Community & Social Change – M.S.Ed.

Educational and Psychological Studies

Community & Social Change

M.S.Ed.

The Master’s degree program in Community & Social Change (C&SC) is designed to prepare a new generation of creative and community-engaged leaders for the human service sector. The vision of the program centers on the philosophy that leaders in community organizations must be knowledgeable in research, theories, and practice. Leaders must be specifically trained to translate knowledge of individual, organizational and community well-being into action, engaging in praxis with the community. The 30-credit master’s program in Community & Social Change is designed to accommodate a variety of students by offering courses in the evening, on weekends and during summer interim sessions. Generally, full-time students are able to complete the program in one to two years.

Mission Statement
The mission of the program in Community & Social Change is to prepare globally aware leaders, researchers, and agents of change who create, inspire, and engage community organizations to foster well-being in diverse community settings.

Vision
The University of Miami Community and Social Change Master’s Program will be the hub for innovative and applied leadership in community based settings, focusing on well-being and social change.


Purpose and Goals

The program is designed to enhance our students’ abilities to:

  • Lead, administer, and inspire within educational and community settings;
  • Lead group processes and consultations;
  • Develop and evaluate programs;
  • Engage in ethical practices;
  • Develop collaborative efforts to address social issues;
  • Think and act as advocates and agents of change;
  • Think and act in ecological, multicultural, and global ways;
  • Understand and utilize theory and research;
  • Understand power dynamics, systems, and social sources of well-being; and
  • Communicate well in oral, written, and electronic media formats.

Roles

Students who complete the program will be prepared to play these roles in the community settings detailed below:

  • Leaders
  • Activists
  • Advocates
  • Administrators
  • Consultants
  • Evaluators
  • Managers
  • Organizers
  • Program developers
  • Researchers

Students will be prepared to play the above roles in a variety of community settings, including:

  • Community Organizations
  • Consulting agencies
  • Educational settings
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Global agencies
  • Government organizations
  • Self-help organizations
  • Health organizations
  • Humanitarian agencies
  • National organizations
  • Neighborhood associations
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Policy/advocacy/ research institutes


Required Coursework

Core Curriculum Requirements: 18 credits

EPS 622 Community Well-being and Change: Theory and Practice
This course is designed to promote an understanding of the factors associated with healthy communities. It provides a comprehensive overview of the relevant skills and theories including: ecological/systems theory/models; community theories (sense of community, social capital, environmental psychology); and critical social theory, social justice, and social determinants of well-being.

EPS 626 Multicultural Communities in a Globalized Society
This course examines the relationships between diversity, globalization, and community well-being. Topics include the dimensions of human diversity, liberation and oppression; identities and acculturation; immigration and adaptation; gender and power; ableism; children and youth; social inclusion; health disparities; poverty; racism; colonization; inequality; globalization and global dimensions of well-being.

EPS 624 Essentials of Research in Social and Behavioral Sciences
The study of the standards, methods and techniques of research in the behavioral and social sciences. Brief orientation to quantitative and qualitative procedures used in the analysis and interpretation of research data are emphasized. Students will gain an understanding of applied social science research design and methods approaches consistent with the values and principles associated with conducting effective research in community-based, organizational and policy settings.

EPS 623 Development & Change in Community Organizations: Theory & Practice
This course is designed to promote an understanding of the factors associated with effective community organizations. It provides a history of organizations in the human services, the non-profit sector, faith-based organizations, and community agencies. Additional topics include the development and process of groups and teams; community organizational vision and mission development; and community organizational systems and structures.

EPS 625 Program Evaluation
Documenting the Impact of Human Services – This course will provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills on planning and designing an evaluation of a community/human service program. Students will gain basic understanding of evaluation methods, how to develop a logic model in program evaluation, how program evaluation is used in program planning and implementation and will be exposed to a variety of case studies and illustrations from small scale to large scale evaluations.

EPS 628 Managing Community Organizations
This course examines the meaning of social change and the nature of power, examine past and present social movements, and learn about the methods groups have used to build community and deploy collective power in their efforts to change minds, systems, institutions, policies, communities, and nations. Students will learn critical theories of power, collaboration, systems, and social mobilization, and look at real-life cases to see how theory can be applied in practice. In addition to reflecting on values and assumptions as agents of change, students will develop skills for facilitating engaging discussions, recruiting and motivating community members, developing a shared social analysis, mobilizing resources, and building coalitions for social change.

 

Course Sequence Form

Electives/Cognate: 9 credits

Elective courses allow for deeper specialization in a student’s area of interest. Depending on a students’ place of residence, they may choose to take additional courses within the School of Education and in other Schools and Colleges at UM, or students can find relevant elective courses at other accredited institutions. Students may take up to 6 credits of approved courses at other institutions subject to their advisor’s approval.

