Community Leadership at Aquinas College

Community Leadership Major (BA)

Four-Year Advising Plan (pdf) 

Major Requirements: Thirty-seven (37) semester hours.

  • At least eighteen (18) semester hours must be taken at Aquinas.
  • Only courses with a grade of C or better will count toward the major.
CL100 Exploring Community Leadership 4.0
AG100 Financial Activities for Non-Profits 3.0
ES211 Microeconomic Principles 3.0
GY212 Urban Geography 4.0
TY255 Catholic Social Teaching 3.0
CL/SY396 Practicum in Community Leadership 4.0
CL400 Community Leadership Capstone Seminar (SC) 4.0
Nine (9) semester hours from the following (maximum one (1) course per discipline/a minimum of two courses must be at the 200 level or above):
AG390 Accounting for Nonprofits 3.0
BS200 Fundamentals of Organizations for the Non-Major 3.0
BS235 Social Entrepreneurship 3.0
BS355 Organizational Behavior 3.0
BS356 Organizational Leadership 3.0
BS425 Not for Profit Organizations: Theory and Practice 3.0
Community Leadership:
CL201 Leadership for Social Change 1.0
CL300 Fund Development and Grant Writing 3.0
CL310 Special Topics in Community Leadership V
CL395 Ireland Community Aides Internship 3.0
CL398 Readings in Community Leadership V
CL399 Independent Project in Community Leadership V
ES212 Macroeconomic Principles 3.0
GY120 Human Geography (GP) 4.0
GY313 Advanced Urban Geography V
PH110 What is Justice? 3.0
PH238 Environmental Philosophy 3.0
Political Science:
PS101 American Government and Politics 3.0
PS150 The World in Crisis (GP) 3.0
PS310 Modern Political Problems Seminar 3.0
PS/BS340 Public Administration 3.0
SY102 Introduction to Social Work 3.0
SY103 Cultural Anthropology (GP) 3.0
SY/PG201 Social Psychology 3.0
SY205 Trying Social Work 4.0
SY/CL 209 Sustainable Cities and Environmental Justice 3.0
SY260 Social Problems 3.0
SY302 Community Sociology 3.0
SY312 Social Stratification 4.0
SY375 Complex Organizations 3.0
Sustainable Business:
SB315 Building Social Capital 3.0
TY250 Christian Morality 3.0
Women's Studies:
WS260 Women and the Environment 3.0
WS314/SY311 Women, Girls, and Leadership 3.0
WS/PS325 Feminist Theory and Activism 3.0



  • AG100 Financial Activities for Nonprofits (3) SS1

    An introduction to financial information needed by decision makers for non-profit organizations. Includes an overview of financial reporting, managerial accounting and finance. Specific topics include financial statements, budgeting, strategies for revenue generation, relevant costs, time value of money and cash management.

  • AG390 Accounting for Nonprofits (3) SS1

    Provides an introduction to accounting rules for state and local governmental units, hospitals, colleges and universities, and other nonprofit organizations. Prerequisite: AG304

  • BS200 Fundamentals of Organizations for the Non-Major (3) SS1

    An overview course which introduces the student to the functions of management, marketing, accounting, finance, and economics. Business principles, concepts, theories, and terms, together with ethics and values, are examined both academically and experientially. As an introductory overview of the academic areas covered by the required core courses in business and business related majors, this course cannot be used as a business elective in a business major or minor.

  • BS235 Social Entrepreneurship for Developing Economies (3) SS1

    This course focuses on how social ventures are created, managed, evaluated and sustained. Emphasis is placed on understanding the opportunities and challenges of using one’s managerial and specific academic skills, as well as entrepreneurial talents, to help improve people’s lives by creating sustainable programs. A field component visit is involved. Prerequisite: Sophomore status.

  • BS355/PG355 Organizational Behavior (3)

    Examines organizational behavior from both theoretical and historical perspectives, dealing with the diagnosis of individual issues and group issues, the development of an understanding of organizational issues, and concludes with the topic of changing organizations. Prerequisite: BS201 or PG100.

