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Over the past 16 years, San Jose Staté students in the Social Action course have worked on 3-5 student campaigns each semester, primarily at the college and city/county level, but occasionally at the state, and even national level. Remarkably, the students have won 16 of these campaigns. Importantly, the student campaigns give the students the opportunity to connect to the large questions facing their communities, both inside and outside of the campus gates.
Clearly, the students participating in social action have had their lives transformed as a result of a direct experience with democracy, with social action alumni taking on leadership positions in government and the nonprofit sector, as well as obtaining community organizing jobs locally and pursuing advanced degrees. Importantly, this pathway to public service is achieved by the students becoming deeply involved in the community by building allies with the non-profit organizations and the elected local officials as part of their campaigns.
Below is a typical reflection by a student after completing the Social Action course.“ In Social Action, I began meeting with city officials through my advocacy work with the Student Homeless Alliance (SHA), which furthered my understanding of city government and state government. In my current profession, I continued to build on this foundation and further learn city and county government terminology and processes. I am in constant communication and involvement to both challenge and/or engage with key officials. The self-agency and confidence I developed in Social Action carries on in my work today.”~ Myra Bernabe, enrolled in Social Action Fall 2018, graduated spring 2019, BA, Sociology.
More specifically, upon completion of a course using social action, students will be able to:
1. conduct issue
2. build power
3. implement various strategies and tactics
4. conduct research (historical analysis, power map, target analysis)
5. work with the media
6. perform campaign implementation and evaluation plans
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