By Jeniffer Jaquet
It’s been said that change is inevitable, but growth is optional. For those who want to grow and also effect change, there's a myriad of human rights and social justice degrees to consider.
From diversity and inclusion to climate change and advocacy, FIU offers many social justice-related majors and degrees both on-campus and 100 percent online to satisfy the most altruistic of passions.
Here are seven degrees that prepare students for careers with influence.
1. M.S. in Foreign Language Education: Teaching in Challenging Contexts Track
In a world of rapidly changing modes of communication, one thing has stayed constant: language—particularly the English language, which has brought billions of people together to work toward a common goal. But what about those in places where disaster and violence have overtaken their homes and livelihoods?
For individuals who want a master’s degree in social justice, or a related field, to break down these barriers and help others develop communication and language skills in English, FIU offers a fully online master’s degree in Foreign Language Education: Teaching in Challenging Contexts Track, the first of its kind in the nation.
The program provides students the skills to teach others how to teach English in challenging environments, such as in areas where a classroom may not even exist.
2. M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education Track
It is more important than ever to create curricula that best fit the needs of our emerging generation. The online Master of Science in Curriculum Instruction: Elementary Education Track, both on campus and fully online, offers students the instruction and knowledge needed to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as how to properly implement diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom to help all children.
3. B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies
In response to the increased demand for diversity, equity and inclusion in many industries, FIU’s bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies offers students the necessary training to understand contemporary issues.
Whether your interest is in social justice studies, policymaking, advocacy or activism, the degree encourages students to develop the analytical skills and communication abilities to influence today’s organizations. The program is available face-to-face or online.
4. B.A. in English: Writing and Rhetoric Track
Words make the world go ’round. They can influence all aspects of life, especially when developing persuasive arguments. The bachelor’s degree in English: Writing and Rhetoric Track equips students with the proper writing, argumentation and communication skills to create discourse. This program trains individuals to think critically so they may influence any sector, public, private or nonprofit through the power of the pen.
5. B.A. in Geography Major, Global Studies
Earth is our only home, and it must be cared for. One way individuals may do so is to be aware of their location and the impacts this may have on their quality of life.
The bachelor’s degree in geography offers the training necessary to assess such things and study phenomena such as global warming and sea-level rise. A degree in geography can serve many purposes in varied fields, such as sustainability, politics, infrastructure, immigration and climate change. Individuals who are dedicated to creating change to make Earth a better place to live will find a home in this program, which can be pursued completely online or on campus.
6. M.S. in Special Education: Autism Endorsement
Students with special needs are one of the most underrepresented and marginalized populations within the education system, and they need a voice. The Master of Science in Special Education equips individuals with advanced training to become that voice and advocate for those who need it the most. Students will focus on research to help learners on the autism spectrum. This program, offered online and face-to-face, prepares students to earn the Florida Autism Endorsement. Graduate students will also complete an “Action Research” project that will arm them with a complete, ready-to-use framework. The research-based final project, puts what’s learned in the program to immediate use in a classroom setting.
7. B.S. in Exceptional Student Education (ESE): Special Education, Educational Foundations, and Policy Track
Individuals with disabilities require special education services at many stages in their lives, whether it be in childhood or as an adult. The ESE bachelor’s degree, offered in-person and online, prepares students with essential qualities required to work with exceptional persons in fields such as physical therapy and speech pathology. This degree will help students develop adaptable skills to use in any setting, whether it be a classroom or even in policymaking. Working toward inclusivity and advocacy is crucial for any student interested in this program or also interested in a social work degree or related field.