University a leader in developing minor in Urban Civic Education

Fresno State will graduate three students in December with a new Urban Civic Education minor designed to prepare leaders to address community issues.

The program is an outgrowth of a $50,000 grant from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Fresno State was one of five universities in the United States to receive the grant.

Another 10 Fresno State students will graduate in May with the minor, said Dr. Steven Hart, a assistant professor of literacy and early childhood education in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

The interdisciplinary minor is available to all students in any academic discipline and is especially complementary for the work of students pursuing careers in education, psychology, criminal justice, social services, international affairs and community advocacy, said Hart, the program coordinator.

Hart said there are two goals in mind for the students:

  • Understanding social, economic and cultural aspects of the community and their impact on residents.
  • Developing organizational and leadership skills to help address substantive issues facing local communities and global society.

By emphasis is on service-learning experiences and instructional methods. The Urban Civic Education minor provides an interdisciplinary perspective to studying diverse urban cultural communities, issues challenging them and cultural and community influences on urban children’s education.

“With service learning, we connect academics with the community as students are actively engaged with hands-on, real-world experience,” said Hart. “They are career-ready with skills to be ‘stewards of place’ when they graduate.”

For more information, contact Hart at smhart@csufresno.edu or 559.278.0319.

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Lanny Larson

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Editor, University Communications
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