Arizona State University Debuts New Degree in Social Justice Activism


Arizona State University (ASU) debuted a new undergraduate degree geared toward social justice activism, called community development. The course description describes education on the basics of activism, citing concepts like diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, equity, and social and environmental justice. If students enjoy studying community development, they may also earn a graduate degree in it.

“The BA program in community development equips students with tools to collaborate with, empower and educate diverse community constituents by drawing on grassroots and inclusive frameworks such as sustainable development, social and environmental justice, participatory democracy, social and economic equity and social accounting,” reads the course description.

ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development within the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offers the degree. In addition to requiring a second language, the degree also calls for basic college-level math.

School of Community Resources and Development Professor Mark Roseland explained in a press release that students would combine knowledge of sustainable development, social and environmental justice, participatory democracy, and communicating impact of various entities’ actions on society to make a “circular economy.” Roseland projected that the circular economy envisioned would be worth $2.7 trillion annually by 2050.

He said this would contribute to affordable housing, food security, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation.

“Students will help in the transition from a ‘take, make, waste’ linear economy to a more circular economy based on reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling,” said Roseland.

A total of 55 courses are offered for this degree. The course description stated that students with this degree would be prepared for careers as social and human service assistants; property, real estate, and community association managers; community health workers; community and social service specialists; general and operational managers; public relations managers; recreation workers; social and community service managers; and urban and regional planners.

$24,500 marked the low end for these salaries, and $100,400 the high end.

Based on tuition costs for this upcoming year, the average four-year bachelor’s degree at ASU for an Arizona resident would cost about $46,000. Non-residents would owe around $119,200.

In its press release, ASU cited research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 10 percent job growth for community development graduates.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Roseland” and “ASU Civics Space Park” by ASU.






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