Students may look across the University of Miami graduate programs and courses to develop an “Individualized Cognate”. In consultation with their advisor, students may design an interdisciplinary concentration with specific elective courses that match their interests and needs. Some current options for cognate areas of study at UM and partner institutions include:

  • Public Administration (Department of Political Science)
  • Graduate Business Certificate Program (School of Business Administration)
  • Measurement and Evaluation (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Counseling and Therapy (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Latino Mental Health Counseling (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Higher Education (Department of Educational & Psychological Studies)
  • Early Childhood Studies (University of Florida, College of Education)
  • Public Health (School of Medicine)
  • Communication & Social Change (School of Communication)

 

Program Electives

Practicum Seminar and Field Experience: 3 Credits

EPS 629 Practicum Seminar
This course is a combination of self-directed and guided elements aiming to build your skills as a reflective, theory and science-based practitioner. To this end, the course provides in-depth exploration and application of core readings and theories in community and social change. The purpose of this course is to apply these core concepts to your practicum and provide a space for critical reflection on your practicum experience (student placement in an organization or a foreign culture). Thus, the course includes both didactic and practicum elements throughout the semester. The didactic aspect focuses on intervention theory and method from a community psychology perspective; the student placement represents a structured opportunity to learn about intervention theory as applied to a particular setting.
Practicum Field Experience:

  • Involve 120 hours in a community placement for a period of one year, supported by in-class meetings during a core course: Seminar in Community & Social Change.
  • Provide opportunities to integrate theory, research, practice, and ethics.
  • Provide opportunities to build skills and practical knowledge for social change.
  • Culminate with a final paper/project and poster presentation.

Capstone: 3 credits

The purpose of the capstone requirement is to provide a culminating experience that synthesizes student learning and allows students to demonstrate mastery in the field. In consultation with faculty advisors, students choose ONE capstone from among three options:

  1. Comprehensive Exam – Students must pass a three-hour written exam of general knowledge of their field of study at the end of the fourth academic term. In the event of failure, the student may petition the department to allow a second attempt at the end of the next academic term. The exam will be administered once a year. It will cover expected knowledge of all graduating C&SC Master’s Degree graduate students. Included in this material are a fundamental understanding of theories of community and social well-being and change, methods and practice of community organizational and community psychology, aspects of multicultural and global communities, research methods, basic statistics and theories and practice of program evaluation.
  2. Independent Community-based Project – Students and/or faculty advisors with an established working relationship with existing community organizations may opt to have students develop and conduct an independent community-based project that is conceived and carried out in collaboration with the organization to fulfill or satisfy an existing need. The timeline will vary based on the details of the project with a deadline for completion by the final weeks in the spring term of the student’s final year. In addition to completing the project the student will complete a detailed report that explicitly characterizes the project processes and outcomes in relation to the theories and methods of community psychology. The report will be read and graded by the student’s advisor and a program faculty ‘second reader’ selected for expertise in the project domain. Examples of potential independent projects may include formal program evaluation conducted for a school or community, comprehensive needs assessment and consultation report for a community or educational organization, or a small scale or feasibility-stage program prevention or intervention design and implementation. If the project or report is deemed insufficient for passing, the student may petition the department for one academic term allowance to correct, adapt, or revise the project and/or report.
  3. Portfolio – The Capstone Portfolio is the culminating activity of all of the classroom and field experiences, reflective of not only of the student’s experiences, but also of the knowledge, strategies, and skills acquired and/or applied during these experiences. The Capstone Portfolio is an intentional repository of evidence reflecting the scholarly and professional progress, goals, and reflections of the learner; integrating knowledge, theory, and skills from multiple sources. The portfolio is the property of the student and is largely student-driven. Because the portfolio is largely student-directed, the learner is free to demonstrate creativity and artistic design that are not generally allowed by other forms of assessment. The portfolio can be delivered in hard copy or digital formats.
  4. Master’s Thesis – In some cases, students may wish to complete a master’s empirical or theoretical thesis. Students who have a strong desire to complete a thesis project should consider if they have an existing community project that offers an opportunity for data collection and analysis; if they have a compelling reason for wanting to complete a master’s thesis (e.g. interest in a Ph.D. program); and, if they will be able to gain the support of a core faculty member in the program. A thesis capstone is much more intensive compared to the other options and will require amendments to the traditional program course sequence.

