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    Saybrook University
  Mar 03, 2024
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Department of Transformative Social Change

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Department Overview

We live in a time of transformative social change. All over the world, people are working for a more sustainable environment, seeking social justice and democratic reform, and creating new economic models that work for the many and not just the few.  Many of these changes are powered by new communication technologies that are making a powerful impact, from spreading innovation to toppling repressive regimes.

But we also confront crises of environmental devastation, economic displacement, social injustice, war, terrorism, and personal stress that threaten the well-being of life on earth, and arguably our survival. Many of these crises are interrelated and can best be addressed by those with a deep understanding of the connections among such issues as social inequity, drawdown of our planet’s resources, toxification of our bodies and environments, and centralization of media in the hands of powerful interests.

This program subsumes a range of fields under a relatively new disciplinary area, Transformative Social Change. There is a growing acceptance and development of this field of research, academic study, and social action, from sources including the United Nations, major foundations, and other universities. The new degree program in Transformative Social Change will prepare students to respond to current social, cultural, and political challenges of our time in a unique way, as reflective scholar-practitioners, able to create transformative changes in society, guided by humanistic values. 

Distinctive Features

The TSC degree program is purposefully differentiated from a standard comprehensive nonprofit management training program orientation.  Specifically, the TSC program focuses on preparing graduates to possess the skills and capacities needed for particular types of nonprofit organizations, those with a program focus in advocacy for, human rights, community building, peace, democracy, the environment and social justice.  To enable graduates to be successful participants and leaders in those types of NGOs, we emphasize development of the skills and capacities for employment positions in the program, policy and outreach areas.

Program Learning Outcomes         
  1. Develop participatory, democratic, collaborative leadership skills.
  2. Develop capacity for connectedness and compassion for all life, and the ability to balance needs of self with those of the larger community.  
  3. Develop global, multi-generational social and environmental conscience; capacity for genuine dialogue with other socio-­‐cultural viewpoints.                  
  4. Be able to understand and analyze embedded social systems; master a specific social change content area; and able to design social system transformation strategies.        
  5. Achieve reflective grounding in one’s own values and worldviews; develop congruence between ethics/values and actions/research.


    Master of ArtsDoctor of Philosophy

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