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About The Program

If you are interested in changing your community for the better, you may want to consider a minor in civic engagement. Through the minor you will be able to develop a combination of knowledge, skills, values, and experiential learning that will allow you to promote socially responsible daily behavior; community, and economic development; community service; and grass-roots activity and advocacy that will benefit you and those around you.

The minor requires 20 credits of course work.

Student outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • know and understand:
    • multiple perspectives on the role of citizens and civic engagement in a democratic society
    • at least one specific issue area or context in which civic engagement takes place and/or increase development of at least one set of civic engagement skills
  • know:
    • the variety of forms of civic engagement and have the ability to assess the efficacy of different approaches and strategies
    • critical social, cultural, political and historical dynamics that underlie the practice of civic engagement from a US and/or global perspective
  • be able to integrate theory and experience Reflect on the role of civic engagement in one's life

Related minors

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Civic Engagement Minor now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Civic Engagement Minor

Program eligibility requirements

To be admitted to the Civic Engagement minor, students must meet with the minor advisor and complete a minor declaration form. The advisor orients students to the minor and provides consultation throughout the program. For more information and advising, please contact the College of Individualized Studies advising center, cis.advising@metrostate.edu

Courses and Requirements

SKIP TO COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Coursework. The minor requires 20 credits of coursework or creative learning strategies.

  • Foundation (4 credits), IDST 310: Principles of Civic Engagement
  • Civic Skills and/or issues (8 credits).
  • Electives (8 credits) selected with approval of Civic Engagement minor advisor.

Student Learning Outcomes. Student who complete the minor will be able to:

  • Know and understand multiple perspectives on the role of citizens and civic engagement in a democratic society, including at least one specific issue area or context in which civic engagement takes place and/or increase development of at least one set of civic engagement skills
  • Know the variety of forms of civic engagement and assess the efficacy of different approaches and strategies
  • Compare critical social, cultural, political, and historical dynamics that underlie the practice of civic engagement from a US and/or global perspective
  • Integrate theory, practice, and experience of civic engagement
  • Reflect on the role of civic engagement in one's life

 

If you are interested in changing your community for the better, you may want to consider a minor in civic engagement. Through the minor you will be able to develop a combination of knowledge, skills, values, and experiential learning that will allow you to promote socially responsible daily behavior; community, and economic development; community service; and grass-roots activity and advocacy that will benefit you and those around you.

Requirements (20 credits)

+ Foundation (4 credits)
+ Civic Skills and/or issues (8 credits). Two courses from the following list:

This course is designed to introduce students to their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition. It will also explore citizens' corresponding responsibilities and our frequent disagreements over these rights and responsibilities. Through course assignments students will develop a greater capacity to engage in civic activities by understanding the First Amendment, being able to more fully articulate their personal view of their First Amendment rights and responsibilities, refining their research and analysis skills, and developing their expertise in oral argumentation.

Full course description for Individual Rights and Public Discourse

The purpose of this course is to educate and encourage the development of globally competent and active citizens and leaders who will be able to contribute to improving social issues. The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be engaged, responsible, and effective members of a globally interdependent society. Students will reflect on their role as an active citizen in a democracy while exploring how social, racial, political, geographical, and other factors influence current and future challenges a community needs to address. This course will have a community engaged learning component.

Full course description for Citizenship: Community Involvement

This class focuses on the history and background of the social and environmental issues confronting racial and ethnic communities in the United States. Students learn about the practice and politics of ecological inequality, community initiatives which have developed to combat such inequality, and how environmental justice has emerged as a viable and powerful political movement. This course is useful to students interested in environment and public policy as well as racial and ethnic studies.

Full course description for Environmental Justice and Public Policy

There have been various efforts by individuals and communities of color as well as Native communities to challenge institutional racism, state oppression, and other intersectional forms of domination along with their devastating impact on the parameters of everyday life, the human psyche, families, and American society. These individual acts of protest and social resistance movements continue to play a central role in the construction of politicized racial/indigenous identities and they also inform our understanding of the histories of these communities as well as the structures of settler colonialism, enslavement, nation building, and white supremacy. This class will read personal acts of resistance alongside modern social movements, paying close attention to their relationships to and impacts on racial, ethnic, and indigenous identity; social consciousness; power and agency; and revolutionary freedom in the United States. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Full course description for The Politics of Racial Resistance and Protest in the United States

This course examines women's public activism in the United States from the Republican period to the social movements of the 1960s. Thematic emphasis is on an analysis of how women's position outside traditional politics determined the direction of their activism over time, with particular attention to the development of collective efforts to achieve legal, political, economic and social equality with men. Students consider how ethnicity, race and class differences among women affected these coalitions for social change. In addition, students learn to understand how the civil rights and women's movements created opportunities for women to change mainstream politics by the 1970s.

