UW Dream Project

February 28, 2013

Getting Involved: the Education, Learning, and Society minor and the Diversity minor

Getting Involved is a new series for current Dream Project mentors who are looking for new ways to get involved with education, leadership, and mentoring during their undergrad at UW. Today, we’re featuring a post by Jamie Barnhorst, the Academic Advisor for the ELS and Diversity minors.

Hi Dream Project Mentors,

In the few short months I’ve worked as the Advisor for the Education and Diversity minors, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with many of you. For those of you who haven’t met me yet, I’d like to invite you to stop by my office and say hello, if you don’t mind getting lost in Padelford for a minute or two!

If you aren’t already pursuing one of the minors, you might not know that your work with the Dream Project could be applied toward both courses of study. Let me explain what each minor is about and how Dream Project fits in. The Education, Learning, and Society (ELS) minor is comprised of a wide range of classes from both the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. The minor provides a strong foundation for understanding how human beings learn and how policies, cultural values, and institutions shape that learning. There is also a field experience component. As you might have guessed, this is where Dream Project fits in! Dream Project, Pipeline, Jumpstart, and select service learning courses may fulfill this requirement. Additionally, there is an Electives category. This is where students really get to make the minor their own – they can focus on topics like early childhood education, educational policy, social justice, or special education. Note that up to 5 additional field experience credits may count toward the Electives category; this means that a total of 10 Dream Project credits could be applied toward the ELS minor. If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, the minor will set you up nicely when applying to master’s in teaching programs. Of course, the minor is also great for students interested in educational policy, school counseling, social work, and more.

The Diversity minor is another excellent option for Dream Project mentors. One of the main goals of the minor is to teach students to think critically about power, inequality, marginality, and activism. Does that sound familiar? The classes that make up this minor are not located in a single department, but rather they span across the College of Arts and Sciences. While these classes may view issues through different disciplinary lenses, they are linked together by a common theme; they take a critical perspective on power and challenge the status quo. These classes also examine how socially constructed identities—such as gender, race, immigration status, and sexuality—intersect with one another and are shaped by power and privilege. In addition to a Foundations class, you will explore content in four of five categories: Global, Arts/Cultural, Contemporary/Institutional, Historical, and Applications. Up to five Dream Project credits may be applied toward the Applications category of this minor! Why study the Diversity minor? In addition to taking some of the most interesting classes offered on this campus, you’ll gain knowledge, skills, and perspectives that are essential to civic participation, employability, and quality of life after graduation. Not bad, huh?

In order to apply for either of these minors, you should first check with your major advisor to make sure you have enough room in your schedule. Aside from that, you just have to come in and have a conversation with me. That’s not too scary, right? Of course, I didn’t mention that I play roller derby…

If you’d like to learn more about the minors, be sure to check out these webpages:

Please feel free to email me (c21@uw.edu) or stop by my office on Mondays between 9-11 or Thursdays between 1:30-4 (Padelford B-507)!

All the best,

Jamie Barnhorst, the Academic Advisor for the ELS and Diversity minors