William and Mary

Active Citizenship in the Curriculum

EDUC 400 –Understanding the Achievement Gap and Analyzing the Characteristics of High Need Schools

(offered in the spring)
What inequalities exist in education and where they exist? Why do these inequalities exist? What can be done by various stake-holders to create a more just system?  In this course students will have the opportunity to examine multiple perspectives on the current state of American education system and deepen their understanding of education issues relevant to K-12 education through a combination of reading, discussion, research, and field work. Students will examine relevant primary research to understand these inequalities and subsequently investigate and analyze different strategies for improving America’s schools with a focus on effectiveness and political sustainability in ensuring that all students have access to an equitable education. In addition to typical course meetings, readings, and writings students will be expected to be engaged in the local community as a tutor or mentor to area youth on a regular basis throughout the semester. The course will also be accompanied by a field experience to take place over spring break.


GSWS 390:Women in Leadership: Explorations of Self and Society

(offered in the fall)
Fisler and Miller
Women have made great gains in our society over the past several decades. Nevertheless, there continues to be a need for targeted examination of the questions and conditions that shape how women engage in leadership. The goal of this course is to provide a forum for women to learn more about themselves as leaders, and to discuss personal and social issues faced by women generally as they seek to lead lives of meaning and purpose. Students meet with speakers from the College, its alumni, and the community to address these topics.

Learning Objectives
Through active participation this course, students will:
1. Increase self-awareness of personal values, strengths, and experiences, and how they influence one’s leadership.
2. Critically reflect on the role of identities in shaping how leadership is defined, practiced, and recognized, with a particular focus on women.
3. Critically reflect on social structures and norms that influence women’s experiences and decisions.


EDUC 150W: Examining the Opportunity Gap in US Schools

(offered most semesters)
Why teach? In an era of accountability for student achievement, a culture of testing and modest salaries, why teach? This class will examine this question by exploring our own educational path, the history of the teaching profession, recent education policy in the United States and today’s students and today’s teachers.  We will examine the often discussed “achievement gap” from various stakeholders perspectives and question whether it is the achievement we need be most concerned about or if we should focus more on the gap in opportunity for certain students.

This course will examine the American school system as influenced by contemporary and historical principles and philosophies. Current educational issues discussed include (a) modern education reform efforts (b) strategies for closing the achievement gap; (c) why teaching matters and (d) synthesizing activities, observations, readings and presentation that will address some aspect of education. Career opportunities and requirements of the teaching profession are discussed.  The course is designed to challenge students to examine multiple perspectives, both in theory and in practice, and to analyze educational models and implementation techniques in mathematics and science in practice.


EDUC 400: Leadership in Community Engagement

(offered in the spring)
In this course, students who are currently engaged in community work (including direct service, leadership in a service organization, advocacy or activism) will explore how their unique skills and appropriate leadership can increase their effectiveness as active citizens. Through readings, discussion, lecture and reflection, students will gain an understanding of various topics including respect and mutuality, active citizenship, identity and privilege, work for social justice, the importance of relationships in community, advocacy and activism, and business and social change.

All students must currently be involved in some form of community engagement for a minimum of five hours per month.


BUAD: Social Entrepreneurship

(offered in the spring)
This course combines the concepts of social responsibility, sustainability, nonprofit management, and consulting to provide students with an opportunity to learn about and address critical social needs, such as hunger, poverty, and poor education. The course would equip students with the basic tools and techniques typically used in consulting in developing countries to enhance their understanding about the appropriate structures, processes, and behaviors that characterize successful nonprofit development and international consulting projects. The course will include techniques for data collection and analysis, and provide students with knowledge of the key concepts, opportunities, and challenges of social entrepreneurship, sustainable international development, and non-profit management through the use of lectures, hands-on exercises, guest speakers, and discussions.


Summer Experience in the Dominican Republic

(offered in the summer) (6 course credits total)
NOTE: participation in the Spring course is recommended, but not required. However, Summer experience participants will attend some classes with the Spring course during the semester, so keep Monday/Wednesday 2-320 open on your schedules!

BUAD 492: Social Entrepreneurship Field Studies

(3 credits)
To be effective, international development consultants need not only a mixture of knowledge and skills in the areas of governments, organizations, local customs, local cultures, and language, but also in the processes required to formulate, introduce, implement and evaluate changes in the lives of the entrepreneurs and the communities in which they work.  This course builds on the foundation of the Spring course and involves substantial fieldwork. This course examines the consulting process specifically in the context of the developing world and prepares students for a role in international development working with entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The course follows the process of a typical consulting engagement in identifying key project requirements, feasibility and design alternatives and will demonstrate the role of social entrepreneurship in creating innovative and sustainable responses to critical social needs. Students will participate in experiential learning through field work to develop a better understanding of the context of consulting within the domain of social entrepreneurship. The course will also help students improve their teamwork and client management relationship skills, develop their interviewing and presentation skills, and practice effective strategies for training, mentoring and supporting local entrepreneurs.

BUAD 492: Latin American Business & Culture

(3 credits)
This immersion course will take place in the Dominican Republic and focus on the cultural, political, and business environment. Through the unique interactions with business, political, social, and educational leaders, students will explore issues related to the Dominican Republic's changing business and social landscape. Students will live with a Dominican host families and participate in 20 hours of Spanish instruction. Excursions to business, political, cultural and historic sites are included to explore the rich cultural heritage and complex business environment that characterize this country. Volunteer opportunities, cultural exchanges, and team building excursions will aid students in gaining a unique perspective on how locals live and work.


EDUC 400.02 Leadership in Public Service

(offered in the spring)
Overview: This course aims to help students understand the practical issues and challenges faced by leaders in the non-profit and government sectors and to think critically about how successful leaders negotiate these issues. Because the emphasis of the course is placed on practical problems in leadership, lessons and examples are drawn real-world situations, and will encompass history, communication studies, education, sociology, and politics.

Description: This course will expose students to a variety of government and non-profit organizations and different components/aspects of leading a non-profit. Through lectures, discussions, ensemble projects, presentations, readings and writing assignments, students will develop a deeper perspective from which to interpret, question, reflect upon, and engage with the underlying issues within engaged public service leadership as well as the functional applications thereof. It is also an opportunity to listen to and learn from leaders in government and non-profit agencies. You are expected to examine the characteristics of organizational leadership and to learn how to apply those theories in the workplace.