Opportunities within the program

The Dunspaugh-Dalton Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center, affiliated with the School of Education, offers a monthly Brown-Bag series that gives faculty and students an opportunity to present and discuss current research in the School. Each semester, the Center presents a speaker on a topic relevant to Community and Educational Well-Being. C&SC faculty members, in partnership with faculty from other departments and schools have also been holding a monthly “intellectual forum” on community and social change where topics, theories, issues, and practice are being discussed. Additionally, current graduate students in the department of Educational and Psychological Studies are sponsoring a monthly “Social Justice Breakfast” where students and faculty come together to discuss research and practice related to issues of social justice. These are just a few of the opportunities that will be available to students in the C&SC program.

Dual Degree Programs

The University of Miami offers a joint J.D./M.S.Ed. program allowing students to earn a J.D. and an M.S.Ed.-Master of Science in Education in Law, Community and Social Change in 3 to 3.5 years.

This joint degree is ideal for J.D. students with an interest in public interest law. The combined degrees provide globally aware leaders:

  • An additional set of knowledge and skills in community organizations
  • Background in the essentials of research methodologies in social and behavioral sciences
  • Increase in leadership skill strength based on both theory and practice
  • The skills to create, inspire and engage community organizations to foster well-being in diverse community settings

For more information about the Dual Degree Programs click here

Faculty

Ashmeet Oberoi

Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Community and Social Change Master’s Program

305 284 5956


Office: Merrick Building 312 S

Dina Birman

Professor of Educational and Psychological Studies Director, Community Well-Being Ph.D. Program (CWB) Editor in Chief, International Journal of Intercultural Relations

305 284 3460


Office: Merrick Building 311 A

Edison Trickett

Visiting Professor and Community Well-Being Scholar

305 284 2929


Office: Merrick Building 312 O

Marie Guerda Nicolas

Professor

305 284 3001


Office: Max Orovitz 308 B

Laura Kohn-Wood

Chair and Professor

305 284 3001


Office: Merrick Building 312 T

Scotney Evans

Associate Professor, Director of major in Human and Social Development

305 284 4142


Office: Merrick Building 312 P

Todd Warner

Lecturer

305 284 8572


Office: Merrick Building 324-H

Affiliated Faculty

Carol-Anne Phekoo, Ph.D. - Dept. of Educational and Psychological Studies

Elizabeth Harry, Ph.D. - Dept. of Teaching and Learning

Isaac Prilleltensky, Ph.D. - Dept. of Educational and Psychological Studies

John Murphy, Ph.D. - Dept. of Sociology

Jonathan West, Ph.D. - Dept. of Political Science, Public Administration Program

Marilyn Neff, Ed.D. - Dept. of Teaching and Learning

Ora Prilleltensky, Ed.D. - Dept. of Educational and Psychological Studies

Soyeon Ahn, Ph.D. - Dept. of Educational and Psychological Studies

Susan Mullane, Ph.D. - Dept. of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences

