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M.A. in Advocacy & Equity Will Prepare Students to Create Positive Change in Their Communities

In a world that is increasingly diverse and interconnected, it is crucial to understand the importance of creating spaces that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. While there are many people working in this area with practical experience, the need for an academic lens to this work is becoming increasingly evident. This is where the Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity comes in.

The program is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience necessary to become effective advocates for change in their communities. As Dr. Shaniece Criss, the program director, explains, “Students will get the chance to create projects where they’re framing their narratives for different audiences. They learn how to be effective in that.” Her excitement about the potential of the program draws from its potential to positively impact society through an evidence-based approach to the practical work that is already being done in the field.

According to Dr. Criss, the hunger for knowledge and skills in this area is evident. Many people and organizations have expressed their interest in the program, as it provides an opportunity for people to gain the training they need to be effective in spaces dealing with diversity, equity, and inclusion. The program also provides a transition point for people who are passionate about a subject and want to pursue a career in this field.

The program syllabus consists of several foundational courses that every student takes, including Framing Social Justice, Community Engaged Research, Grant Writing and Resources, and Community Organizing. Additionally, students take a Thesis and Action course, which allows them to explore a specific area of interest in more depth.

The program also offers seminars in various areas, such as international development, education, and criminal justice. According to Dr. Criss, “every time I talk about this master’s program to professionals in the community, they’re like, ‘I want to teach in this program!'” The program boasts a roster of experts, not only from Furman’s prestigious faculty, but from community members in the field who are available to contribute to the curriculum.

One of the unique features of the program is the opportunity for students to complete two practicum experiences. This allows students to gain hands-on experience in the field while making a real difference in their communities. As Dr. Criss explains, “Out of four semesters, three can be actually in the field, doing something for credit.”

The program is also designed to be flexible, allowing students to take courses full time or one course at a time. This flexibility makes it an ideal program for working professionals who want to enhance their skills and advance their careers.

Furthermore, the program is non-partisan, focusing on academics and skills application, and welcomes people from all backgrounds. As Dr. Criss states, “I want people who are eager to learn and are willing to be open enough to hear other people’s viewpoints, but continue on the path of what they think that the world needs.”

The Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity opens up a broad range of career options in different sectors, including private and public organizations, advocacy groups, and non-profit organizations. Students in the program will be equipped with the tools they need to ensure that programs and projects they are involved in are effectively funded and evaluated. The lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion is crucial in this process, and people who have this knowledge will be in high demand in the field.

The Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity will be a powerful tool for creating positive change, not only in our upstate community, but in the world at large. The hunger for knowledge and skills in this area is evident, and the program provides an evidence-based approach to the practical work that is already being done in the field. The skills and knowledge gained from the program will contribute to positive change at different levels, and the impact of the program will extend beyond the individual. It is a step in the right direction towards creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world.

Ready to make a difference in your community and pursue a career in advocacy, equity, and social justice?

Furman University’s Master of Arts in Advocacy & Equity Studies may be the perfect program for you. With its practical approach, flexible schedule, and expert faculty, this program can help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world.