2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Citizenship & Civic Engagement, BA

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Anne Mosher, Ph.D., Program Chair
404 Maxwell Hall


Kristi Anderson, John Burdick, William D. Coplin, Carol Faulkner, Paul M. Hagenloh, Mary E. Lovely, Amy Lutz, Anne Mosher, Grant D. Reeher, Mark Rupert, Junko Takeda, Margaret Susan Thompson, Peter J. Wilcoxen

Program Description

The Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement (CCE) is a double-major undergraduate B.A. program of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences.  It offers an individualized three-year curriculum through which students explore and contribute to the public good in intellectual and practical ways. 

Class-year cohorts are limited to 30 students with CCE course sections ranging from nine to 17 students.   Students apply directly to CCE during senior year of high school or, for students already at SU, before the end of the first semester of their sophomore year.  Admitted students pair CCE with a “concurrent major” of their choice to explore its connections to citizenship and civic engagement.   

Eight required courses (24 credit hours) introduce CCE majors to important interdisciplinary concerns in the Maxwell School (including the topics of deliberative citizenship; community engagement; social movements; institutional and civic leadership; data-driven research; policy analysis; conflict and crisis management; public administration; and nonprofit management).  By offering these courses each semester, CCE affords students the flexibility to participate in SU Abroad and/or the Maxwell in Washington semester.

An additional 9 hours of CCE elective connective coursework provide further background and skills necessary to complete the required senior capstone project, the CCE Action Plan (done individually or in small groups).  For the Action Plan, the student designs and implements, as much as possible, a concrete strategy for addressing a societal problem.  This community-based intervention builds on earlier course requirements, including rigorous independent research conducted about the societal problem during the student’s junior year.  The Action Plan also requires the student to promote change by engaging nonprofit, government, and business organizations in Central New York or elsewhere.  Through this experience, the student demonstrates community-based research and civic engagement proficiency and will be prepared to pursue many post-graduation options:  a career in a nonprofit organization or public sector agency or business, graduate school training in fields that stress community-based research and action, and life as an engaged citizen who stays involved in their community after SU.


Student Learning Outcomes

1. Characterize different theoretical and practical approaches to historical and contemporary questions of citizenship and civic engagement

2. Discover how research in the social sciences shapes policy making at the local, national and international level

3. Identify the range of governmental and non-profit actors in the city of Syracuse and surrounding region relevant to the student’s interests

4. Explain, both orally and in writing, complex theories and practices regarding questions of citizenship and civic life

5. Apply disciplinary knowledge and social science methodology to an original research project on a civic, political, or global issue, resulting in a concrete intervention

Program Requirements

Successful completion of a concurrent major, in one of the existing Maxwell undergraduate programs or in a suitably related discipline, is a requirement for graduation in the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement; declaration of that major it is not a requirement for entry into the program.

All students complete the Liberal Arts Core requirements. Under the guidance of faculty mentors and the Program’s board, Core courses should be selected to provide the broadest possible methodological foundation for a student’s particular interests in civic engagement.

All students must complete a lower-division foundation sequence, an upper-division sequence, and a “connective coursework” sequence, as follows:

Lower Division Experience

First-year Foundations (six credit hours):

Social-Science Methodology (six credit hours):

Upper-Division Sequence

Students take four courses, all designed specifically for the Program in the sophomore, junior, and senior years (ten credit hours):

  • (three credit hours) Seminar in ethics and political/social justice as they pertain to citizenship and civic action. Course covers historical and contemporary approaches to citizenship.
  • (three credit hours) Readings and research on application of social-science methodologies to concrete civic, political, and global issues. Initial focus on Maxwell-based research; case studies of academically informed civic engagement; final project proposal on topic of student’s choice.
  • (three credit hours) Introduces students to a variety of non-profit and governmental agencies through service-learning.  This course is to be taken in conjunction with MAX 301
  • Capstone course for Maxwell Citizenship/Civic Engagement Program.  Design and implementation of “Action Plan” to improve social, economic and/or political conditions at the local, state, federal or global level.

Connective Coursework

Students enroll in three upper-division courses (nine credit hours) clearly related to the design and execution of the final Action Plan. Courses are selected with the help of the student’s faculty advisor and approved by the Program’s Advisory Board. The courses must come from at least two different academic departments or units within Maxwell; one of the courses may be taken from any unit in the University. These courses should be selected to provide a broad substantive background for a student’s Action Plan; students will be encouraged to integrate into their studies civically engaged research from outside the Maxwell School.

Concurrent Major

All students must complete, in addition to the requirements for the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement outlined above, a concurrent major.

Students singly enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences choose the concurrent major from the existing social-science disciplines within Maxwell, or from suitably related disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences dual programs with S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications or the School of Education, or students enrolled in other schools/colleges in majors not directly related to the social sciences, may apply for a dual or double major, respectively, in Citizenship and Civic Engagement if their intended course of study and goals for academically informed civic engagement fit with the structure and capacities of the Program. In such cases, the Program Chair, Coordinator and Board will ensure that the student’s program of study provides sufficient background in the social sciences to complete the Action Plan.

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