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Students take tours of neighborhoods, learning the often hidden and (we think) more compelling history of freedom fighters, change-makers, artists, and educators, and the spaces where they transformed the city and the country. They visit organizations and hear about how the work impacts the landscape of DC and its residents. Students also hear guest speakers of diverse backgrounds share how they came to be who they are, professionally and personally.

All of this to provide students with a foundation to engage their community, analyze the structures of power and change, and reflect on who they want to be in the workplace and beyond. It's a semester that challenges students academically and interpersonally.

  • Fall or Spring Semester: 15 credits
  • 10-Week Summer Program: 10 credits
  • Students may consider staying for 2 terms

Courses offered in Summer 2022:

CCSSC 388 Creativity, Culture and Change: Latinidad in the Capital Region (3)
WCSC 325 Career and Vocation: Strategies and Values (2)
WCSC 380 Internship (5)

Courses offered in Fall and Spring:

SOC 375 Community Development (3)
CCSSC 387 Race, Space, and Inequality (3)
WCSC 285 Internship Theory and Practice (1)
WCSC 485 Servant Leadership (2)
WCSC 385 Internship (6)

During fall and spring, CCSSC 387 and SOC 375 are taught in tandem, during one seminar time, and consist of field trips, discussions, projects, and lectures.

Courses offered in Summer 2023:

CCSSC 387 Race, Space, and Inequality (3)
WCSC 325 Career and Vocation: Strategies and Values (2)
WCSC 380 Internship (5)

Course descriptions

CCSSC 387  Race, Space, and Inequality
This course is an introduction to urban studies, focused in particular on questions of space and place. Through fieldwork, readings, and discussion, we explore the urban landscape of Washington, DC, seeking to understand the spatial organization of the city, the inequalities it reflects, and the implications for people and communities. What drives racial and economic segregation? How do we make sense of cycles of neighborhood development and disinvestment? This course asks students to consider the breadth of actors and forces that shape the city, and to reflect on what it means to seek justice within this context.

CCSSC 388 Creativity, Culture and Change: Latinidad in the Capital Region (3 SH)
There is a wealth of culture in the Metropolitan DC area, which includes a variety of Latin American and Caribbean influences. This class takes a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding that aspect of the city—delving into the push/pull factors of immigration and looking at the many contributions the Latinx community has made. Students will get a chance to experience and interpret the cultural, socio-economic, geographic and political influences of the Latinx community on the metro DC area. They will gain insight into the current national debate on immigration issues and take the opportunity to critically reflect and analyze relevant issues through speakers, class discussions, readings, visits to various community organizations, and complete a final research project

SOC 375 Community Development
In this course we consider how communities differ from place to place and learn about community-based organizations working in and around DC to improve local neighborhoods. Community development focuses on meeting the needs of places that have been marginalized from political and economic power: communities with limited access to good schools, jobs, adequate housing, quality food, and other resources that make life easier and more fulfilling. We learn about the ways people work together to improve neighborhoods, to access external resources, and to more fully meet the needs of their neighbors

WCSC 485 Servant Leadership
How are leaders made? In these critical times, what kinds of leaders does our society need? How is leadership best practiced? College students, at the cusp of adulthood in American society stand at many crossroads. Life-altering decisions, vocational choices, questions about how and whom to serve can stimulate or, conversely, inhibit creativity, a willingness to engage in the serious issues of our day, and a commitment to serve others. This course will be taught in tandem with WCSC 285.

WCSC 325 Career and Vocation: Strategies and Values
This course supports and builds on the WCSC internship experience. Together, students discuss goals and orienting values for their careers and vocational identities, engage with guest speakers who share about their own career trajectories, and build nuts-and-bolts professional development skills, including conducting an informational interview and developing a cover letter and resume. This course is required for all students enrolled in the WCSC summer program.

WCSC 285 Internship Theory and Practice
Through readings, analytical reflection, journals, and guest speakers, students will explore multiple dimensions of service internships in Washington, D.C.

WCSC 380/385 Internship
WCSC faculty and staff work with students to place them in community service internships that meet the student's career goals and vocational aspirations. Most WCSC interns are placed in culturally diverse settings with organizations working to address racism, injustice, violence, and other social problems. We can place students from any major, including the sciences, the arts, and professional programs. Please refer to our internships page for more recent internships. (WCSC 380 is offered during summer term and is 5 units. WCSC 385 is offered during fall and spring semesters and is 6 units)

EMU Core Requirements Satisfied

  • Cross Cultural (completely satisfied by summer or semester term)
  • Writing Intensive (satisfied by WCSC Seminar- CCSSC 387 and CCSSC 388)
  • Community Learning (satisfied by WCSC 285)
  • SOC 375 Social and Behavioral Sciences course requirement satisfied for Critical Thinking.
  • Senior seminar, for students with 90 SH who come in the fall or spring (satisfied by WCSC 485)

Additional Details

  • This is a good option for people who are concerned about fitting a cross-cultural and internship experience into their rigorous academic schedule.
  • Many students participate in both WCSC and an overseas cross-cultural, but be sure to talk with your adviser about it to plan in advance.
  • Non-profit internships can count as EMU students' workstudy job during the academic year.
  • Tuition at WCSC is the same as on campus for EMU students.  If you are coming from another university, please check with your institution's cross-cultural or study away office. Financial aid applies during the academic year. Tuition is less expensive per credit over the summer than during the fall or spring semesters.
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