  • BS356 Organizational Leadership (3)

    Focuses on the process of influencing individuals and groups toward organizational goals, including such topics as the evolution of leadership theory, leadership effectiveness, and situational leadership. Prerequisites: BS201 or PG100, or approval of instructor.

  • BS425 Not-for-Profit Organizations: Theory and Practice (3)

    Designed as a seminar, this course will explore not only the unique characteristics of not-for-profit organizations but also the problems which they face in today’s society. Case analyses, selected readings, and lectures will be utilized to facilitate both discussion and understanding. Prerequisite: BS201 or permission of the instructor.

  • CL100 Exploring Community Leadership (4) PSC

    This introductory course for the Community Leadership major and minor introduces students to the concepts of community, service, civic responsibility, social justice, social entrepreneurship, and leadership in public and nonprofit organizations. In addition to regular class meetings, students will spend at least thirty (30) hours, or 2-3 hours per week, in volunteer/service-learning situations relevant to careers in public, social service, or non-profit organizations. Students will use these volunteer/service-learning experiences coupled with course readings, in-class discussion with the instructor, community leader guest speakers, and peers to begin developing a “reflect, act reflect” framework for community engagement.

  • CL201 Leadership for Social Change (1)

    This course offers students opportunities to explore what it takes to create social change through service-learning experiences and leadership development. This course is intended to raise consciousness and increase knowledge surrounding a community issue, provide service opportunities to students surrounding that issue, and guide small cohorts of students in attempts to address that issue.

  • CL300 Fund Development and Grant Writing (3)

    This course provides an introduction to fund development, grant research, and grant writing. Through effective partnership with a nonprofit organization and hands on experience, students will learn about the principles, practices, and strategies of fund development and write a complete grant proposal by the end of the course. Prerequisite: CL100

  • CL395 Ireland Community Aides Internship (3)

    For four decades, Aquinas College has been providing students study abroad opportunities in Tully Cross, Ireland to connect with its history, culture, landscape, and most importantly, its people. Modeled on the highly successful “Teacher’s Aide” Internship, this course provides students with the opportunity to spend fifty (50) hours working as interns for key community development and human services programs in the Renvyle Peninsula community. The community internships provide students with the opportunities to learn about rural community development and, through partnering with local non-profit groups, students gain meaningful experiential knowledge about how community leadership has revitalized this rural and traditionally under-served region. Students interview for positions and work with community leaders to find suitable placements. In addition to serving as interns, students report their experiences back to an Ireland Program Director for formal evaluation.

  • CL396/SY396 Sociological Practicum in Community Leadership (4)

    In this field placement course, students spend at least 150 hours, or 10-15 hours per week, in service-work/learning-work situations relevant to careers in public, social service, or non-profit organizations, in addition to regular meetings with the instructor. This practicum provides the practical experience for deepening community engagement and raising important questions about society and social justice. Prerequisites: CL100 or SY101. This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement.

  • CL398 Readings in Community Leadership (variable)

    This is an individually negotiated program of readings on a selected topic established by contract between instructor and student. This course requires the prior approval of the Community Leadership Director.

  • CL399 Independent Project in Community Leadership (variable)

    This is an individually negotiated project in Community Leadership established by contract between instructor and student. This course requires the prior approval of the Community Leadership Director.

  • CL400 Community Leadership Capstone Seminar (3) SC

    This course builds on the “reflect, act, reflect” framework of community engagement started in CL100 and continued in CL396. Students utilize their recent experience in CL396 to develop an analysis of how the agency and the larger community might more effectively address suffering, social problems, and social injustice. In concert with the student’s organization, community leaders, and the instructor, students reciprocate the time and training they received at their organization by completing at least one higher-level community project that increases the ability of the organization to fulfill its mission and each student’s ability to impact the community (e.g., program development, program assessment, fundraising, grant writing, direct action, legislation, social entrepreneurship, policy-making, social advocacy, activism, legislation, social entrepreneurship, policy-making, social advocacy, activism, mutual aid, direct service, social work, letter writing/petitioning campaigns).

