My name is Brittany Koteles, and this semester I am going through the process of finalizing an Individual Plan of Study in the college of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
With every other major I was considering, there always seemed to be a part of it that didn't fit with what I wanted to do. This is when I started contemplating the possibility of my IPS program.
The major, Community Service & Development, seeks to provide a student with a foundation focusing on the structure and interactions within communities, the effects of socioeconomic and cultural factors on communities, development methods, and an understanding of the social system's structure. The remainder of the curriculum is based in both service learning opportunities and internships, as well as specific areas of service the student wishes to pursue (Spanish, international aid, education, etc.). This component of the major allows students pursue special interests within the realm of community service.
The curriculum itself draws from over a dozen departments on campus, including psychology, social work, philosophy, sociology, urban & regional planning, political science, Spanish, and several others.
The biggest goal of this major is to put students in direct leadership roles within their own community, requiring them to think critically and explore their own strengths.
Although the major is restricted to my use right now, I would love to see it grow to become an option to all students as the service initiative continues to grow on campus.