Jun 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Justice, Community, and Leadership

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Justice, Community and Leadership (JCL) is committed to education for liberation. Such an education requires a critical analysis of interconnected systems of oppression and invites us to think and act in humanizing, humble and self-reflective ways. JCL classes challenge students with an engaged critical pedagogy that enables us to apply what we learn in the classroom to a broader community context.

Many of our courses include working alongside community members and organizations to learn from their expertise on the causes and consequences of social injustices and understand their visions and methods for addressing structural inequities. Together with these community experts, we grapple with the complexity of policies, dominant ideologies, and cultural practices that disadvantage some groups of people, while benefiting others and consider how we can be a part of social change efforts. Students in our program go on to work in diverse fields-such as education, the nonprofit sector, law, social entrepreneurship, government, and public health-yet they share a common aim to make the world more equitable and just.


Manisha Anantharaman, PhD, Associate Professor

Shawny Anderson, PhD, Professor; Interim Dean, Liberal Arts

Monica Fitzgerald, Professor

Michael Viola, PhD, Associate Professor

Learning Outcomes for the Justice, Community and Leadership Major

Students who complete this program will be able to:

  • DEMONSTRATE knowledge of the ways systemic inequities (e.g. economic, racial, gender, environmental) are reproduced and interconnected historically and in our contemporary world.
  • UTILIZE critical transdisciplinary lenses to analyze unjust power relations and systemic oppression, centering the experiences, histories, and visions of oppressed communities.
  • USING appropriate library and information literacy skills, evaluate and apply research methodologies in ways that challenge dominant assumptions about knowledge production to articulate, interpret and contribute to social justice.
  • COLLABORATE with diverse community formations to imagine, co-construct, organize for and sustain strategies that contribute to a more just social order.
  • UTILIZE oral, written, artistic, expressive and new media formats to advocate for transformative social change with attention to audience and power relations.
  • DEMONSTRATE cultural humility and an understanding of one’s positionality within historical and intersecting systems of power.

JCL General Major and Concentrations

The Justice, Community and Leadership program offers three concentrations:

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.

4+1 Pathway

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 Concentration

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.

Major Requirements

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.

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).


    Bachelor of ArtsMinor


      Justice, Community and Leadership - Lower DivisionJustice, Community and Leadership - Upper DivisionMultiple Subject Teacher Education - Upper DivisionSingle Subject Teacher Education - Upper DivisionSpecial Education - Upper DivisionTeacher Education - Lower Division

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