Community-based Learning Courses

A class dialogue in Introduction to Justice and Peace with Professor Andria Wisler

Explore important social justice themes in D.C. through these community-based learning courses offered for a range of credit hours in every semester. CSJ supports transportation to get you into DC.  You can search for CBL courses any semester by selecting “community-based learning”  in the “Attribute Type” field in MyAccess. Questions? Email the course professor, or reach out to csjcbl@georgetown.edu.

 ANTH 351-01 Refugees, Asylees, Migrants and Trafficed Persons: Global Displacement in a Hostile 

This community-based research seminar on migration combines anthropology and principles of activist research. With 65 million people forcibly displaced, and over 244 million more migrants living abroad worldwide, migration in its various forms is one of the most pressing human rights issues today. As an anthropology class, we will read about the lived experience of migration – spotlighting the distinctions and commonalities between migrants, refugees, asylees, and trafficked persons. And as members of a 4-credit community-based research class, students will conduct field research and create advocacy opportunities on behalf of migrants in the Metropolitan D.C. area. In this way, you will learn from the communities around you while contributing in ways that they identify.

EDIJ 242-01 Educating the Whole Child

Educating the Whole Child is an intensive, experiential* CBL course. This course will give you the opportunity to experience firsthand education enacted with teachers and students in local public schools. Building upon a central tenet of education at Georgetown, ‘education of the whole person’, this course examines the extent to which a “whole child” view of education is at work in K-12 schools. Amid today’s push for college and career readiness and higher academic standards for all, how are schools educating the whole child? How do schools ensure that students are prepared to function effectively in society? What could education of the whole child look like? In this course you will examine these and other questions facing education today. Through readings, discussions, videos, and school based observation and volunteering, you will examine the education of the whole child in today’s public schools.
*As a 4 credit CBL course, students volunteer in DC area public schools 4 hours per week for 10 weeks during the school day (typically 8:30-3:15). Most students schedule one day per week to complete the CBL required hours. Others go two days per week and serve 2 hours each day. Please note that transportation to and from the schools via public transportation typically takes an additional 45 minutes each way. CBL sites will be assigned during the first weeks of class.

4.00 Credit Hours
4.00 Lecture Hours

ENGL 298-01 Sursum Corda (Golden Rule) Tutoring

This course involves teaching the Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking) twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursday 6:30 to 8:30pm) to K-6 children at Golden Rule Apartments, and attending a weekly Wednesday seminar on campus so as to learn how to do so, to discuss the progress you are making, and to consider what else is involved in our work together. Twice weekly journal, midterm/final and course paper. This course involves tutoring, for one hour twice a week exclusive of travel time, a child who lives in the Golden Rule Apartments about 4.5 miles from campus, and attending a weekly seminar on campus to discuss both your work as a tutor, and other issues related to what we do there. Though based (with some changes) on the earlier, and now closed, Sursum Corda project, this is a new program (it began in September 2017) and promises to continue developing in the future.

FMST 399-01 Social Justice Documentary

Social Justice Documentary takes up three intersecting bodies of knowledge:

  • Documentary Filmmaking techniques and practices
  • Film and Media Studies scholarship
  • Social Justice Theory and the practices of Community Based Organizations in Washington, DC

The course will enable students to collaborate with members of DC-based Community Organizations in order to create documentary video projects and learn about non-fiction video as a tool for social action.
Students in Social Justice Documentary will work in small teams to produce short documentary videos about social justice issues as related to the work of Washington, DC-based Community Organizations. At the end of the course students should be able to define, summarize, and interpret documentary theories; have a working knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production processes that are part of making a documentary video; and be able to formulate and demonstrate ways through which documentary video can be used to meet social justice ends. In addition, students will have gained experience in working as members of video production team—as successful video production heavily depends on cooperation, collaboration, and respect among team members. This is a 4-credit course and will require substantial time outside of scheduled class meetings. This course will include hands-on workshops on camera, lighting, sound, and editing scheduled in additional to regular course meetings.

