During your first semester of the program, you will be taking either the Poverty and Culture or Cross-Cultural Communication course, plus the Community-Based Research Lab. Both Poverty and Culture and Cross-Cultural Communication courses will require 20 hours of service-learning or a comparable project or product.
SISU-140 (CB): Cross-Cultural Communication
Instructor: Terra Gargano
Examines the impact of culture on communication, perception, thought patterns, values, and beliefs in order to better understand the behavior of individuals within different societies. Specific concerns include the dynamics of verbal and nonverbal communication; the relationship between dominant cultures and subcultures; ethnic, racial, class and other forms of diversity within countries and organizations; third-culture and multicultural persons; and the dynamics of cross-cultural adjustment.
AMST-240 (CB): Poverty and Culture
Instructor: Mary Ellen Curtin
Students explore and debate rival theories about the causes and consequences of poverty. Why poverty occurs, why certain people are poor, how poverty influences family and community life, and how the poor respond to their situation and sometimes try to change it.IDIS-101: Community-Based Research Lab
Instructor: Jane Palmer
In this multidisciplinary course students learn the principles of community-based learning, community-based research, and the fundamentals of social science research. The course also provides students with training on topics such as diversity, privilege, team dynamics, public speaking, interviewing, and other topics designed to prepare students for successful community-based learning and research projects. The course includes community visits.
SPA-340: Community-Based Research
Students engage in research to inform solutions for a pressing community problem, identify avenues to effect social change or evaluate program impact with a local non-profit in the Washington, DC area. Students learn how to design a research study, collect data (surveys, interviews or focus groups), analyze data and present research findings to the non-profit partner. This course works with one non-profit partner for the entire semester. Past Research Partners:
United Planning Organization,
Maya Angelou Public Charter School,
LAYC Career Academy and
- Winter Break service learning trip to Ecuador
- Wicked Problem Challenge
- Become a Peer Mentor