Paul Hagenloh, Director
John Burdick, William D. Coplin, Carol Faulkner, Paul M. Hagenloh, Mary E. Lovely, Amy Lutz, Anne Mosher, Grant D. Reeher, Junko Takeda, Peter J. Wilcoxen
The Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement is an individually customized interdisciplinary plan of study for students who wish to connect the disciplinary focus of one of the traditional Maxwell/College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate degrees in the social sciences with the Maxwell tradition of dedication to persistent, committed involvement in the local, national, and international communities in which we live.
The program entails two majors: 1) one major chosen from the existing social-science disciplines within Maxwell (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Political Science, Policy Studies, and Sociology) or a related discipline outside of Maxwell that entails a substantial social-science focus; and 2) the Citizenship and Civic Engagement major, constructed by the student and his or her faculty advisors in a manner that brings the disciplinary tools gained in pursuit of the social-sciences major to bear on questions of citizenship, civic engagement, and public affairs. The program thus integrates for its students two of the great strengths of the Maxwell School-excellence in the social sciences and a dedication to the public good-and provides pathways for producing direct, meaningful connections between knowledge and action.
The Program begins with a sequence of lower- and upper-division courses, which coordinates the experiences of students in the various disciplinary majors and directs them towards the defining requirement of the major: the senior-level Action Plan Workshop, in which students design and implement, as much as possible, a concrete strategy for addressing an issue of local, national, or international concern. The Action Plan will rely on the training received in the student’s social-science discipline, but it will not be a traditional academic thesis; rather, the goal will be to study, understand, and act on an issue deemed important by the student herself. The Program requires thirty-one credit hours of coursework, in addition to the requirements for the separate social science or other majors; some of these courses will fulfill other Arts and Sciences and departmental requirements at the same time.
The Program requires thirty-one credit hours of coursework, outlined below, in addition to the completion of a concurrent major chosen from the existing social-science disciplines within Maxwell (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Political Science, Policy Studies, and Sociology) or a related discipline outside of Maxwell that entails a substantial social-science focus.
The program has two entry points: the beginning of a student’s first year at Syracuse University, and the beginning of the second.
The first-year entry point allows prospective high-school seniors to apply to the Program at the same time they apply to Syracuse University; those accepted will enter the Program upon matriculation. They will also benefit from a robust schedule of social and academic events that are designed to build a sense of esprit de corps among the cohort.
Students already at Syracuse University may apply for admission to the program at the end of the first year, for matriculation at the beginning of the second. The Program Board will recruit students from the intro-level courses in Maxwell departments and related departments across campus, as well as from MAX 123 and MAX 132 . First-year Foundations requirements (outlined below) are not waived for students entering in their second year; students who wish to apply to the Program in their first year at Syracuse University. must complete those requirements before they may begin the program.
Successful completion of a concurrent major, in one of the existing Maxwell undergraduate programs or in a suitably related discipline, is a requirement for graduation in the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement; declaration of that major it is not a requirement for entry into the program.
All students complete the Liberal Arts Core requirements. Under the guidance of faculty mentors and the Program’s board, Core courses should be selected to provide the broadest possible methodological foundation for a student’s particular interests in civic engagement.
All students must complete a lower-division foundation sequence, an upper-division sequence, and a “connective coursework” sequence, as follows:
Lower Division Experience
First-year Foundations (six credit hours):
Social-Science Methodology (six credit hours):
One additional course on methodology, selected from the following list:
Students take each of three new courses, all designed specifically for the Program, in the sophomore, junior, and senior years (ten credit hours):
Seminar in Ethics and Political/Social Justice
Seminar in ethics and political/social justice as they pertain to citizenship and civic action. Course covers historical and contemporary approaches to citizenship; contains substantial research and service-learning components.
Readings and Research on Application of Social-science Methodologies
Readings and research on application of social-science methodologies to concrete civic, political, and global issues. Initial focus on Maxwell-based research; case studies of academically informed civic engagement; final project proposal on topic of student’s choice.
- MAX 401 - Action Plan Workshop (three credit hours)
Capstone course for Maxwell Citizenship/Civic Engagement Program
Capstone course for Maxwell Citizenship/Civic Engagement Program. Design and implementation of “Action Plan” to improve social, economic and/or political conditions at the local, state, federal or global level.
All of these courses are offered in both spring and fall semesters, to accommodate student schedules and especially those students who study abroad in one or more semesters.
Students enroll in three upper-division courses (nine credit hours) clearly related to the design and execution of the final Action Plan. Courses are selected with the help of the student’s faculty advisor and approved by the Program’s Advisory Board. The courses must come from at least two different academic departments or units within Maxwell; one of the courses may be taken from any unit in the University. These courses should be selected to provide a broad substantive background for a student’s Action Plan; students will be encouraged to integrate into their studies civically engaged research from outside the Maxwell School.
The structure of the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement is based on the premise that the senior-level Action Plan will require and apply the research skills gained in pursuit of an undergraduate degree in the social sciences.
All students, therefore, must complete, in addition to the requirements for the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement outlined above, a concurrent major chosen from the existing social-science disciplines within Maxwell (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Political Science, Policy Studies, and Sociology) or a related discipline outside of Maxwell that entails a substantial social-science focus.
Students singly enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences choose the concurrent major from the existing social-science disciplines within Maxwell, or from suitably related disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences dual programs with S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications or the School of Education, or students enrolled in other schools/colleges in majors not directly related to the social sciences, may apply for a dual or double major, respectively, in Citizenship and Civic Engagement if their intended course of study and goals for academically informed civic engagement fit with the structure and capacities of the Program. In such cases, the Program’s Director and Board will ensure that the student’s program of study provides sufficient background in the social sciences to complete the Action Plan.