Urban Community Studies (UCS)

UCS-103. Introduction To Urban Community Studies. 3 Hours.

Introduction to Urban Community Studies is an overview of the Urban Community Studies program and its interdisciplinary approach to examining the political, economic, social, and cultural forces that impact urban communities in this country and throughout the world. The course is designed to introduce students to core analytical concepts and build their critical thinking and analytic writing skills.

UCS-201. Power And Oppression In The Urban Community. 3 Hours.

The purpose of this course is to examine social organization and theories of power and oppression to determine who rules the United States. Moreover, review the “center” of power as a matrix to decide how it impinges in various ways on those who live within the United States society.

UCS-303. Writing Intensive Program: Research Writing In Urban Community Studies. 3 Hours.

Research Writing in Urban Community Studies provides an overview in research methodology. In this course students will learn how to design and write a scholar-activist oriented research proposal on a social science topic pertinent to the urban community. The course covers the following topics: the selection of a research topic, the articulation of research questions, writing a literature review, the development and application of social science theory, the development of methodology, research design, data analysis, research ethics, and research dissemination.
Prerequisite: ENGL-101 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-304. Contemporary Issues In Urban Community Studies. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the contemporary issues surrounding urban communities in the United States. It specifically examines the economic, political, educational, and environmental underpinnings of such communities. Throughout this course the major issues affecting the environment of urban communities, specifically educational inequalities, and the misuse and abuse of economic and political power are discussed. In addition, the discussion of racism as the underlying cause of the historic and contemporary issues in the urban community is explored.
Prerequisite: College of Education Admission with a score of Y.

UCS-327. Media And Popular Culture In Urban Communities. 3 Hours.

Media and Popular Culture in the Urban Community will examine basic concepts of popular culture as they apply to the urban experience. The course will focus on the socio-cultural factors that influence popular culture as well as the way urban communities are represented in mainstream media.

UCS-328. Trauma, Resilience, And Resistance In Urban Communities. 3 Hours.

Trauma, Resilience, and Resistance in Urban Communities explores psychological trauma symptomatology and interventions in an urban context. In this course students will use books, articles, and film to learn about: 1) the relationship between trauma and neurobiology; 2) historical trauma impacts affecting multigenerational communities of color, 3) structural factors that impact community violence-induced trauma; and 4) contemporary trauma treatments for individuals, children, families, and groups.

UCS-329. Structural Violence In The Urban Community. 3 Hours.

In an attempt to present a holistic perspective of violence in urban spaces, this course will delve into the systemic causes of violence in the urban community. Also, the course will identify the common contributing factors associated with violence, like individual-level influences, to probe deeper into the root causes of violence like misguided public policies, environmental injustices, and the United State’s culture producing industries.

UCS-341. Motherhood Studies In The Urban Community. 3 Hours.

Motherhood Studies in the Urban Community will explore the institution and experience of motherhood as a site of power and healing. Specific emphasis will be given to theorizing about the specific ways African American, Latinx, indigenous, and immigrant mothers experience mothering in an urban context. In addition, this course will use memoirs, articles, and film to explore: 1) the labors of motherhood; 2) how race, socioeconomic status, and sexuality impact mothering; 3) how mothers navigate and resist structural oppression found in education, economic, and political systems; and 4) mothers' hope and resiliency in the wake of urban community violence.

UCS-342. A Critical Analysis Of Hip Hop Culture. 3 Hours.

This course explores the social, political, and cultural forces that influence hip hop culture and the rap music industry. Ecological conceptual models will be used to determine if multinational media conglomerates function as one massive empire that uses some aspects of the rap music industry as cultural imperialism, or if they are involved with hip hop for classic capitalism purposes or a combination of both.

UCS-344. Seminar In Urban Community Studies. 3 Hours.

