Addressing Educational Inequalities is a Program of Study. You must be accepted first to SSA's Social Work and Social Welfare (SW) program and then by the Program of Study. SSA students apply to Programs of Study during their first year.
The Addressing Educational Inequalities Program of Study prepares social administration students to engage in work to understand educational inequality in the U.S. context. Students will develop an understanding of the way social systems such as racism, poverty, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination have historically shaped our educational institutions and inhibited such equity, and, indeed, in many cases have turned such institutions into entities that reinforce injustice rather than eroding it. Through coursework, interactions with guest speakers, and discussion, students will bring theoretical lenses and empirical research to bear with on-the-ground insights, practitioner perspectives, and policy questions. They will consider how processes of teaching and learning are impacted by social inequality, especially in urban contexts, and will analyze the complex roles that social institutions, human development, history, and policy actions play in shaping individual educational trajectories. Students will also learn how to think critically about the most pressing contemporary questions in education, and to consider potential points of intervention that they might make in their own careers to catalyze educational transformation. While this Program of Study primarily focuses on K-12 contexts, students will develop a holistic view of education as something that occurs in a dynamic social system: inside and outside of schools, in formal institutions and community settings, and from early childhood into adulthood.
Students will choose three courses from a list of required courses that will be made available each year and are encouraged to focus their assignments in concentration-required courses on educational issues. Students will also complete six additional Community Learning sessions throughout the year. These sessions may include offsite trips, film screenings, or visits from guest speakers.
Students will complete a placement that has been approved for the Addressing Educational Inequalities program of study. These can be in school systems, advocacy organizations, policy shops, community schools, or social service agencies active in educational issues.
This program of study will aid in preparing students for work in a variety of educational contexts, including but not limited to schools, educational non-profits, policy organizations that attend to issues of educational equity, and philanthropic settings. Given the intersections between educational issues and other areas of work, students may also find the program of study to be meaningful in preparing them for work in other public-serving fields (e.g. health, housing, and workforce development) as well as for careers in civic leadership.
Eve L. Ewing
NOTE: While some of the required courses may be offered in the evening, no Program of Study can be completed entirely through evening courses and fieldwork.