Community Education Concentration

Group of Community Education Concentration Educators

Goddard College’s Community Education Concentration emphasizes service learning in the whole community. It shifts your focus out of the classroom and into urban and suburban neighborhoods and the rural countryside. It teaches educators how to connect and interact with children, adult learners, and teacher-citizens in a powerful way that can lead to the enrichment and transformation of communities.

The concentration is deeply anchored in pedagogy, educational philosophy, and community education theory. It attaches proficiency-based learning standards in a wide range of disciplines – the sciences, humanities, and more – to measurable outcomes achieved by students within their communities.

Community Education Concentration Educators

During your residency and field study, students design and implement a personalized learning plan linked to a specific community organization and project. In this model, each student’s community becomes a learning laboratory. Education is no longer viewed as a preparation for life, but as an active and self-reflective process. The community becomes the classroom, the crucible for learning and for positive change.

As a Goddard community educator, you learn to address the complex realities underlying modern multicultural and multilingual communities, with a strong focus on achieving social justice and equality. As full collaborators, Goddard-trained educators understand the power of partnership and of participatory democracy in creating vibrant, thriving, sustainable communities.

Community Education Field Study

The Community Education Concentration is firmly based in field study. For undergraduates, field study typically involves the seeking out, and participation in, an established community organization. Graduate students are often already in community leadership positions, or in the process of launching vibrant new organizations.

Community Education Concentration Presentation Preparation

Using the community as a learning laboratory, educators gain new skills and knowledge, which they reflect upon in their field study journal. Five credits per semester are awarded for undergraduate field study, and four credits per semester are awarded for graduate field study.

Community Education students not already working with a community organization are responsible for finding their field study placements. Students use their worksite experience to produce a relevant program of study rooted in theory, expanded through practice, and focused on personal and professional educational goals.

This concentration is not appropriate for students seeking Vermont educator credential, however.

Request more information from an Admissions Counselor.

The Faculty

The Education Program faculty are deeply committed to offering a holistic, interdisciplinary and student-centered approach to learning that is personally and socially relevant.

Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioners with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning.

Learn more about our faculty.

Study Options

Goddard’s Education Program offers full- and part-time study leading to the following degrees:

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts can focus their studies in the following areas:

Students pursuing the Master of Arts can focus their studies in the following areas:

Admissions Information

The Bachelor of Arts in Education program is open to students who have already completed approximately 60 liberal arts credits and who wish to extend their knowledge in the field of education to meet personal and/or professional goals. Transfer credit and/or credit awarded for prior learning up to a total of 75 credits can be applied to the 120 semester hour credits required for the degree.

Students with less than 60 credits can begin their studies in Goddard’s Individualized Bachelor of Arts and then transfer to the BA in Education.

A minimum of three semesters of enrollment in the BA in Education program is required for graduation.

See complete application instructions for the BA in Education and the MA in Education.

Low-Residency Model

At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont or Washington, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.

Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.

Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.

This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor.

Location

Students in the Community Education Concentration in the Education Program will attend residencies in Seattle, Washington, which is a community campus located at the Martin Luther King Center F.A.M.E. Community Center, and where residencies are conducted in Spanish and English.

Goddard College programs operating in Washington State are authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council. For more information, please refer to Accreditation and Approvals.

Residency Week

Residencies are a rich time of exploration, connection, and planning. A residency is comprised of:

  • New-student orientation
  • Individual and group advising sessions
  • Workshops, presentations, mini-courses, and panels
  • Peer work groups
  • Planning sessions related to teacher licensure
  • Information sessions (assessment of prior learning; financial aid; how to do research; planning your final semester etc.)
  • Co-curricular activities (support groups, art shows, films, movement workshops, meditation space, etc.)
  • Commencement

Writing the semester study plan is an important focus of the residency. Working closely with your faculty advisor, and supported by fellow learners, you articulate your educational and personal goals for your studies within the context of degree criteria and program requirements. The study plan is your detailed and individualized map and will address the following:

  • The semester’s learning goals
  • The resources the student plans to draw on (e.g., books, journals, conferences)
  • The methodology the student plans to use (e.g., library or field research, interviews, creative production)
  • The specific learning activities the student will undertake (e.g., creative and critical reading and writing, observations, field work, keeping a journal)
  • The academic work the student will produce (e.g. essays, visual art work, workshop reports, poems, interview transcriptions, annotations)
  • A bibliography of reading the student plans to do during the semester

The Semester

Following the residency and over the course of 16 weeks of study and reflection, you will submit your work to your faculty advisor. Typically, there are 5 submissions for full-time students and 3 submissions for part-time students. Evidence of the work completed can include essays, critical and creative writing, sample curricula, classroom materials, documentation of art practice/works, book annotations, and a cover letter in which you reflect on the learning process.

Your advisor responds promptly in writing to your materials with a detailed letter addressing the various components of your work and containing appraisal, feedback, and suggestions.

