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Leadership course provides academic insight and placement experience

Through this course, students will think more deeply about and reflect critically on leadership, and it's connection with their specific academic disciplines and the community around them.

Aug 27, 2018

Topics such as power, privilege, collaboration, social change, decision-making and managing conflict are addressed in varying ways across all Social Sciences disciplines. Through SOCSCI 3EL3 - Leadership Through Experiential Learning, students think more deeply about and reflect critically about these topics through the lens of leadership, and their specific academic disciplines.

Students also complete a 24-hour placement at a community organization, allowing them to build their leadership skills and potential, gain relevant "workplace" experience, and consider how leadership in its various forms plays out in the community around them. This year, placements take place at local schools, not-for-profit organizations and advocacy groups and address issues including:

  • food security
  • gentrification
  • access to education
  • women’s issues
  • diversity and inclusion
  • and more

The class will also hear from several guest speakers who will share their unique experiences of leadership in the community and in their workplaces.

Former students shared their thoughts about the course:

Ikram Farah (Political Science & Labour Studies)
NGen Youth Centre

“As a Political Science and Labour Studies student I am interested in policy writing/making and learning about labour relations within the community. Before this leadership course I did not know spaces such as NGen existed as it is fundamentally different than other youth centres, in practice and philosophy. Through this placement I came to understand the challenges of getting funding for spaces like these and how it is political, and had a new perspective on how bureaucratic the systems in place were.”

Sabrina Denicola (Sociology)
Mission Services, Willow’s Place
“I was able to push myself out of my comfort zone and gain more insight of the diverse experiences of women in Hamilton’s priority neighbourhoods. Using an experiential education lens to reflect on my experience had a greater impact on me than I thought - I learned a lot about myself, was able to improve my areas of weakness, discover new strengths, and recognize the importance of outreach initiatives acknowledging intersectionality.”

This course is open to Level III and IV students in any Social Sciences program, and can be added on MOSAIC.

Students can view the course outline for more information and can contact Ruthanne Talbot at talbotr@mcmaster.ca with any questions.

Did You Know? SOCSCI 3EL3 can count towards an optional Minor in Community Engagement. Look at the course list – you may already have units towards the minor! Check with an academic advisor about any minor as there are limits on the number of courses that can count towards both a major and a minor.