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Community Psychology: Making a Difference in the Real World

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
July 13, 2015 - July 24, 20152M-F 12:15-3:05POpenJordan Braciszewski10341

Course Description

Are you interested in psychology and really want to have an impact on your school, neighborhood, community, or society? Are you passionate and have a vision of how to affect and maybe change the system?

Community psychologists seek to understand the relationships between individuals and larger systems. If you have ever wanted to learn about applied psychology that could help make a difference in the world, this is the class for you!

In this course you will grapple with questions like:

• How were hundreds of select individuals with a deadly disease, syphilis, forced to go untreated for years, even when the cure was available?
• How did the relocation of car factories prompt some of the highest U.S. crime rates over the last 20 years?
• Can individuals with alcohol and drug problems become healthy with NO professional help?
• With so many programs to help people, why do homelessness and poverty continue to be so common?
• If there is only 1 mental health professional for every 448 people who need help, how do we solve the problem?

Through in-depth discussions and hands-on class experiments, you will learn concepts central to community psychology, including prevention, empowerment, public policy, working in/with schools, diversity, and community change. You will also apply these concepts to social issues including teen pregnancy, eating disorders, domestic violence, substance abuse, homelessness, child abuse, and mental illness. The focus is on how you can make a difference in your society.

The instructor received the 2011 Brown University Archambault Award for Teaching Excellence after being nominated by his former students, and uses both guided discussion and classroom experiments to address the course material.

At the end, you will have a solid foundation for further study in clinical, community, and social psychology, sociology, public health, and social work, among others. You will also be able to apply the learned concepts to a specific social problem in your community or school.