UPDATE: U of Iowa creates social justice bachelor's degree

The University of Iowa has become the first school in the state to add a bachelor’s program in social justice to its list of degrees, after its Board of Regents approved the motion Thursday.

The school already offers a first-year seminar on social justice as well as a “Justice for All” living learning community where students can live and “learn about systemic problems in our society.”

University officials told The Iowa City Press-Citizen that both programs have been so well-received, with full-enrollment in the “Justice for All” learning community, that demand for an actual degree-program on the topic made sense.

[RELATED: Vandy upgrades social justice options]

“The proposed program will appeal to students who want a vocation related to helping others, or careers in government services or the nonprofit sector, but are not necessarily interested in teaching or social work,” a proposal for the program suggested, noting that there is no “specific degree program” at the university or in the state that provides “opportunities in these areas.”

According to the proposal, the program will be interdisciplinary in nature, since more and more students have “expressed a desire to integrate academic work more deeply with anticipated career paths,” such as social activism work with a non-profit.

So far, 25 students are expected to enroll in the program during its first year, with a target goal of 110 students by its seventh year.

[RELATED: Penn. State M.A. program promotes social justice]

As of now, the school does not anticipate that the program will require any additional costs, since it will be housed in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.

The program will be available for student enrollment in the Spring of 2017.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the university has confirmed to Campus Reform that the Board of Regents voted to approve the social justice degree program at its meeting Thursday.

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