Through the regular exchange of work and responses, a sustained, meaningful dialogue takes place centered on your learning and goals. Students often describe this dialogue as transformative and empowering.

At the end of the semester, in lieu of grades, students and advisors write comprehensive evaluations of the student’s learning.

Degree Requirements

BA in Education

In addition to the requirements for the BA in Education, students graduating with a Community Education Concentration will successfully complete 45 undergraduate level credits and complete a Field Study and Field Study Journal and a Community Education Portfolio.

Field study and field study journal

Students conduct study or studies in the field for a minimum of 15 credits over three semesters. Field Studies may be in one particular site or may take place in various sites. The Field Study Journal reflects the skills, knowledge and understanding gained in the field as a practitioner of Community Education. The Field Study Journal can be submitted in one of three ways:

  • As one individual packet for three credits per semester
  • Integrated within the evidence of learning within the packet
  • As an addendum to each packet of the semester

Community education portfolio

Students complete a CE Portfolio as documentation of how the criteria of the concentration have been met. The Portfolio consists of a checklist of the criteria and links to documents, products produced including brochures, videos, etc. that demonstrate evidence of learning. The completed Portfolio is presented for review to the faculty advisor before the graduation residency.

Senior study

Each student is required to produce a culminating project in the form of a Senior Study in an area of Community Education that integrates theory, practice and Field Study. Undergraduate students are awarded 15 credits for the Senior Study.

MA in Education

In addition to the requirements for the MA in Education, students graduating with a Community Education Concentration will successfully complete 36 graduate level credits and complete the following:

Field study and field study journal

Students conduct study or studies in the field for a minimum of 12 credits over three semesters. Field Studies may be in one particular site or may be in various diverse sites. The Field Study Journal reflects the skills, knowledge and understanding gained in the field as a practitioner of community education. The Field Study Journal can be submitted in one of three ways:

  • As one individual packet for three credits per semester
  • Integrated within the evidence of learning within the packet
  • As an addendum to each packet of the semester

Community education portfolio

Students complete a CE Portfolio as documentation of how the criteria of the concentration have been met. The Portfolio consists of a checklist of the criteria and links to documents and products produced including brochures, videos, etc. that demonstrate evidence of learning. The completed Portfolio is presented for review to the faculty advisor before the graduation residency.

Master’s thesis

Each student is required to produce a master’s thesis, which includes formulation of a significant question/s, application of methods of inquiry, identification and utilization of learning resources, interpretation of ideas, and integration and application of theory and practice.

SAMPLE AREAS OF STUDY

Each residency, students develop individualized study plans for the semester with their faculty advisors. The study plan may be individually designed by the student to meet her or his particular interests in Community Education, or the student may include one or more of the following areas of study:

  • Family Involvement and Engagement: Explore policies and practices supporting effective ways to support family involvement in children’s learning and development.
  • Out-of-the-School Day Learning: Students re-search trends, opportunities and challenges in out-of-school day out-of-the-school building learning, and apply and reflect on their learning in field work experiences.
  • Community-based Learning: Powerful learning can happen in community-based environments. Research best practices and applied learning in service learning, place-based learning and other community-based strategies.
  • Partnership and Collaboration: Partnerships are critical for sustainability and development of programs that are authentically rooted in community. Collaborating with partners and stakeholders from across sectors presents its own set of rewards and challenges. Areas of research and practice may include developing advisory boards, working with school/community partnerships, engaging youth in youth/adult led initiatives, and more.
  • Community Education Process and Philosophy: Community Education has historical underpinnings rooted in a philosophy of community empowerment and equitable access to education. From the Danish folk school movement to the Highlander Research Center to the Occupy movement, community education has been an essential strategy for moving forward critical social change.
  • Leadership for Social Justice: Students explore how individuals and groups connect, organize, think systemically, bridge and learn as part of a dynamic leadership process that mobilizes action on the scale needed to address social justice.
  • Creating Space for Social Change: Students learn about leadership strategies for holding community conversations around difficult issues.
  • Restorative Justice: Restorative justice is an approach in which both the offender’s and victim’s needs and looks at the responsibility and involvement of the whole community in supporting restoration. Students research current trends and best practices in restorative justice.
  • Power of Youth Voice: Critical social movements and initiatives around the world are being launched by youth empowered voices.

Authorizations

Vermont Program

Goddard’s Education Program is approved by the Vermont Agency of Education and the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators for preparing licensure-seeking students to receive a Vermont Initial License in one or more of six endorsement areas. Vermont participates with all other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification’s Interstate Agreement, which governs licensure reciprocity.

Washington Program

Goddard College is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirement and minimum educational standards established of degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes Goddard College to offer specific degree programs. The Council may be contacted for a list of currently authorized programs. Authorization by the Council does not carry with it an endorsement by the Council of the institution or its programs. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the Council at PO Box 43430, Olympia WA 98504-3430.

The Seattle Education program is not intended to lead to teacher certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.