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Innovative Community Engagement with Vulnerable Populations in Los Angeles

Program Objectives and Details

Los Angeles Skyline during dusk

This course provides an interdisciplinary framework for increasing multicultural awareness with the goals of improved decision-making in practice, policy advocacy, and advocacy related to social justice issues affecting vulnerable populations. After completing this course, the student will be able to:

1. Describe how social and political dynamics impact the efficacy of community responses for those considered vulnerable and disadvantaged.

2. Analyze core elements of innovative services and their impact on the daily functioning and well-being of vulnerable clients.

3. Develop an action-oriented advocacy plan to alleviate the impact of social justice issues on those considered vulnerable.

This hybrid, service-learning, Study-in-America course will require students to identify, examine, and critically analyze social service programs in Central Texas and Los Angeles, California which provide services to vulnerable populations (persons experiencing poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, criminal justice issues, etc). Students will have an opportunity to interact and engage with organizations in Los Angeles, CA., that have developed innovative strategies for social problems. The field experience will offer students a unique experience of meeting with experts who have lead national and worldwide efforts in the field of social justice training/advocacy, gang rehabilitation, policy development, and violence prevention.

Admission is selective, and space is limited. Program is subject to change and pending approval from the Texas State Board of Regents.


Summer 2020 Term: June 1, 2021 - July 2, 2021

Program Travel: June 20, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Orientation Meetings: June 1, 2021

Course Meetings: Meets regularly online, June 1, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Required: Six-Day Field Learning Experience in Los Angeles, California

Course Options

SOWK 4300K  Innovative Community Engagement with Vulnerable Populations CRN TBD

Students may register for up to three (3) credit hours during this program.

Pre-trip orientation meetings will take place on the Texas State campus in San Marcos.

Online coursework will also be required. 

Students Applying for Graduate Courses

Applicants interested in enrolling in a 5000 level or above extension course who are not Texas State graduate students must first contact the Texas State Graduate College. This step must be completed before registration can be finalized into a graduate-level course.

Tuition and Program Fee

3 Hours (1 Course) Undergraduate


The course tuition and program fee will be billed and paid through SBS Billing and Payment.

Additional Program Fee

The additional program fee includes the cost for lodging, on-site transportation, and admission fees: $1,130.00

Important Note: Airfare, meals, and personal expenses are not included in the Program Fee. 

Drops and Refunds

All university policies regarding installments, course drops, and refunds apply to all billed and paid tuition and program fees.

Applying to the Courses/Program

Important:  To ensure your place in this course/program you must complete the program application and then receive approval from Dr. Lea Velez.

Registering for Courses

Once approved and after submitting the required information, you must register for your course through the Student Information System/Catsweb during the regular university registration period.

For more information about the content of the course/program, please contact Dr. Lea Velez.

For questions about applying/registering, please contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.