Community Service Studies (CSS)

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CSS 101 | CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING AND REFLECTION | 1-4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

CCS 101 is a mandatory year-long course sequence for all students serving as tutors at San Miguel schools and Visitation Catholic Elementary through the Stean's Center Catholic Schools Initiative. Utilizing the pastoral cycle of "See, Judge, and Act" within the Catholic Social tradition, students will critically reflect on their tutoring experience as it relates to local economic, cultural and political issues surrounding the Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods. In addition they will explore a variety of domestic and global justice issues through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Through this hermeneutic, they will gain a familiarity with terms and concepts to more thoroughly analyze and critique social systems. The students will also learn more about the Dominican and LaSallian charism towards marginalized populations and reflect on their own personal responsibility as members of a community bound to their religious mission. As a service-enhanced course, students will actively engage in critical reflection and dialogue on their tutoring experience through the use of readings, videos, guest speakers, group projects/presentations, and designated field trips to related organizations. Variable credit.

CSS 201 | CRITICAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course explores the relationship between social justice movements and non-profit organizations in the U.S. by providing a structure within which students can learn about issues and theory and the organizational settings in which they are serving.

CSS 300 | INTRODUCTION TO NON-PROFIT MANAGEMENT | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course provides students with an understanding of the functioning of the organizations that conduct the vital work of the non-profit sector. Students will complete the course with the knowledge base to be effective program managers and board members in these organizations.

CSS 310 | RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PRISON | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will provide an opportunity for students to 1) reflect deeply on the meaning of justice, 2) examine institutionalized forms of justice, and, above all, 3) explore alternative models of justice. Using a dialectic process, students will actively scrutinize theories of justice and investigate issues and movements of social justice. Additionally, they will be asked to consider how each of these areas informs the other, since theories often influence as well as emerge from issues and movements. Assumptions about crime and justice will be considered by comparing and contrasting retributive and restorative paradigms. The role of offender, victim and community will be analyzed in the context of crime and justice. Students will also look into programs in restorative justice to discern their outcome effectiveness.

CSS 311 | MASCULINITY, JUSTICE AND LAW | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course examines the social practices as well as the legal and institutional culture of masculinity. We will explore the sociocultural, historical and political debates surrounding masculinity and address why it is frequently thought to be "in crisis." Focusing on a number of different sociopolitical movements, we shall consider the construction of masculinity in relation to other social theories, including feminism and postcolonial theory. Furthermore, the effects of various types of violence, and strategies for intervention and prevention shall be addressed.

CSS 312 | LAW AND POLITICS: PRISON POLICIES AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is about the intersections between law and politics. The learning outcomes for this course include helping students understand the U.S. Constitution, civil liberties and civil rights; the tensions between democracy and the rule of law. The course readings will address restorative justice, community service, redemption, and social justice. We will apply particular concepts from readings, lectures, etc. to an analysis of lived experiences in the American penal system. Collaborating with the Inside-out program, we will examine the ethics of drug sentencing, "three strikes and you are out" sentencing laws, mass incarceration, felon disenfranchisement, and prison-based gerrymandering. The main course assignment asks students to frame a constitutional amendment to rectify one of the issues covered in the course. Their amendments must reflect a thorough understanding of the legal, political, and ethical aspects of the issue they wish to address.

CSS 320 | COMMUNITY FOOD SYSTEMS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course offers a critical analysis of the concept of community food systems as they have been employed as an alternative to the global agro-food system. Readings, lectures, films, guest speakers, site visits, and field projects will provide students with an overview of emerging community-driven efforts at producing, distributing and consuming food. Emphasis will be placed on (1) local, community-based food projects within urban contexts in North America; (2) whether or not these projects constitute more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable approaches to provisioning households, neighborhoods, towns and cities; and (3) the degree to which such projects enhance the control over, accessibility to, and healthiness of food. Students will gain an understanding of the current global food system in relation to producing, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, and eventually discarding food. Comparisons will be drawn with emerging local production, distribution and procurement processes driven by the interests of community groups and organizations concerned with health and nutrition, the environment and social justice. There will be a specific focus on the application of community food systems in urban sectors where access to fresh food is challenged, for example, as a result of historical patterns of racial segregation and social exclusion. Students will gain an understanding of such challenges through engaging in field projects in support of local food production and distribution within Chicago communities.

CSS 330 | COMMUNITY PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH DESIGN | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course traces the development of Participatory Action Research (PAR) though a number of different prisms including positivism, feminism, post-modernism and experiential learning pedagogies and examines the influence of discourses of power and inequality on this research methodology.

CSS 340 | MINDFULNESS AND ACTIVISM | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course will introduce students to the spiritual and secular uses of mindfulness to further their understanding of themselves and others and to consider its implications for social change. Mindfulness is "the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment"; scientific research demonstrates that mindfulness is a powerful vehicle for advancing social relationships and individual health. Students will learn about the history of, contemporary practice, and scientific research on mindfulness in Buddhism, Christianity, and secular health venues through texts, reflection papers, research, and outreach and curriculum development to community partner sites in the Chicago community.

CSS 350 | CRITCAL ISSUES IN PUBLIC EDUCATION: THE CHICAGO CONTEXT | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

This course is a community-based service learning course that requires both "service" in and critical reflection of student experiences in public schools. Students in this course will engage critically with the challenges in public education. Issues explored in this course include: privatization of schooling, punitive accountability measures and sanctions, over-testing, tracking, and, zero tolerance disciplinary policies. Additionally, this class will address the systemic structures that lie at the foundation of these issues including the intersections of differences in race, class, gender, culture, sexual preference, religion, and nationality.

CSS 378 | COMMUNITY-BASED TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Using an Asset-based Community Development (ABCD) approach, students will work with a community partner to assess urban community web needs, then develop and implement a Web solution. This course provides a systematic and thorough introduction to project management theory, terms and concepts, while students learn the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage a web project through the project development life cycle. Concepts are reinforced via interactive in-class case study and reflection exercises; the course culminates in a web project for the community partner.

CSS 390 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN COMMUNITY SERVICE STUDIES | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Special topics in Community Service Studies are designed to cover emerging or specialized issues in community service, development, nonprofit management, and/or social and global responsibility.

CSS 395 | COMMUNITY INTERNSHIP | 4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Community Internship exposes students to career potentials in non-profit and government agencies through an intensive internship experience in a community organization.

CSS 399 | INDEPENDENT STUDY | 1-4 quarter hours

(Undergraduate)

Independent study. Enrollment by instructor and/or with approval by program director. Variable credit.