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Online M.A. in Human Development | Social Change Specialization

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Location: Pasadena, San Jose

The online M.A. Human Development: Social Change program is for individuals who wish to acquire the skills to create large-scale, positive social change.

4 years part-time or 2 years full-time
30 credits required for completion
Available online

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Online M.A. Human Development: Social Change

The belief explored in this online master’s program in human development is that one’s own personal growth and the act of evoking positive social change are interconnected processes, particularly during times of national or global stress. Emphasizing the need of active participation in the process, students interested in social activism, social change, and policy making will acquire the tools to help make a positive impact.

Graduates of this Master of Arts program will learn how to collaboratively design and implement changes in a variety of areas, including for-profit or nonprofit organizations, schools, communities, governmental organizations, and in society at large. This online human development master’s program employs storytelling, the arts, grant-writing, action research, the use of budget and timelines, and autonomous community building.

Other Online M.A. Human Development Specializations

Fieldwork Requirements

All M.A. and Credential programs require fieldwork or field experience appropriate to the program emphasis. Fieldwork ranges from classroom observations to completion of fieldwork- related projects at the students’ place of employment.

Sample Courses

Authentic Assessment

This course will define and explore creative models and frameworks of assessment/evaluation for programs, schools and organizations, from a life span perspective. Particular focus areas will include continuums of traditional/non-traditional, standardized/ developmental, and quantitative/qualitative data collection for program design, evaluation and structural planning. Emphasis will be placed on addressing subjectivity, ethics, biases and cultural models of deviance. Outside observation hours are required.

Advanced studies in Dewey, Dubois, Vygotsky, Freire, and Hooks as Social Justice Pedagogy

The roots of Education for social justice lie in the works of John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, and Paolo Freire. Their work resonates in the Educational and social philosophies of W.E.B. Dubois and bell hooks. Yet today, much of what passes for progressive critical Education has been diluted in order to meet the needs of the status quo, and Education for social justice has been lost. Students will evaluate the theoretical works of John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Paolo Freire, W.E.B. Dubois, and bell hooks, and create progressive critical pedagogy Grounded in participatory democracy and social justice.

Admissions Requirements

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Pacific Oaks College
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Completed Application for Admission
  • Application Fee
  • Resume
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Personal Statement


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