Social Justice in Education, Minor

Program Code: SJSED_UMNR

Program Description

The Social Justice in Education minor cultivates awareness, engagement, and reflection of critical pedagogies, values, and ethics in relation to educational diversity (in its many forms), equity, and social justice in traditional and non-traditional educational settings. The minor will employs interdisciplinary, experiential, and community-based coursework to examine principles of social justice in education and create a space for students from across the University to engage in out-of-class academic experiences that construct critical and thoughtful understanding of injustice. The minor provides a transformative educational experience that allows students to demonstrate commitment to educational and social equity through leadership and action.

The minor includes three phases: foundational coursework, community/field/experiential-based courses, and a capstone project. Students who complete the minor will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to promote educational equity through sustained intellectual and practical engagement with evidence-based instructional practices that encourage socially just outcomes. Students will develop the capacity to transform visions into action and to support innovative community-centered solutions to complex social issues. Students will learn to design and implement curriculum centered on issues of social justice in schools, community-based educational programs, and other non-traditional educational settings. Additionally, students will bridge theory and practice through educational experiences that engage students in scholarship, critical service-learning, field experiences, and a culminating capstone project. Students will engage in inquiry that connects experiential learning, interactions in the field and conceptual understanding through guided reflective practices.

What is Social Justice in Education?

The Social Justice in Education Minor is an opportunity for interested students from across the University to develop critical engagement skills through social justice work. The minor facilitates the expansion of equity-orientated understandings of both traditional and non-traditional educational settings. Education is considered beyond the classroom to include policy and community-based sectors of education as well. As a part of this minor, you will learn skills to help interrogate societal inequities and to strategize and implement action-based solutions to these problems as well.

You Might Like This Program If...

You’d like to build a foundation of equity into the vision you have for your future career. By helping you to develop a deepened understanding of the various injustices that organize society’s current inequitable structures through study and experience, this minor is an opportunity to develop your own unique social justice lens for viewing the world and your contributions to it.

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18-21

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CI 185Principles of Social Justice in Education Keystone/General Education Course3
CI 285Active Engagement for Social Justice in Education3
CI 485Social Justice in Education Capstone Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Agricultural Education Orientation
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Black Liberation and American Foreign Policy
Identities, Power and Perceptual Pedagogies in Teaching and Learning
Human Sexuality as a Health Concern
Community, Local Knowledge, and Democracy
Labor in the Global Economy
Reading Across Cultures Keystone/General Education Course
Corrections in America
Women and the Criminal Justice System
Educational Reform and Public Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Education and Public Policy
History of Education in the United States
Introduction to Philosophy of Education
Introduction to LGBTQ Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Globalization Keystone/General Education Course
Global Pathways Keystone/General Education Course
Communities and Families
World Philosophies
Rights in America Keystone/General Education Course
Gender and Politics
The Politics of Human Rights
Rehabilitation in the Justice System
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
World Population Diversity
Social Change
Ethnic Minorities and Schools in the United States
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Gender, Diversity and the Media Keystone/General Education Course
Women and the Criminal Justice System
Select 6-9 credits from the following:6-9
Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners Keystone/General Education Course 1
Introductory Field Experience for Teacher Preparation
DC Social Justice in Education: Empowering Communities through Transformative Teaching
Foundations: Civic and Community Engagement Keystone/General Education Course
Values and Ethics in Health and Human Development Professions
Labor in the Global Economy
Culture & Disability: Study Abroad in Ireland
Outdoor School Field Experience Keystone/General Education Course
Social Problems Keystone/General Education Course
Vocational Education for Special-Needs Learners
Language, Culture and the Classroom: Issues for Practitioners

For CI 280, only sections with a virtual tutoring component will be eligible.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.


University Park

Efrain Marimon
Assistant Professor
123 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802

Ashley Patterson
Assistant Professor
123 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802

Career Paths

  • Education Field: Teacher, Counselor, Administration, Policy;
  • Non-profit Education-Adjacent Organizations;
  • Education Non-Profit Organizations;
  • School District Offices of Curriculum Development;
  • State and Federal Agencies connected to Education, Health, and Justice.


University Park

123 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802