Experiential Learning Opportunities
“There is a strong emphasis on advocacy and community activism. The professors encourage you to get involved in areas you want to see change”
- Sarah Demarest ’09
Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the Justice and Policy Studies (JPS) department at Guilford. Students become active participants in the greater community, putting theoretical concepts to work in real-world settings. There are several opportunities for students in the JPS program to test their knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
The Community and Justice Studies major’s introductory course, JPS 103: Community Problem Solving, offers students a chance to become acquainted with the grassroots movements that mark Greensboro’s civil history. Fall ’11 and Spring ’12 students had the chance to take a tour of Greensboro communities and historic sites dealing with issues of social justice. Highlights this semester included a guest appearance by Joseph McNeil, one of the “Greensboro Four” NCA&T students who began the sit-in movement ate the Greensboro Woolworth’s Department Store on February 1, 1960.
In JPS 350: Reclaiming Democracy students are encouraged to think about Democracy on a personal level and explore ways in which they can put these thoughts into action. The class brings together community members, students and faculty instructors from colleges and universities across Greensboro. In this course students deal with two central questions: “How do we reclaim our democracy as a humane, inclusive process that is responsible to the needs of all members of our community?” “What does it require of us?” Students address these topics through research, discussion, interactive media and community projects.
- participatory action research study on Greensboro resident’s perception of gangs and street organizations and the Beloved Community Center’s Paradigm Shift initiative to embrace the youth as a potential resource for peaceful, safe neighborhoods
- participatory action research study on local police accountability
- paper presentation from IDS 410 Power, Politics and Public Schools on significant issues impacting public education in Guilford County
Students have also presented their work at academic and community conferences beyond Guilford College. Recent opportunities include:
- presentations of papers and projects by JPS faculty and students at the 19th Annual Conference on African-American Culture and Experience
- presentation of participatory action research project on police accountability at the Lily Conference on College and University Teaching
These public presentations exemplify the practical liberal arts concepts central to the department’s mission. Through these opportunities, students integrate liberal arts, experiential learning and interdisciplinary knowledge to address real community issues.