Seminar in Urban Community Studies explores selected topics in Urban Community Studies including urban history, urban sociology, urban education, urban art/literature, urban social services, urban structural violence, urban politics, urban architecture, and urban culture. Course content varies. Course can be repeated on different topics up to three times.
Prerequisite: UCS-303 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-411. Theoretical Foundations In Urban Community Studies. 3 Hours.

This is the orientation for the Master’s Degree program in Urban Community Studies. This course is designed to provide students with a rigorous grounding in the theoretical frameworks that analyze and understand the Inner City. This course will explore the intellectual foundations of the human condition in the part of urban America referred to as the “inner city” by comparative investigation of cultural, education, economic, social, and political issues in these spaces.

UCS-412. Methods In Urban Community Research. 3 Hours.

Research design and analysis of data; methods for collecting and interpreting data, observation, formulation of hypotheses, techniques of interviewing, questionnaire construction, and writing of reports. The primary objective of the course is to train students to read research studies with understanding and to apply the findings to their own research projects.

UCS-415. Urban Ethnography. 3 Hours.

Urban Ethnography introduces students to ethnographic data collection methods associated with the study of urban environments. Students will explore the foundations of urban ethnography through classical sociological and anthropological studies. Students will conduct their own ethnographies and learn how to incorporate ethnographic analysis into their research writing.
Prerequisite: UCS-411 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-416. The African-American Experience In Urban Communities. 3 Hours.

This course explores how pull and push factors influence social, political, and economic outcomes for African Americans living in urban spaces. Students will examine how issues of race, class, gender, urban development gentrification and displacement impact African-American urban life.

UCS-420. Migration And Diaspora In Urban Communities. 3 Hours.

Migration and Diaspora in Urban Communities is an examination of movement and diaspora in the historical, cultural and socio-political development of urban communities. Special emphasis is placed on the Great Migration and the Bronzeville community as well as migration experiences in local Chicago communities such as Englewood, Austin, Humboldt Park and Pilsen.
Prerequisite: UCS-411 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-421. Faith Institutions As Political Instruments. 3 Hours.

The focus of this course is to examine faith institutions as sites of political discourse, engagement, and activism. Special attention is given to examining the history of Black institutions, the intersection of race and gender on religiosity, and the role of resistance movements from contemporary faith-based institutions.

UCS-426. History And Philosophy Of Urban Education. 3 Hours.

Examine the various theoretical constructs, pedagogy, and policies defining urban education since the Post Reconstruction Era. Navigate the journey of how school reform from a philanthropic paradigm and urban policy-planning framework develop and influence textbook selections, curriculum benchmarks, testing requirements, school arrangements, and employment trends.
Prerequisite: (ICSE-411 with a minimum grade of C or ICST-411 with a minimum grade of C).

UCS-431. Systemic Challenges In Public Education. 3 Hours.

The course contrasts and compares how educational ordeals and outcomes are universal throughout many school districts. From addressing minority teacher shortages to cultural curriculum applications, the course will examine a variety of best practices, policy interventions, and instructional strategies required to better teach and service marginalized and traditional youth impacted from external school forces, e.g. family issues, parental arrangements, drugs, social media, poverty.

UCS-432. Curriculum And Pedagogy In Urban Schools. 3 Hours.

The course offers a historical analysis, contemporary examination, and ethnographic review of educational policies and school initiatives framing urban America’s curriculum pedagogy. The purpose of the course is to advance an interpretive understanding of how urban policy planning and school equity influences the construction of a school curriculum.

UCS-433. Popular Culture. 3 Hours.

Popular Culture is an examination of critical issues and theoretical approaches to the study of popular culture with special attention of popular culture within an urban context. The course will explore the way that Popular culture analysis occurs in a number of different fields, including Sociology, Communications, Anthropology, History, Cultural Studies, English, Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Urban Studies. Special focus will be placed on the relationship between urban communities and several areas of popular culture including television, film, advertising, popular music, and social media.
Prerequisite: ICSE-411 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-441. Urban Culture. 3 Hours.