Eugene Provenzo, Ph.D. - Dept. of Teaching and Learning

Testimonials

  • Jessica
    My time in UM’s Community and Social Change program was an opportunity to grow in understanding and empathy, while sharpening my professional skills. The dialogue and assigned readings provided an in depth review of various social issues and how we can begin to work with communities to address them. However, the program’s flexible nature allowed me to push myself to get the most out of my time in the program, allowing me to sharpen skills in writing, synthesizing information, time management, and project management.
    Jessica
    Cohort 5
  • Laylah
    The entire program was fantastic. My favorite memories were of the group discussions in class, the new exposure to tools like Prezi, and of course the wonderful potlucks and get togethers.
    Laylah
    Cohort 5
  • Claudia
    "I have found a significant paragon that symbolizes our entire program material: a tool-kit created for developing social consciousness. The experiences I accumulated these past 18 months have represented a fundamental contribution both academically and towards critical consciousness development. I came to this program with a pre-conceived view of me, my place in the world, my individual contribution. However, after interacting with the material used during the Community and Social Change course - readings, lectures, seminars, projects, practicum site - I am gratified to state that I feel much more empowered, significantly more prepared and strongly ready to advance in my personal commitments of being an agent of change". (Part of my Capstone Project "Social Impact Movement" presented on April 2016 at University of Miami) (Part of my Capstone Project "Social Impact Movement" presented on April 2016 at University of Miami)
    Claudia
    Cohort 5
  • Ana
    Beyond the knowledge gained, it's the relationships I've developed I most value - with professors, students and within the community - and will carry forth with me. :)
    Ana
    Cohort 4
  • Kareen
    The Community and Social Change program allowed me to combine graduate school with Peace Corps Service and in the process I learned how to become an agent of change, use a holistic framework for well-being and develop skills to evaluate programs.
    Kareen
    Cohort 4
  • Rasheed
    Wow! There is so many memories. I would say my fondest memory is attending the intervisions. The Master's in Community & Social Change Program is a vibrant family. A family that is made up of a collection of individuals who are aspiring to make this world a better place. We come from different walks in life: education, politics, sociology, psychology, business, etc. Be as it may, the beauty of it all is that we recognize that our collective voice will be key to creating a preventive transformation in society (rather than an ameliorative approach). So cheers to those who are not afraid to go to the grassroots of our societal issues, and strive to effectuate change!
    Rasheed
    Cohort 3
  • Meghan
    My greatest takeaway from the program are the relationships I built there, with faculty, my peers, and community members. I gained a solid foundation for humanizing research and social change through authentic relationships.
    Meghan
    Cohort 3
  • Karen
    One of the best memories I have was of that first weeklong seminar that started our journey, led by Isaac.
    Karen
    Cohort 3
  • Jennifer
    Best memory would be graduation, the spirit of community is evident in everybody's celebration of each other
    Jennifer
    Cohort 3
  • Edward
    I have only fond memories of the program.  It was especially a great tool in exercising a broader way of thinking and also a wonderful vehicle for meeting like-minded good doers!!
    Edward
    Cohort 3
  • Charles
    I have many memories from the program - mostly of the classes, which I enjoyed tremendously. I remember our initial class with Isaac Prilleltensky, I remember assisting Scot Evans with a logic model presentation for a local organization, I remember many conversations with Laura Kohn-Wood about my ideas and development, and I remember the culminating class on managing community organizations and having the whole cohort together to celebrate the end of our 'core' classes. The overall experience changed my perspective on the world and myself in ways I hadn't expected or predicted. I'm fortunate to have been a part of the 3rd cohort, and grateful.
    Charles
    Cohort 3
  • Deborah
    My fondest memory was attending the Global and Social Change Leadership Institute at NYU Wagner, as an Independent Study. This experience provided me the opportunity to strengthen my leadership ability, skills and learn about cutting-edge research on leadership and social change. Alongside 30 other students from around the world, I was exposed to different perspectives and first-hand experiences on what makes organizations successful in advancing social justice.
    Deborah
    Cohort 2
  • Brett
    I have made so many lasting friendships and valuable professional relationships with my cohort, the cohorts after me and with faculty, administrators and staff at UM school of Education and Human Development.  I feel it has truly become the base of our network in Miami for Educate Tomorrow.
    Brett
    Cohort 1
  • Virginia
    I was accepted into the CSC program after I had been in the not for profit sector for a decade.  I was astounded on how much information I gained to project the organization I founded to the next level.  It's been 5 years since I graduated and have had tremendous growth, and insight into our expanding methodology.  The other added benefit is the remarkable students we met, and continue to meet.  I believe we have hired over 11 CSCers since the program started.
    Virginia
    Cohort 1
  • Joseph
    I appreciated learning about the approaches of community psychology and prevention science. We have too many reactionary interventions to social problems in the United States. While it feels we are often the lone voices in solution-finding for social problems, I feel these approaches are very much needed in our world.
    Joseph
    Cohort 1
  • I am truly enjoying my experience in the Community and Social Change master’s program thanks to the conversations with my outstanding colleagues, the education from my experienced professors and the great opportunities of networking here in Miami. This program has provided a space for understanding the view of Community psychologists towards our societal problems, and for preparing us to become active social leaders that will transform our societies. Next semester, I hope to get more involved in academic, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and mobilize all the innovative and helpful resources at UM.
    Andrea C. Ruiz Sorrentini
    Community & Social Change B.A.

F.A.Q.

What is the C&SC program?
The 30-credit program in Community and Social Change is designed to prepare a new generation of creative leaders for the not-for-profit/non-governmental sector. Graduates of the program receive a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree.
Vision: The University of Miami Community and Social Change Master’s Program will be a hub for innovative and applied leadership in community based settings, focusing on well-being and social change. to be a hub for innovative and applied leadership in community wellbeing and social change
Mission: to prepare globally aware leaders, researchers, and agents of change who create, inspire, and engage community organizations to foster well-being in diverse community settings.
What do people do with a C&SC degree?
The C& SC Master’s Program prepares individuals to lead human service community organizations in this increasingly complex and changing world. It is designed to prepare students systematically for careers in community development and social change by teaching them to understand and contribute to the processes of organizational development, community development, and social well-being in community settings. This program also prepares graduates to pursue doctoral training in applied social and behavioral sciences such as counseling, community psychology, clinical psychology, social work, or law.