Full course description for Women and Public Activism

The Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s represents the culmination of decades of effort, a change in civil rights legislation and a touchstone for subsequent "revolutions." It changed the then current laws and it relied upon law to demand those changes. Many of the debates started then, and continue today. Through reading, discussion, lectures and videos, students study the people, the events (as well as their antecedents and their progeny), and the ideas of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Full course description for The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

This course will explore working in community as a form of civic engagement and an arena of human service work. This is typically referred to as community practice. Community practice, whether by the volunteer or the professional, entails helping a community at-large solve its problems and achieve its goals. Insightful, grounded community practice enables helpers to impact the total milieu of peoples lives, improving the broader spectrum of peoples lives in ways that direct client-centered helping cannot. Through the theoretical component of the course students will examine different ideologies of helping and how those become expressed in various forms of community helping including: service, organizing and development, social change and empowerment, and advocacy. Through the experiential component of the course students will become familiar with the varied tools of this distinctive type of helping within a specific Twin Cities social movement. This course is presently designed…

Full course description for Working with/in Community

Older persons are increasingly defying stereotypes through their dedication to civic, social, and creative causes. In this course, students will examine how activism can be part of successful aging, as well as how older persons contribute to society through a variety of civic engagement activities, ranging from community involvement and volunteerism to participation in the political process.

Full course description for Civic Engagement in Later Life

This course introduces student to the concepts of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and human rights, Western and non-Western conceptions of human rights, and the complex nature of human rights issues influenced by individual, cultural, and social values. Students will also gain a framework for analytical skills essential to human rights work and the complexity and interdependency of human family which will promote an understanding of the individual, local, and global forces that create abuses and potential solutions at the local, national, and international level. Through community involvement, students will be able to connect human rights theories and cases around the globe to our local community and vice versa and will develop an action plan for a local organization of their choice or in their personal environment. The course will also provide students a great opportunity to take concrete action on human rights issues and get involved in "change" or initiating…

Full course description for Human Rights and the Educated Citizen

This course investigates the theory and practice of citizenship in local communities, the United States and the world. Students draw on core concepts from political science to explore contrasting ideas about citizenship and the political, economic and cultural dimensions of critical issues facing the global community. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experiences and investigation.

Full course description for Citizenship in a Global Context

This course draws on key concepts from social theory to examine select social movements through a global perspective. Using case studies of movements that focus on such central themes as democracy, human rights, and economic justice, the course will explore how movements begin, the development of ideology and world view, and contrasting approaches to organization, tactics, strategy and leadership. On a broader level, students will examine the relationship between tradition and change, and movement and counter-movement, in order to evaluate how social movements have influenced-and continue to influence-the world we live in.

Full course description for Social Movements in Global Perspective

Democratic governments are assumed to be more legitimate than and preferable to other forms of government due to their openness and responsiveness to citizen influence. Yet many citizens and residents in the United States express feelings of powerlessness when it comes to influencing legislators and engaging in politics. In this course, students will learn about the state legislative process in Minnesota and develop a wide range of democratic skills necessary for becoming citizen advocates and influencing elected officials. Over the course of the semester, students will identify an issue area they want to work in; choose legislation related to that issue area to advocate for; identify and build relationships with community organizations working in the issue area; work in coalition with at least one community organization; develop a range of political communication materials for influencing legislators; and meet with state legislators to advocate for their preferred policies. The…

Full course description for Advocacy for Policy Change

This course, for the seasoned lobbyist as well as the newcomer, is designed to stimulate people to effectively assert power in the political arena. The structure and dynamics of Minnesota government and politics are examined. Students learn how to start with an idea and build a strategy to make that idea into law using the Minnesota Capitol as a laboratory.

Full course description for Lobbying: A Citizen's Guide to the Legislative Process

Discussions of 'religion and politics' or 'the separation of church and state' often fail to recognize the religious aspects of civic life itself that involve or suggest a sacred aspect of the state. This course explores the theory of 'civil religion' as an expression of the contemporary academic understanding of religion, involving symbol, myth, ritual, and sacred space and time; examines historical examples of civic religion (for example, in the early Roman Empire) and the history of civil religion in the United States; and inquires about evolving aspects of civil religion today as these relate, for example, to immigration and/or Muslims in America.

Full course description for Civil Religion: Theory, Practice, Analysis

This course examines the theories, current trends and practical dimensions of how people organize to effect change. Topics include the nature of community organizing, cultural and historical models, issue identification, leadership development, approaches to social power, campaign planning and implementation, and the relationship of community organizing to other forms of social action. The class is participatory and includes intense interpersonal and reflective exercises designed to increase students organizing skills. Students will supplement classroom learning with a case study of a Metro area community organization.

Full course description for Community Organizing and Social Action

This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.

Full course description for Politics, Markets and Society

+ Elective courses (8 credits) selected with approval of Civic Engagement minor advisor. Choose from the following two categories.

(1) Additional Civic Skills and/or Issues courses (see list above).

(2) With advisor approval, any other courses that students choose based on their specific interests in Civic Engagement, and/or Student Designed Independent Study (SDIS), Faculty Designed Independent Study (SDIS), Internships, or Prior Learning Credits (PLA) related to topics in Civic Engagement.