the complexities of significant social issues.
- APPLICATION By using leadership studies and critical theory, assess a complex social or community issue and develop multiple viable strategies that contribute to a more just social order.
- COMMUNICATION Effectively use oral, written, and new media formats to educate, advocate, and collaborate with multiple audiences.
- REFLECTION Demonstrate, through written and oral self-assessment and reflection, an understanding of the impact of their own academic learning experience and how it prepares them for a life of active citizenship
JCL General Major and Concentrations
The Justice, Community and Leadership program offers three concentrations:
- JCL General Major (13.25-13.50 courses)
- JCL: Education Specialist Teacher Education (18.75 courses)
- JCL: Multiple Subject Teacher Education (21.25 courses)
Undergraduate Teacher Credential Pathway
These concentrations allow students to complete their BA and earn a teaching credential in 4 years.
JCL: Education Specialist
The Education Specialist (SPED) concentration prepares individuals with a passion for teaching students with mild-to-moderate disabilities in grades K-12. We provide a balance of theory and current practice to meet the individual needs of exceptional learners.
JCL: Multiple Subject Teacher Education
The Multiple Subject Teacher Education (MSTE) concentration is built upon a student-centered learning community that inspires excellence and innovation in K-8 education. Through the practice of shared inquiry, collaborative learning and community engagement, we empower our students to lead change according to the principles of social justice and common good.
This 4+1 single subject pathway concentration allows students to complete a BA in 4 years and a Single Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential in one additional year.
Single Subject 4+1 Minor
Incoming first-year students and qualifying sophomores who are committed to becoming middle or high school teachers may declare this minor. This special program enables students to integrate education coursework and field experience in middle and high schools with their undergraduate course of study. With a major in the discipline they would like to teach (History, English, etc.), students will gain the critical framework and field experience necessary to be transformative educators. Students proceed through the SS4+1 minor in a cohort with TFT and other Single Subject 4+1 minors, taking many of their minor courses and all of their field experience with other cohort members.
Leadership for Social Justice 4+1
The MA in Leadership for Social Justice is a concentration in the graduate Leadership Studies program, designed for students interested in practicing leadership for social change in fields such as non-profit, community organizing, law, or public service. The Justice, Community and Leadership program has developed a 4+1 pathway for students to complete their BA in four years and their MA in one additional year. By fulfilling the 4+1 pathway requirements, students can be admitted to the Leadership for Social Justice MA program and begin graduate course work in their senior year.. Students in this concentration fulfill additional requirements. Prospective students must apply separately to the MA in Leadership.
All students, regardless of concentration, must complete the JCL common curriculum. Students complete additional course requirements determined by their area of concentration. Please note that JCL students meet many requirements of the SMC Core Curriculum within the major and their chosen concentration.
Additional Requirements by Concentration
Students complete all requirements of the JCL Common Curriculum and the additional requirements of their concentration
JCL Minor Requirements
This multidisciplinary minor, housed within the Justice, Community and Leadership Program, incorporates community engagement and issues of social justice into the experiences and curriculum of students interested in learning about the principles and practices of justice, community, and leadership. The minor must consist of at least five courses outside of the student’s major(s).
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor
CoursesJustice, Community and Leadership - Lower DivisionJustice, Community and Leadership - Upper Division