This article was contributed by Gavilan College.
Gavilan College now has a new degree program to offer students: a Social Justice Studies ADT/AA-T.
The Associate in Arts in Social Justice Studies for Transfer degree is designed to prepare students for a seamless transfer into the CSU system to complete a bachelor's degree in Social Justice Studies and related majors. Career pathways include social work, education, government services, human rights, immigration, child advocacy, environmental justice, criminal justice, disability rights, health care, and more.
According to the program description, "Social Justice Studies explores the important terrain between ideals of justice and everyday local, national, and global realities of injustice."
To complete the major, students will take required courses (including three of the following: Sociology of Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Identity; Introduction to Women's Studies; Intercultural Communication; and Introduction to Sociology: Social Problems) and choose among a variety of related courses such as Mexican American Cultural History, Women's Lives in United States History, Introduction to Conflict Resolution, Global Social Change, and others. Students in this program will complete 60 semester units that are eligible for transfer to California State University, including general education requirements and the courses required for the major.
Sociology instructor Leah Halper was the driving force in creating the program. She had noted that in recent years "many students were paying attention to national and international politics, asking for ways they could do more to participate in building a positive future."
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to recognize and analyse the gap between local, national, and global realities, and the ideals of democracy and justice. They will be able to apply history and theory to understand past and present movements for social change. Students will also be able to experiment with a variety of social justice methods in their own communities, evaluating the impacts not only upon the community but upon themselves. Finally, the major is designed to help students envision and assess national and global social justice approaches to contemporary challenges
The Social Justice ADT joins 22 other ADT options at Gavilan College, including ADT's in Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Business, Administration of Justice, Computer Science and more. ADTs — Associate Degrees for Transfer –were made possible through California law SB 440. The legislation stipulates that community college students earning transfer degrees receive priority admittance to California State University (CSU) programs, and requires that CSU campuses accept transfer associate degrees (ADTs) for the majors and concentrations offered at each campus.
"Learning about social justice can help students see themselves in society," said Angela Castillo, a sociology instructor. For more information contact the Gavilan College Division of Liberal Arts and Sciences at (408) 848-4701, or go to www.gavilan.edu.
Gavilan College is one of California's 114 community colleges, serving a 2,700- square-mile area from South San Jose through most of San Benito County. The main campus, with a park-like setting, is located in Gilroy, CA. Additional instructional sites are located in Coyote Valley, Morgan Hill, San Martin (Aviation Maintenance Technology), and Hollister. Gavilan College offers courses and programs that satisfy the transfer requirements of four-year colleges and universities; job skill and career training programs; Basic Skills and English as a Second Language (ESL); Noncredit and Community Education.