  • ES211 Microeconomic Principles (3) SS1

    Introduction to the economic problem and the study of economics; basics of supply and demand; introduction to concepts and models used to understand the economic behavior of households and firms, economic outcomes under various market structures, market failures, and international trade.

  • ES212 Macroeconomic Principles (3) SS1

    Introduction to the economic problem and the study of economics; basics of supply and demand; introduction to concepts and models used to understand the business cycle (fluctuations in national income and employment) and inflation; basics of international finance.

  • GY120 Human Geography (4) (SS1/SS2) (GP)

    The geographic subfield of Human Geography discusses and interprets the role of human beings as they are distributed across the surface of the earth. This is a far-ranging field of inquiry that incorporates information from the traditional social scientific realms of economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology into a spatial analysis of the world around us. Given the nature of the topic, this course will be introductory in nature and examine the breadth of cultural geographic thought.

  • GY212 Urban Geography (4) (SS1/SS2)

    Urban environment and landscape from a human perspective: the city as an economic environment, as a cultural place, as a political entity, policies and planning.

  • GY313 Advanced Urban Geography (Variable)

    For those students who wish to further pursue topics discussed in GY212 as well as research areas of specific interest. Prerequisite: GY212. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • PH110 What is Justice? (3) HP

    In this course, we take up the perennial question, What is Justice? We will consider different answers to this question. In doing so, we will focus on how the question is articulated in ancient and modern philosophical works.

  • PH238 Environmental Philosophy (3)

    An examination of the various responses to the call to go beyond conservationalism and reform environmentalism of the 60’s and beyond environmental ethics. Topics include: deep ecology, eco-feminism, social ecology and radical environmentalism.

  • PS101 American Government and Politics (3) SS1/SS2

    This course is an introduction to the power, structures and functions of the American Government and Political System. Fundamental is a critical examination of the institutions and players who interact in the processes of American politics.

  • PS150 The World in Crisis (3) SS1/SS2, GP

    Introduction to the dynamics of global interaction and international relations. Developing of a basic understanding of the international system and modes of conflict and cooperation in international problem areas such as Bosnia, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Chiapas, East Los Angeles, Haiti, Somalia, American Embassies, Tokyo subways, Iraq, Kuwait, Arab-Israeli relations, human rights violations, armed conflict, poverty, environmental degradation, religious confrontation and diplomacy.

  • PS310 Modern Political Problems Seminar (3) SS1/SS2

    Topics vary on vogue and interesting issues.

  • PS340/BS340 Public Administration (3)

    Have you ever wondered about the inner-workings of public programs? This course introduces the theory and practical skills involved in working with public agencies and implementing public policy. Issues of democratic participation and bureaucratic inertia are fundamental to this critical examination of the administration of public policy. This course is not accepted for the Social Science requirement.

  • SB315 Building Social Capital (3)

    This course examines the role of social capital in building sustainable organizations and communities. The key elements and various forms of social capital will be explored by looking at the different ways that communities develop and how the human relationship with ecological systems can be sustained and enhanced. Ways to measure social capital will also be addressed in order to strengthen the understanding of this component of sustainable business and foster its application in the workplace. 

  • SY102 Introduction to Social Work (3)

    This course offers a sociological introduction to social work, social welfare, case work, group work, and community organization. The course also examines current efforts and future trends within the realm, discipline, and field of social work. As a part of the engaged department initiative this course will have 30 hours of assignments that get students out of the classroom and meeting social workers and the organizations they work with.

  • SY103 Cultural Anthropology (3)

    This course is a critical analysis of human cultural adaptations in various societies around the world.