Students who complete the program are prepared to play these roles in the community settings detailed below:
  • Leaders
  • Activists
  • Advocates
  • Administrators
  • Consultants
  • Evaluators
  • Managers
  • Organizers
  • Program developers
  • Researchers
Students will be prepared to play a variety of roles in a many different types of community settings, including:
  • Community Organizations
  • Consulting agencies
  • Educational settings
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Global agencies
  • Government organizations
  • Self-help organizations
  • Health organizations
  • Humanitarian agencies
  • National organizations
  • Neighborhood associations
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Policy/advocacy/research institutes
When is the application deadline?
All application materials must be submitted online to the Graduate School by March 1st. International students should apply by November 1st and students who wish to be considered for financial aid should apply by Feburary 1st. The program begins in late August.
What time of day are the classes offered?
C&SC courses are scheduled with sufficient flexibility to accommodate working professionals and students who cannot relocate to South Florida. Most core program courses are held over 1 weekend per month during the fall and spring. Two of the core courses are held as week-long intensive courses at the beginning or the end of the first academic year or in the summer. Other courses are taught online, by arrangement, or during the regular semester. Some elective courses are offered in the evenings, usually 5pm and onward.
How long does it take to complete the C&SC program?
The program takes one calendar year to complete if attending full time. It starts in August and ends the following August. It is also possible to attend the program on a part-time basis and take longer to complete.
Can one get a Ph.D. in C&SC?
We have a Ph.D. program in Community Well Being (CWB) for highly qualified students that have completed a masters degree. For students intending to pursue a Ph.D. after completing their C&SC masters degree, we suggest completing a masters thesis for your capstone project. Please visit the CWB website for more information.
Does the C&SC program provide financial support to students?
The Community and Social Change Program has need and merit-based scholarships available. For consideration, all application materials must be submitted by the February 1st deadline. Additionally, applicants seeking program scholarships should send a letter (1 page maximum) to the program director that outlines outstanding need and/or merit. City Year alumni receive a 25% tuition fellowship. Students seeking loans should complete the FAFSA, making sure to include the University of Miami as a recipient of the FAFSA materials. Students may also apply for graduate student work opportunities include Federal Work-Study, departmental hirings, and graduate assistantships.
Who is a typical C&SC student?
We consider applicants of all ages, as long as they have a bachelor's degree and some community based experience. About 1/3 of each cohort is made up of recent college graduates. The other 2/3 are people who have been out of school for varying amounts of time returning to gain new knowledge and skills or make a career change. Many of these students have been working in non-profit community-based organizations.
Do I need to take the GRE?
Almost all applicants are required to submit a GRE score to be considered for admission. Applicants that have been working full-time (not part-time or voluntary positions) for 3+ years in a non-profit, human service agency, or related field may qualify for a GRE waiver. Inquire with your details for more information. Download GRE Waiver

Admission Requirements

Requirements for Admission and Retention

  1. Admission to the Master of Science in Education is based on the following:
    • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution;
    • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better. (Applicants with undergraduate GPA’s below 3.0 but with other advanced degree or full-time paid or volunteer experience in non-profit settings may also be eligible for consideration);
    • A minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of 153 verbal, 144 quantitative reasoning, and 40 writing taken within the past five years. International applicants whose native language is not English must also pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language [TOEFL] and in addition to the GRE.
    • Three letters of recommendation (2 academic and 1 community);
    • An interview (in person or telephone);
    • A personal statement describing the following:
      • Personal characteristics relevant to training in community-based work and social change;
      • Previous experience, if any, with community-based work
      • Reasons for applying to the program;
      • Goals upon graduation.
  2. A School of Education faculty advisor in the student’s major will be appointed to meet with the student to design a Program of Study. The Program of Study must be on file in the Associate Dean’s Office by the end of the first semester of study or future registration will not be permitted.
  3. All students are required to submit a signed Student Responsibility Checklist and the Graduate Student Honor Code by the end of their first semester of enrollment.


Financial Aid information

Information regarding Financial Assistance is available through the Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid.

Scholarships

A complete list of resources for obtaining scholarships is located on the Graduate School website under fellowships.

Loans

Low-interest loans are offered to most domestic students. For information and eligibility information, please contact the UM Office of Financial Assistance Services at 305-284-5212.

State Financial Assistance

The State of Florida Department of Education also offers grant and scholarship programs administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance.


Let's Get Started With Your Application

Start the application process by clicking on the icon on the left.

Program Director

Ashmeet Oberoi

Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Community and Social Change Master’s Program

305-284-5956


MB 312 S