Community Action Minor

The Community Action minor is designed to engage students in both academic and practical work that addresses the meanings of citizenship, democracy, and community locally and globally.  Through study combined with direct participation in community-based research and service, students will gain a deeper understanding of the role of individuals and institutions in sustaining and developing every form of community.

The minor has four components. Students begin with courses in “Communities in Theory and Practice,” to explicitly discuss the theories behind community learning and institutional engagement, and “Methods for Community Learning,” to learn formal methods that can be used to conduct community-based research. Then, students design a concentration area of three courses to develop their understanding of Community Action within the scope of their specific interests (see examples below). Finally, by participating in a culminating internship, students will have the opportunity to integrate the themes of their concentration with experiences in the community. Altogether, the minor comprises five courses drawn from three different fields and a culminating internship. (All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better to receive credit for the minor.)

Course requirements:

Communities in Theory and Practice (choose one of the following):

  • CACT 101: Community Action Gateway: Envisioning Social Change
  • URST 206. Organizing by Neighborhood
  • PSYC 246. Community Psychology

Methods for Community Learning (choose one of the following):

  • ANTH 301. Ethnographic Methods and Writing
  • ECON 318L. Basic Econometrics (prerequisite: ECON 101 and MATH 207 or ECON 218)
  • ENVS 275L. Methods in Environmental Science (prerequisite: ENVS 149L)
  • HIST 299. What is History?
  • MATH 207. Statistical Data Analysis
  • POLS 241. Empirical Political Methods and Data Analysis
  • PSYC 221L. Research Design and Analysis (prerequisite: PSYC 101)
  • RHET 208. Argument and Research Writing
  • RHET 225. Writing Broad Street Stories
  • SOCL 201L. Research Methods in the Social Sciences (requires a previous sociology course)
  • SOCL 227. From Hartford to World Cities: Comparative Urban Dynamics

Concentration areas: Students choose a unifying theme for your community action interests, and describe how three courses you have selected address it. At least one course must have a community learning component, and they should come from at least two different departments or programs.

  • Possible themes include: architecture, design, and community life; arts and community; community development and planning; community and public planning; communities in international context; community stories in words and pictures; culture and immigration; education and public policy; environmental policy and community action; human rights, local and global; public health and policy; or social movements and social change.

Capstone: Seniors in the minor will complete a capstone that demonstrates integration of theory, practice, methods, and themes throughout the minor. Choose one of the following: 

  • COLL 301: Community Action Integrated Internship–students must arrange a one-credit internship for 8 hours/week with a community organization and design an academic writing component with the faculty sponsor (usually the Director)
  • CLIC 400: Community Learning Research Colloquium — open to students who are accepted into Community Learning Research Fellows program, with application deadline in spring (for fall semester)

Whenever possible, students should take their theory and methods courses before beginning their concentrations.

Community Action Minor Advising Guide

Coordinator: Professor Jack Dougherty (Educational Studies)

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