Course Descriptions

A list of all Undergraduate courses in JCL:

 10 Introduction to Justice, Community and Leadership
This course introduces students to program themes of justice, community and leadership. Through interactive discussions and engaged learning activities, students analyze how communities both shape and are shaped by larger social forces of race, gender, class, sexuality, culture, and the environment. The course gives special emphasis to the theme of social justice in U.S. society exploring possible avenues to create the kind of "Beloved Community" envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To enhance learning, students are required to complete 20 hours of service-learning with a community-based organization and participate in 6 additional labs (e.g. service at Glide Memorial Church). Satisfies the Common Good, Community Engagement, and American Diversity requirements of the Core Curriculum. Offered fall and spring.

120 Theory and Inquiry
This course is an advanced introduction to the critical social theory utilized in the JCL program to evaluate some of the political, social, economic, educational, and environmental justice issues that confront local, regional, national and global communities. Critical social theory is distinct from other forms of critical theory (philosophical, political, literary) yet it is in conversation with them. We will be exploring the relationships between oppression, power, society, education and social change through a diverse body of theory, while employing social science methodologies to collect and interpret evidence about the social world. Prerequisite: JCL 10 or permission of the instructor. This course satisfies the Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding and Writing in the Discipline requirements of the Core Curriculum. 

130 Environmental Justice
This course focuses on the complex relationship between humans and the environment, specifically examining how our everyday choices, individual behaviors, built infrastructures, and policies and institutions affect the environment, and consequently our global human community. Drawing on theories and concepts from a variety of fields such as cultural sociology, social psychology, ethnic studies, political ecology, urban geography and economics, we will examine how power, privilege and justice relate to environmental problems and solutions. Students are required to devote time each week to community engagement and guided reflection activities, produce a literature review and advocacy presentation, and complete content examinations. Class sessions are supplemented by 6 labs over the semester. Prerequisites: JCL 10 or permission of instructor. This course satisfies the Community Engagement and Common Good requirements of the Core Curriculum. Offered in the spring.

140 The Global Community
"We live in an increasingly global world" is a statement most of us have encountered. But what makes this current moment in history "global"? What does it mean to be a part of a global community? The purpose of this course is to gain broad-based exposure to some of the cultural, political and economic issues related to and arising from the processes of globalization. We will analyze globalization as a philosophy, a process and a phenomenon, delving into issues of dependence and interdependence, labor, poverty, development, and the environment. We will draw on theories and empirical case studies to investigate globalization and our global community from multiple disciplinary perspectives, while honing critical writing skills through in-class writing exercises, reflections, and essays.  Prerequisites: JCL 10 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the Global Perspectives and the Common Good requirements of the Core Curriculum. Offered fall and spring.

150 Advanced Leadership Theory
As part of the core of the Justice, Community and Leadership Program, this course addresses the necessary connection between understanding community and becoming advocates for and agents of change. The course builds on prior JCL courses and deepens the exploration and application of leadership theory and research and addresses the question, “How does knowing leadership theory contribute to my disposition about justice and my ability to enact change with and in communities?” This course serves as the catalyst for putting together the theory and practice of leadership and social change as it emphasizes Friere’s notion of praxis, action and reflection within the world in order to transform community. Students also complete their capstone community engagement projects. Prerequisites, JCL 10, JCL 120, junior standing. Offered in the spring.

123 Praxis: Anti-Racist Pedagogy (.25)
The elective praxis courses for Education concentration students read and discuss anti-racist pedagogy in conjunction with studying a Title I elementary school. 

125 Text-Based Discussion in the Middle School Classroom (.25)
This field-based course trains and gives students hands-on experience in facilitating seminar-style, text-based discussion groups in local middle-school classrooms. Students will learn about and practice an educational style that develops critical skills, speaking, reading, and thinking in open discussion. This course is required of all Teachers for Tomorrow and Education Studies students. This course must be taken before Senior Capstone II. Offered in the fall and spring.

126 Praxis: Advising (.25)
This elective special topics course varies for education concentration students. Topiocs include: Public Education and Physical Health, Education and the Arts, Education and Music. 

127 Praxis: Community Service (.25)
The Praxis course offered every semester, this course enables students to involve themselves in structured community service, environmental, or public policy. In addition to fieldwork, students meet to discuss their experiences and produce a culminating paper or project. This course may be repeated for credit as content varies.  This course satisfies Community Engagement requirement of the Core Curriculum. Offered in the fall and spring.

129 Praxis: Education (.25)
The Praxis course offered every semester, this course enables students to involve themselves in structured community service and education-related fieldwork. In addition to fieldwork, students meet to discuss their experiences and produce a culminating paper or project.  Satisfies Community Engagement of the Core Curriculum. Offered in the fall and spring.

196 Senior Capstone I
This is the capstone course of the Justice, Community and Leadership Program. Students complete an individual thesis that is designed to integrate JCL core courses with a group community engagement project, culminating in a group presentation to the SMC community. Prerequisites: all JCL core classes and senior standing. Satisfies the Common Good and the Community Engagement of the Core Curriculum. Offered in the fall.

190 Senior Capstone II: Assessment and Portfolio (.25)
Students take this course in the semester immediately after Senior Capstone I. The course, which consists of eight sessions, assists students in preparing their academic portfolios and themselves for their assessment interview, which occurs in the latter part of the semester. Prerequisites: Senior Capstone I. Offered in the spring.

197 Independent Study
An independent study or research course in subject matter not offered by the department. See Program Director for details and forms. 

EDUC 20 Education: The Teaching Profession
This course introduces prospective teachers (Teachers for Tomorrow) as well as other Education Track and interested undergraduate students (in all majors) to the teaching profession. The course provides the social foundations for understanding schooling in the United States. Presenting both historical and current views of education, this course encourages students to think more deeply, critically, and systematically about what teaching is, what teachers do, and the complex relationships between society, policy, and classroom and school culture. To compliment student learning around the multicultural contexts of schools and the diverse students they serve, students will be required to complete 20 hours of service-learning within a Bay Area school. This course is open to all undergraduate students and is a requirement for students in the Teachers for Tomorrow program. The completion of JCL 10 is strongly recommended prior to entering this course. This course satisfies the Community Engagement requirement for the Core Curriculum. Offered in the spring.