The Social Justice Practicum (SJP) is a non-clinical and non-discipline experiential practicum that focuses on civics and community engagement, with the goal being to enhance our student’s capacity to advance social justice and equity.
The SJP was inspired by Alfred Adler’s groundbreaking concept of social interest – that our health resides within our community life and connections. By participating in the SJP, students receive on-the-ground experience, working alongside community organizations to support community wellbeing and policy transformation.
Socially responsible practice places an emphasis on individuals in the context of society and on social justice defined in terms of equity of resources. The social context in which individuals live often determines their health and well-being. Socially responsible practitioners account for this contextual influence, address it in their interactions, and strive to affect it personally and professionally. The SJP allows students to acquire some of these skills employed by professionals to advance social change.
The Center for Civic Learning & Community Action and Social Justice Practicum Coordinator helps students with the practicum process, site placement, and issues credit for courses SJP I-515, SJP II-516, SJP III-517 and SJP IV-518.
First, you will participate in a mandatory SJP Orientation one month prior to the first SJP 515-I course. The Social Justice Practicum Coordinator or Academic advisor will notify you of the SJP Orientation meeting details. During the SJP Orientation, students meet the SJP Coordinator, learn about the SJP process, site placement, expectations, course information, and other supporting information. All students must participate in the SJP Orientation first, to start the practicum process and placement.
After Orientation, students can begin the practicum approval process and their first SJP 515-I course. The 515-I course is designed to further assist you with site placement and starting the practicum.
You have three options for completing the practicum. You can complete the practicum with an (1) organization focusing on a community need, (2) develop your own community-centered project, or (3) at your current employer. Doctoral students have the Activism Research Project as an additional option to further support them with their dissertation. All students will learn more about these options during SJP Orientation.
Once you identify a site the SJP Coordinator will meet with your practicum supervisor and notify you of approval status.
Students are expected to work a minimum of eight hours a week on their practicum work.
Students are required to complete 200 practicum hours over 32 weeks, focusing on a community-need and/or social injustice, with 50 of those hours dedicated to developing a deliverable.
Alongside the practicum students also take 4 Social Justice courses over 32 weeks to learn how to develop the capacity to be socially responsible.
Once you start researching potential organizations and developing ideas for the practicum, you’ll see possibility. You have the option to take your programmatic courses first, once complete, then move onto SJP (or vice versa). Additionally, many students notify their families and current employer of the SJP requirement to gain additional support for the time commitments.
You will select a practicum supervisor to evaluate your performance to determine your grade for the midterm and final evaluation. A practicum supervisor is anyone who has experience advancing social justice and works in the field area of your practicum. You will also earn a pass or fail grade and two course credits in total for all four courses. The grades are assigned by the SJP course instructor.
Yes. In their final SJP 518 course, students develop a 15-minute presentation that culminates their learning experiences. High-performing students will have the opportunity to present during a University Common hour.