The MA program in Advocacy and Social Justice is designed to provide advanced studies on advocacy and social justice theory, research and practice. Students will develop the skills to create, employ and evaluate models for change regarding the motivations and implications of injustice, disparity, inequity and systems of dominance. Students learn to implement and assess practices and theories grounded in principles of social justice, advocacy, respect for diversity and multi-culturalism, and the uniqueness of each person.
Students are immersed in an advanced multi-disciplinary curriculum that uses research, experiences and coursework to develop a holistic lens of empowerment, inclusion, multi-culturalism, equity and social impact. The attainment of applied experience is critical to students who are committed to and engaged in their communities.
Concentrations are additional areas of focus which are designed to immerse students in a more specific area of advocacy and social justice. The MA in Advocacy and Social Justice offers concentrations in Legal Studies, Culture & Communities and Education.
The attainment of applied experience is critical to students who are committed to and engaged in their communities. Field Experiences at an approved site are part of the MA degree program in Advocacy and Social Justice. Fieldwork experiences are to occur while student is registered in ASJ 667 Advocacy in Action: Fieldwork/Internship.
Contributions to the wider body of intellectual, experiential and applied knowledge are critical and the completion of a Social Impact and Participatory Action Research Master’s Project is required for successful fulfillment of the MA degree program in Advocacy and Social Justice.
Graduates are prepared to effectively apply advocacy and social justice theories and principles in their roles as policy and research analysts, international humanitarians, advocates in governmental and non-governmental agencies, social service directors, program officers, community health workers and educators, leaders in nonprofit, social movement activists, civil liberties workers, disease & disability advocates, special interest lobbyists and LGBTQ activists.
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
Development: Students implement and evaluate advocacy and social justice theories impacting domestic and global systems to assess opportunities and strategies to shift systems of inequity through practices of inclusion and multiculturalism.
Diversity: Students are able to assess and address the dynamics and intersectionality of institutional and individual biases and how each manifests power to create measurable change in social, community and political systems. They demonstrate through action, a value and commitment to diversity, social justice, equity and inclusion.
Communication: Students analyze and evaluate the qualities of communication tools used to fight injustice, maintain oppressive systems and empower individuals and communities to develop and implement, strategies for social impact.
Research: Students demonstrate skills to effectively consume, analyze, interpret and create scholarly, research based work grounded in social impact and participatory action paradigms and inclusive of social and personal contexts. Students work to address how their lived experiences are connected to research and how issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-bias are imbedded explicitly and implicitly in the research. Research will involve the completion of a Social Impact and Participatory Action Research Master’s Project.
Praxis: Students develop a philosophy of action and implementation based on advocacy and social justice theories, guided by reflective engagement and grounded in a lens of equity and multiculturalism. Students employ the knowledge, skills, attitudes and attributes of the advocate role to create and implement developmentally and culturally appropriate advocacy, inclusion and equity practices with individuals and systems. Students will observe, investigate and critically evaluate policies, practices and emergent issues from their fieldwork/internship. Praxis will involve activities such as practica, internship, fieldwork or student teaching.
Program Specific Requirements
Prior to registering for classes each semester (fall, spring, and summer), it is recommended that students meet with their advisor to identify the appropriate classes to take and to review their progress towards degree completion.
The program requires 15 credits of core coursework; 6 credits of thesis coursework; and 9 credits of concentration coursework and other program electives necessary to fulfill a total of 30 credits for program completion.
Each concentration has an advocacy fieldwork requirement. Fieldwork is study and learning that consists of practical and applied activities completed outside of the classroom or typical learning environment. Each student is required to engage in 45 hours of service at an approved fieldwork/internship site during the semester enrolled in the three-credit fieldwork course (ASJ 667 Advocacy in Action: Fieldwork/Internship).
Six credits of thesis are required: HD 688A Thesis Cohort Development (3) and HD 688C Thesis Cohort Project (3). Students who do not complete their Social Impact and Participatory Action Research Master’s Thesis by the end of HD 688A are required to enroll in HD 699C Thesis Continuation (0) until the Participatory Action and Social Impact Research Master’s Thesis has been completed and approved.