Urban Culture examines the social practices and shared expression of groups that live in urban settings. This course is intended to introduce students to the changing nature of community, social inequality, political power, socio-spatial change, technological change, and the relationship between the built environment and human behavior. Special emphasis will be placed on the urban cultures of various ethnic groups in Chicago.

UCS-443. Research Writing. 3 Hours.

This course will offer instruction in writing reports, proposals, papers and the thesis with consideration given to form and style. Moreover, this course is intended to help you master the strategies and conventions of academic research writing. In the broadest terms, we do research whenever we gather information to answer a question that solves a problem. At its most fundamental level, the basis for research writing is to collect all of the available information/data (within reason) on a specific topic, read it, categorize and analyze the information (process) and produce a written report of your findings.

UCS-445. Critical Analysis Of Hip Hop Culture. 3 Hours.

This course explores the social, political, and cultural forces that influence hip-hop culture and the rap music industry. The conceptual paradigm used in this course will be guided by an activist-scholarship paradigm which involves the shaping of public policy via participatory research and community empowerment. The research presented and conducted in this course is intended to contribute to the forces of activism for social justice in the inner city. An outcome of this course will be to use hip-hop to mobilize inner-city populations to become involved in the shaping of public policy and civic engagement.
Prerequisite: ICSE-411 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-446. Urban Health And Wellness. 3 Hours.

Urban Health and Wellness examines the historical development and current state of urban health and wellness particularly the ability of urban health agencies to meet community health needs. The course will pay special attention to contemporary public health issues and the ways these issues are addressed by urban health agencies and communities as a whole.
Prerequisite: ICSE-411 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-447. Urban Youth Culture And Development. 3 Hours.

The focus of this course is to examine complexities of youth development within an urban context. Specifically, this course will use critical race theory and systems theory to explore youth development within the context of neurobiology, violence management, sexuality, civic engagement, and media consumption.
Prerequisite: ICSE-411 with a minimum grade of C.

UCS-452. Field Internship. 1 Hour.

The field internship allows students to receive professional training aligned to their existing research topics and thesis to support their completion of the master thesis requirement. Students are not only directly engaged in the fields of varied organizational agencies to gain work-related experience, but also asked to write reflective exercises as a means to apply various data tools to summarize varied learning experiences. Furthermore, students are to develop a portfolio/e-portfolio that captures the intellectual and practical experiences encountered servicing people in urban environments. To be taken concurrently with UCS-453. Students are required to complete 100 intern hours.

UCS-453. Seminar. 3 Hours.

ICSE-453 is the seminar section of ICSE-452, which allows students to review and analyze qualitative methodology and data collection tools in the fields including social work, criminal justice, and education. The seminar research course also investigates the theories, perspectives, and data used to assess and interpret urban challenges and social phenomena. To be taken concurrently with UCS-452.

UCS-5901. Research And Thesis. 1 Hour.

Supervision and advisement in the research and writing of a thesis to fulfill the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Urban Community Studies. This course requires the approval of the instructor, program facilitator and the appropriate College Dean(s). Students will have completed the required courses with a B average or higher, and have obtained the approval of their graduate advisor before registering for the thesis hours.

UCS-5902. Research And Thesis. 2 Hours.

Supervision and advisement in the research and writing of a thesis to fulfill the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Urban Community Studies. This course requires the approval of the instructor, program facilitator and the appropriate College Dean(s). Students will have completed the required courses with a B average or higher, and have obtained the approval of their graduate advisor before registering for the thesis hours.

UCS-5903. Research And Thesis. 3 Hours.

Supervision and advisement in the research and writing of a thesis to fulfill the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Urban Community Studies. This course requires the approval of the instructor, program facilitator and the appropriate College Dean(s). Students will have completed the required courses with a B average or higher, and have obtained the approval of their graduate advisor before registering for the thesis hours.