MGMT 277-01 Imagination and Creativity

Businesses operate in a competitive global marketplace that judges them against the standards of “more, better, faster.” If a business is not doing more, or doing it better, or doing it faster, the chance of it surviving in the competitive global marketplace will become remote. Those companies that not only survive, but also thrive, recognize that to do it “more, better, faster” requires imagination and creativity. The purpose of this course is to help you master the skills of imagination and creativity. Toward that end, we will identify common “blocks” to creativity and innovation in business. In addition, we will upgrade your imagination skills and identify strategies and techniques to enhance your personal and professional creativity. To achieve these objectives will not only require hard work and discipline, but also a renewed appreciation for foolishness and play.

MGMT 278-01 Courage & Moral Leadership

As leaders, you will be confronted with challenging situations in which you may have to step up, find the courage from within, and take action to “do the right thing.” In taking action to do the right thing, you are responding with “moral energy to a crisis or challenge in way that has meant a lot to others” (Coles, Lives of Moral Leadership, p. xvii). The response you make in the face of crisis or challenge is at the core of moral leadership. The course has three key objectives. First, we will explore the importance of reflection in action, which is central to moral leadership. In addition to the course readings and exercises, this objective will be served in an off-campus retreat conducted by the Reverend Steve Spahn, S.J., Director of Ignatian Programs at Georgetown. Second, we will analyze when and why people engage in moral leadership, including the role of courage in undertaking such action—and how those actions changed the course of history or influenced the day-to-day quality of life in local communities, organizations, and nations. This objective will be served in the “Daring to Resist” and the “Moral Leadership Project” papers. The final objective of this course focuses on how you translate values into actions. More specifically, how to act on one’s beliefs—to resist that which is wrong or unjust, and convince others “to stand for something you believe in, the good, the right thing to do” (Coles, Lives of Moral Leadership, p. xxi). This objective will be served in the Community-Based Learning (CBL) project in this course.

SPAN 380-01 Spanish in the Community

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States.

THEO 177 Courage, Hope, Justice

CBL: Courage, Hope, Justice- How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, playgrounds, and in the context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community Based Learning course through which students partake in work over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular course work. Partnering opportunities include working with after school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs. Bus/metro costs are covered. 

UNXD 130-01 Social Action

UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit course through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ) that offers students the opportunity to integrate their academic studies with community engagement experience in Washington, DC. Discover more and register at csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130.

EDIJ 220-01 Education, Equity, Advocacy

Realizing the American promise of equal access for all children to high quality education has been an ongoing struggle, even as the definitions of equal and everyone have broadened and shifted over time. Advocacy, defined here as “organized efforts and actions based on the reality of what is and a vision of what should be,” has long played a central role in the evolution of equitable, universal education. In this course students will examine historical trends and pertinent theoretical frameworks to explore ways that educational advocacy organizations have defined what is and worked to advance their respective goals for what should be regarding educational equity. A major component of this course involves students engaging in field-based learning as partners with a non-profit community group, organization, or institution that advocates for educational equity. Through work with their advocacy partners, students will have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research and complete a project on a specific topic as they work to advance their host organization’s efforts. In-class learning experiences for this course include professor and student-facilitated discussion, lecture, multi-media presentations, and guest speakers.

EDIJ 241 Essential Practices for Effective Instruction I

EDIJ 241, Essential Practices for Effective Instruction I, is a community based learning praxis course. This course examines the relationship among the teacher, learner, and content. Through this course students create an asset-based approach to working with learners, develop as reflective practitioners, and strengthen inquiry skills as they relate to education issues. This course is designed to challenge students to reflect on their identities as learner and teacher and on their work with students in the community.

CBL: Reading/Teachng/Social Reflection – 23391 – ENGL 296 – 01

Reading, Teaching and Social reflection is intended for students interested in teaching, and besides the usual classes, involves working for two hours one morning a week (the morning is chosen by the student) as a teacher’s aide in one of three inner-city Catholic schools. These schools include Immaculate Conception School in Shaw and Sacred Heart Bilingual School in Mount Pleasant, all of which have been welcoming Georgetown students for the past 22 years. The focus of the course is on teaching reading in the primary grades, and students from this class have gone on to Teach for America, the Inner-City-Teaching-Corps and to degree programs in Education at Berkeley, Columbia Teachers College and Harvard, among other places. 

ENGL 298-01 Sursum Corda

This course involves teaching the Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking) twice weekly (Tuesday and Thursday 6:30 to 8:30pm) to K-6 children at Golden Rule Apartments, and attending a weekly Wednesday seminar on campus so as to learn how to do so, to discuss the progress you are making, and to consider what else is involved in our work together. Twice weekly journal, midterm/final and course paper. This course involves tutoring, for one hour twice a week exclusive of travel time, a child who lives in the Golden Rule Apartments about 4.5 miles from campus, and attending a weekly seminar on campus to discuss both your work as a tutor, and other issues related to what we do there. Though based (with some changes) on the earlier, and now closed, Sursum Corda project, this is a new program (it began in September 2017) and in many ways is still being constituted. But thus far the Golden Rule program has gone very well indeed, and promises to continue developing in the future.

LHSV 480-01 Jesuit Values in Professional Practice

This three-credit elective is open to students in the MALS and MPS programs. In addition to readings and assignments, students commit to 1-2 hours per week of community service with a community-based organization as part of course requirements. The course is delivered in collaboration with the University’s Office of Mission and Ministry and the Center for Social Justice, Research, Teaching & Service.

NURS 241-01 Public Health Nursing

This course focuses on community/public health nursing and the core public health functions, and is designed to examine practice with communities/populations.  It provides an introduction to the specialty of public health nursing and public health sciences. Public health and nursing concepts provide the framework for the study and care of communities/populations with an emphasis on health promotion, protection, and disease prevention in communities and populations.

NURS 441-01 Interventions and Concepts in Public Health Nursing

This course focuses on public health nursing and the core public health functions, and is designed to examine practice with populations. It provides core knowledge in the specialty of public health nursing and public health sciences. Public health and nursing concepts provide the framework for the study and care of populations with an emphasis on health promotion, protection, and disease prevention in communities and populations. Students will also integrate knowledge from systems and leadership theory into their roles as members of interdisciplinary teams serving communities/populations.

SPAN 380-01 Spanish in the Community

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States.

UNXD 130-01 Social Action

UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit, community-based, experiential course offered through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ). UNXD 130 students integrate their academic studies with direct or indirect community engagement work of their choice in Washington, DC. Community work must enhance and deepen the classroom learning of a 3-credit course in which the student is currently enrolled. While most of the learning takes place in the community, UNXD 130 participants meet four times for reflective dialogue sessions, read pertinent scholarly work on critical social activism, compose three reflective activities and contribute to discussion board reflections over the course of the semester. Participation in UNXD 130 requires the completion of an interest form in which students explain the connection between coursework and community-based work. For more information and to complete this interest form, visit csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130. It is taken as a “pass/fail” type of course.

UNXD 368-01 Makerspaces and Justice

A collaboration between the Center for Social Justice and the Maker Hub, this course integrates design-thinking, experience, and reflection through a community-based making project serving individuals experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C. Together, students and faculty will practically and critically analyze the concepts of making, innovating, and doing justice. Working with the making mantra that the “freedom to fail” is a good thing, students in this course will interrogate together how the frameworks and context in which innovation projects are situated inform their ultimate success at shifting systems of injustice toward justice. Students in this course will hone practical making skills and critical reflection skills by collaborating with DC community members on tangible projects and processing that collaborative work. Guided by Georgetown’s missional commitments to “sustained discourse among people of difference” and educating “life-long learners” who “live generously in service to others”, this course is an ideal reflective experience for seniors looking to make meaning of their university experience and consider how they would like to practically carry forward what they have learned at Georgetown.

Social Justice Courses

There are dozens of courses for academic credit at Georgetown that are both about and for social justice. These courses represent a wide range of academic departments and programs and can be found in all of Georgetown’s schools. Below is a representative list of courses on the undergraduate level for students interested in social justice issues from the local to the global. Please note that this is a list of some of the courses offered with content related to social justice. Please contact csjweb@georgetown.edu with any additions.