Undergraduate Department of Leadership and Policy

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Department of American Studies

Irwin Nesoff, Associate Professor and Chair

Michele Gibbons-Carr, Instructor

Programs of Study

Minor In Leadership for Community and Civic Engagement

The 16 credit minor is designed to enhance and expand the learning opportunities for students to more effectively clarify and pursue their passions. This minor, will provide students from all majors an opportunity to enhance their understanding of a range of concepts, and promote the development of skills, dispositions and values perspectives that define the fields of leadership, community service and civic engagement. Such learning will help to expand each student’s sense of purpose for their education beyond a singular focus on preparation for a profession and career. They would, also, begin to see themselves as being able to take on the responsibility of acting as ‘citizen leaders’ with the ability to promote change to improve communities, locally, nationally, and internationally. Part of this expanded view of themselves and their education would be a broader understanding of leadership that is not limited to those with formal positions of authority. Such leadership would be centered in a transformational sense of purpose and vision for the future that engages the voices of all stakeholders in dialogue and conversation. Helping students to reframe their ideas about leadership and the purpose of their education is essential if they are to become change agents who can lead and keep alive this process of democratic citizen engagement for making a better world.

The Minor is organized around three core principles:

The Principle of Consciousness of Self: The Individual Dimension of Change

This principle requires leaders to become aware of their personal sense of purpose that is rooted in their gifts, talents and limitations, as well as in their beliefs, values and passions. Habits of internal reflection and external feedback from critical friends and other sources generate the learning that produces such awareness. The principle of congruence supports consciousness of self because it requires you to pay attention to abilities, beliefs and values that you say you have and the reality of what you actually are able to do.

The Principle of Common Purpose: The Organizing Group Dimension of Change

This principle promotes groups having a sense of shared aims, values and vision. The principle of controversy with civility supports the search for common purpose. It does this by requesting that we embrace differences of view in a group and listen carefully to try and understand those differences from the point of view of those who hold these ideas. We don’t have to agree with the different views expressed, but we should express our differences in a respectful manner.

The Principle of Citizenship: The Community Dimension of Change

This principle of citizenship is about taking responsibility for working to serve your local, national, and international communities by participating in activities that change things so that people in these communities, as a whole, will benefit. Taking effective action that serves the renewal and improvement of communities requires that citizen leaders know and understand the issues, challenges and strengths of the community and the social, cultural, political and economic factors that shape change in communities.

Learning outcomes for the minor

Students will:

  • Develop an understanding of how leadership in collaborative groups can effectively create social change.
  • Will learn to reflect, problem-solve, explore and apply knowledge of leadership to their own lives and to civic/community development.
  • Develop an understanding of how each student’s individual values are linked to group values and to the values of larger communities.
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of working in groups with a common purpose and how to support collaboration and resolve controversy with civility.
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of mentors in their own professional and personal growth.
  • Develop an understanding of the use and importance of self-reflection in their own professional and personal growth as leaders.
Course Requirements 

Required courses

6 credits

NPL 201 Leadership, Community and Change/2 cr
GEC 254 Agents of Change for Public Policy and Leadership/4 cr

Selective Courses

10 credits

Students must take at least one course from each of the two following categories:

Consciousness of Self

ENG. 220 Writing as Social Action/4 cr
AST 290 Culture and Spirituality of West Africa/4 cr
EDU 255 Race and Cultural Identities/4 cr
SWK 225 Dynamics of Oppression and Discrimination/4 cr
HDP 226 Positive Psychology/4 cr
PHIL 170 Contemporary Moral Issues/4 cr
EDU 367 Foundations in Communication and Collaboration/2 cr
EDU 355-555 Helping Children Heal – Northern Ireland Lessons/2 cr
PSG 135 Bombs and Bombshells/4 cr
PSG 235 Theories and Practice of Conflict Resolution/4 cr

Common Purpose and Citizenship

CFS 340 Introduction to Human Services/4 cr
EDU 228 Civic Issues, Skills and Engagement/4 cr
JJA 380 Youth Work and Youth Advocacy/4 cr
HDP 316 Children’s Political Lives/4 cr
PRO 417 Welcoming LGBT Families in Education and Human Services/4 cr
HIS 270 Human Rights as World History/4 cr
PSG 240 Social Movements/4 cr
PSG 222 Issues in Policy, Law and Gender/4 cr
PRO 236 Student Policy Fellows/2 cr or
PRO 336 Student Policy Fellow/4 cr
PRO 144/145 Foundation for Child Related Service Learning/2 cr

Student Policy Fellows

This interdisciplinary seminar and concurrent legislative placement is designed as a cohort group focused on policy development, advocacy and leadership skills. Special emphasis is on policy issues affecting children and families. This course prepares fellows to incorporate policy leadership skills into their practice. Open to junior and senior undergraduate and graduate students. Students can choose to take the Policy Fellows for 2 or 4 credits. The four-credit option requires sixteen hours of placement weekly in a State legislative office; the two-credit option requires eight hours per week of placement. In addition, there is a bi-weekly seminar that is required. Enrollment into the Student Policy Fellows program is by application and it is competitive.

PRO 236 Student Policy Fellows 2 credits
PRO 336 Student Policy Fellows 4 credits

Learning outcomes of the Student Policy Fellows Program

Students Will:

  • Develop a beginning understanding of the nature and forms of public policy practice
    Develop a working knowledge of the policy formulation and implementation processes
  • Develop an understanding of the State legislative processes and its relationship to the federal legislative processes
  • State House and Senate committees and leadership
  • Develop a basic understanding of policy advocacy activities
  • Understand policy analysis and how to apply it to specific policy initiatives
    Analyze the components of effective leadership

inspire a world of good

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