Social Justice is Central to Graduate Programs at Wheelock College

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“Our students walk away from our program with a really deep understanding of the importance of being a part of the community.”


When asked the first thing she thinks about when considering the signature feature of Wheelock’s graduate programs, Interim Dean Linda Banks-Santilli shared, without hesitation, “its┬ásocial justice and human rights focus.” Though offerings are varied and touch on a number of critical societal needs, she is confident the importance placed on social justice is a thread that holds these programs together.

This focus is evident in who the programs elect to serve. Wheelock prides itself on cultivating a curriculum that “is really responsive to the needs of the community, and to the needs of children and families.” Dr. Karen Murphy agrees, noting that faculty and staff encourage students to consider themselves partners with the children and families they work with. Viewing work through this lens allows social justice to shine through, as relationships deepen, experiences shared, and problems solved.

This social justice focus doesn’t end with the children and families that graduates will work with, however. Wheelock strives to provide an educational experience that allows a variety of students to attend classes. In addition to full degree programs, certificates and supplementary educational experiences are offered to help students augment other credentials. What’s more, an eye on continuing responsiveness has program leaders eyeing future areas of focus, like ELL and autism education. And this approach, grounded in flexibility and support, seems to be working. Jessica Ondas ’16 appreciated that advisors were there not just to help her direct her interests and goals with class work, but also helped her develop coping and organizational strategies to help her succeed.

As Dean Banks-Santilli says, Wheelock is proud to offer a slate of programs that appeals to students who are drawn to doing good in the world. If that description applies to you, take a look at the video below and continue joining us on our mission to improving the lives of children and families: