Courses and Seminars

The Center for Social Concerns invites graduate and professional students from all disciplines to participate in its course and seminar offerings. The Common Good Initiative is a one- or two-credit course designed to immerse a cohort of graduate students in contexts of social concerns faced by impoverished communities. Themes of justice, the common good, and the preferential option for the poor in the Catholic social tradition are explored relative to the personal and disciplinary interests of graduate students. The Common Good Initiative application process begins in the fall semester preceding the immersion. All disciplines are welcome.

Graduate students are also invited to participate in one-credit Social Concerns Seminars, which accommodate the interests of undergraduate as well as graduate students. Social Concerns Seminars take place during fall, winter, or spring breaks, and involve travel to engage topics relevant to a location, such as Washington, D.C., site of the Science Policy Ethics seminar, for example. Graduate students often take an active role in building a learning community with undergraduates as the seminar examines social issues and studies relevant texts, including aspects of the Catholic social tradition.

New Fall 2016 Graduate Course

Community Engagement and Public Scholarship in Higher Education:

Integrating Learning and Social Responsibility in the Academy

CSC 63954 / GRED 63954 / PSY 63668

One-credit course

Jay Brandenberger, Ph.D.

Thursdays (alternating weeks, Sep. 1 to Dec.15), 3:15 to 5:30 p.m.

This interactive seminar provides an opportunity for graduate students from all colleges to examine topics in the evolving field of community engagement and higher education. What is the public mission of colleges and universities? How may faculty incorporate new paradigms of teaching and research that address social challenges? What promising practices (within and beyond the classroom) integrate ethical responsibility and public scholarship? By what means might we assess the impact of such practices on learners, communities, and fields? How might knowledge of community engagement linked to disciplinary expertise be a faculty career catalyst? Such questions will be addressed through dialogue, experiential opportunities, and analyses in the context of each student’s professional trajectory. Resources will be drawn from higher education literature, learning theory, ethics, and discipline-specific writings. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on their sense of public mission and career potentials. Open to doctoral and master’s level students. Participation in the course fulfills requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Community Engagement and Public Scholarship. Contact Jay Brandenberger or Patrena Kedik at the Center for further information information.