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Tools for Transformation Funded Proposals

Service and Research-based Learning in Labor Studies

Tri-Campus: Political Science, UW Seattle; Liberal Studies, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma

We are establishing an innovative research training and internship program in labor studies involving all three campuses of the University of Washington. The three campuses are increasingly subject to demands from labor organizations and labor-management groups for students to work as interns, and some of those internships even offer financial support. We want to capitalize on the demands we are receiving and the contacts we are developing by designing a coordinated regional program that brings the three campuses together and with the community. To the extent possible and appropriate, we plan to integrate our labor studies offerings and take full advantage of the cross- registration initiative.

Our long-term goals are the development of:

Contact: Margaret Levi
Professor, Political Science

Michael Honey
Professor, Liberal Studeis, UW Tacoma

Daniel Jacoby
Professor, Liberal Studies, UW Bothell

Allocation: $125,047
Date Funded: December 1998

June, 1999

The project began during Spring Quarter, 1999. After a competitive search, we selected Steve Marquardt, a graduate student in History, as the project assistant under the direction of Margaret Levi. Marquardt's job is to coordinate the activities of the three campuses, to locate additional service learning, research, and internship opportunities, and, most importantly, to find and recruit the students who would benefit from these opportunities. To this last end, Marquardt has begun a process of meeting with undergraduate advisors.

Political Science/Economics 409 was taught in Spring, 1999. The 16 students in the class worked on 7 projects in teams of two to three. Several speakers came to class to provide practical training. Teams present verbal reports at the end of the quarter to an audience of their class, academics, organizers, and Carlson Center staff who provide feedback prior to the final written report.

A pilot course for teachers in the Education MA program was developed to involve students in the political aspects of their work. One student has volunteered to work with Secretary-Treasurer of the Snohomish Labor Council to find productive interfaces between local unions and our students. Initial conversations with the King County Worker Center look promising to develop student research projects relating to strategic elements of school-to-work programs.

A course in research-based learning has been outlined for Fall, 1999, followed by a course that organizes students into internships with labor and labor-related organizations in the winter.

Tools for Transformation Funded Proposals