  • SY201/PG201 Social Psychology (3)

    This course critically examines the relationship between individuals and their social environment including how individuals are influenced by, yet also shape groups and organizations. Social psychological questions, issues, and social problems are explored with theories from both disciplines - Psychology and Sociology. Prerequisite: SY101 or PG100.

  • SY205 Trying Social Work (4)

    This course introduces students to the practice and routines of social work. Students will complete at least 60 hours of work in a social work placement in a social-service agency as a part of their coursework outside of regular class time. This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement. Prerequisite: SY102.

  • SY209/CL209 Sustainable Cities and Environmental Justice (3)

    In this course, students investigate sustainable cities and environmental justice from the perspectives of social science scholars, focusing on the meaning of the global environmental crisis for particular urban areas. Throughout the course, students will identify, describe, and evaluate multiple theories and findings that attempt to explain and uncover how cities strive to be sustainable but fall far short of the demands for environmental justice. This course will enable students to attribute multiple social science theories and findings accurately, to take a position based on these theories and findings, to raise and answer counterpoints to these theories and findings, to pose solutions to environmental-based urban problems, and to use sustainability and environmental justice as frameworks for problem-solving.

  • SY260 Social Problems (3)

    This course introduces students to the social constructivist approach to studying social problems. Students will learn to examine the origins of social problems, the process of claimsmaking that define issues as social problems, and how these processes might affect individuals, groups, and policies. In this process students will understand how social problems are constructed in everyday life, develop skills to critically assess claims about social problems, and use course concepts to analyze the social construction of a variety of contemporary social problems.

  • SY302 Community Sociology (3)

    Examination of communities of place and interest through a sociological perspective. Topics include history of community, theories of community sociology, community power and leadership, rural and urban communities, and factors influencing community growth and decline. Prerequisite: SY101, GY120 or CL100.

  • SY312 Social Stratification (4)

    This course explores systems of inequality focusing on the political, economic, and social forces that shape inequality and social stratification. Various sociological concepts and theories of inequality will be examined to help describe and explain social inequality in the United States and elsewhere. As a part of the engaged department initiative, students will complete 40 hours of participant observation and field research in community-based initiatives, organizations, or cultural events outside of the classroom pertaining to social stratification. Prerequisite: SY202 and 291.This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement.

  • SY375 Complex Organizations (3)

    Students will be introduced to the theory and research on structures and processes of large scale, formal organizations. This course is not accepted for the Social Science General Education requirement. Prerequisite: SY101.

  • TY250 Catholic Moral Theology (3) TF

    An Introduction to Christian morality that considers the person's capacity for achieving excellence in pursuit of the good under the auspices of grace. Themes covered include: Jesus Christ and the moral life, the sources of morality, the person as image of God, grace, sin, freedom, law, vice, infused and acquired virtue.

  • TY255/CA255 Catholic Social Teaching (3) TF

    The official social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The primacy of the person, human rights, the common good, family, natural law, meaningful work, just war.

  • WS260 Women and the Environment (3) PSC

    This course explores representations and theories of ecofeminism that connect nature and women, as well as the work of pioneering and contemporary "environmental advocates," such as Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, and West Michigan women who have led the modern environmental movement. Through a range of readings, written responses, discussion, and a final community engagement project, students apply course models to shape an environmental consciousness for themselves.

  • WS314/SY311 Gender and Leadership (3)

    Examination of how the status of the women is defined and how social constructions influence various aspects of social life. Utilizes a sociological approach and theories that have contributed to establishing current ideas about women and girls, leadership, socialization practices and how they are maintained through social institutions.

  • WS325/PS325 Feminist Theory and Activism (3)

    Feminist Theory and Activism is designed to explore different ways of thinking about sex/gender, power, and justice, and examines how different theories of gender, power and justice shape political activism. By comparing a variety of theoretical perspectives (such as liberal, Marxist and radical feminism), we look at different possibilities for analyzing core feminist concepts and the practical implications of theory.