Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

About the course: SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education

SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education

SOCIOL1130 is a Mindich Engaged Scholarship Course specifically designed for Harvard undergraduates in service and leadership roles at Harvard (e.g. students serving on University committees or as student employees in University offices, centers or programs, student leaders in different student groups, PAFs, HOCOs, FYE, UC, Crimson, etc.). To these students it offers an opportunity to engage with scholarship from sociology of higher education to better understand and explore student agency in higher education contexts. Students' grasp of concepts, such as university citizenship, student impact, mattering, belonging, community-building, and self-formation, is reinforced through experiential learning in students’ existing service and leadership roles on campus. Students conduct applied – action research to investigate a particular aspect of their role and develop blueprints for action. This course methodology reinforces the concept of research as a form of leadership practice. Through action research projects students advance development of their student groups and organizations in which they serve and develop their own leadership competences. The digital chapters in this book are structured around story of self, story of us and blueprint for action, inspired by Marshall Ganz's framework “Public narrative, collective action, and power” (Ganz 2011).

This course challenges the traditional line of inquiry in sociology of higher education which focuses on the effects of college on students. Instead, student capstone projects showcase student agency and the impact students have on their colleges and universities through leadership and service. By integrating students' service and leadership work with scholarship on Sociology of Higher Education this course builds on a new order of experiences that students in service and leadership roles are carving for themselves at Harvard, and a new order of contributions these students offer to the University through their engagement in service. 


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