Undergraduate Program offered through Community Semester

In their first semester, undergraduate students will take a specialized set of four courses offered in the BA in Urban and Community Studies.  This program is designed for individuals who are in the initial stages of building their leadership capacity, allowing students the opportunity to study urban problems and social services that impact immigrant and working-class populations and underserved New York City neighborhoods. 

The program provides students with skills and knowledge in the areas of public service and social advocacy.  Additionally, Community Semester NYC helps prepare students for careers in community organizing, public policy, social action research, and leadership.  Students take the following courses:

Three required four-credit courses:

URB 321: Community Organizing and Community Organizations

URB 339: Urban and Community Studies Fieldwork

LPOL 301: NYC Work, Culture, and Politics

 

And one additional four-credit course elective from:

URB 323: Community Development

URB 324: Introduction to Non-Profit Leadership

CM 203: Communications and Media (offered on-line, three credits)

POL 201: Politics and Government of New York City (offered on-line, three credits)

URB 451: Special Topics Course content will vary based on emerging trends, needs, and practices in the fields of community organizing and community development.

 

Community Organizing and Community Organizations

Course

URB 321

Level

Undergraduate

Format

In Person

Credits

4.00

Course Description:

Prerequisite: None

This course will examine the historical development and contemporary practice of community organizing.  Students will examine why and how people in urban communities and neighborhoods have organized to protect their rights and their entitlements to public services; how to acquire resources for urban development; and brainstorm innovative ways to improve their communities overall quality of life. Through course readings, students will develop a historical and theoretical perspective on community organizing and explore the range of issues around which communities organize. 

 

Urban and Community Studies Internship / Fieldwork

Course

URB 339

Level

Undergraduate

Format

In Person

Credits

4.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: None

This course compliments the traditional classroom-based learning with experiential learning through an internship or field project at a public agency, municipal office, and community based organization or a labor union.  In it, individuals intern for a host organization with the guidance and supervision of a mentor.  The internship is taken in conjunction with a weekly class where students report on their internship projects, bring questions and problems, and discuss readings directly relevant to their placements. 

 

Work, Culture and Politics in New York City

Course

LPOL 301

Level

Undergraduate

Format

In Person

Credits

4.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: None

This course explores the work, culture and politics of New York City, examining where New Yorkers live and work, how communities develop, and questioning whether or not the cultural and political institutions of New York adequately serve the city’s diverse population. Major topics covered include the history of New York, New York’s key industries, trends in immigration, economic development, public policy, public and private space, high culture, popular culture, urban social identity, community organizations, and labor’s contributions to building the city’s institutions. 

 

Community Development

Course

URB 323

Level

Undergraduate

Format

In Person

Credits

4.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: None

Community development is a term used to describe strategies for improving the standard of living in low-income communities, often, but not always, in urban environments. The term is used widely and in varied contexts--sometimes applied to physical infrastructure; sometimes to quality-of-life issues. In this course, topics covered under the rubric of community development include: housing and infrastructure, economic activity, education, commercial outlets, access to healthy food, and public safety. The course will examine the way the term “community development” has been defined and used historically in the U.S. It will address the role of government and policy in community development, including the role of Community Development Corporations. Students will explore concepts of community development, focusing on current theories and empirical data to evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies for community development. They will seek to answer central questions, concerning community development: who sets goals; who has agency; how are diverse interests and needs balanced—or not balanced.  Students will analyze case studies of specific community development projects. These case studies will provide the basis for a final research paper.

 

Introduction to Nonprofit Leadership

Course

URB 324

Level

Undergraduate

Format

In Person

Credits

4.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: None
This course provides an introduction to the field of nonprofit management. The class will cover issues that arise for leaders of these kinds of organizations, including governance and boards, strategic planning, fundraising and philanthropy as well as grant-writing, administration, personnel management, and ethical questions. The class will focus on nonprofits broadly and investigate some variations in the sector. The class will emphasize issues related to best practices needed for nonprofit leaders to successfully meet the mission of their organizations. Students will be required to engage in discussion and exercises that explore the relationship between theories and practices of nonprofit leadership and management.

 

Communications and Media

Course

CM 203

Level

Undergraduate

Format

Online

Credits

3.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: None
This course will examine theories and concepts of communication as well as the terminology of recent debates concerning issues such as the relationship between ―high‖ and ―popular‖ culture; how gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity and race shape and are shaped by visual culture; and the impact of new media and information technology.

 

Politics and Government of New York City

Course

POL 201

Level

Undergraduate

Format

Online

Credits

3.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: None
This course analyzes the politics and government of New York City, including City-State relations; and the role of the City in the region, the nation and the world. Special attention is given to the municipal government's institutions and procedures, and the city's evolving political culture.

 

Urban and Community Studies Special Topics

Course

URB 451

Level

Undergraduate

Format

In Person

Credits

4.00

Course Description

Prerequisite: Permission of the Academic Director
This course will be developed to provide students with an opportunity to study particular topics within the multi-disciplinary field of Urban and Community Studies that are not covered, or are only partially covered, in courses offered. Topics may vary from semester to semester and could include in-depth study of particular urban issues or problems; case studies of particular community or political mobilizations, comparative regional studies, examinations of working-class experience; demographic research; environmental issues, urban and community coalitions with labor and other advocacy groups.