Spring 2024 Course Descriptions

KROC 500 Foundations: Peace, Justice & Social Change (3 units)(Farid; Spring 2024)

The course introduces students to a series of big ideas for making the world more peaceful and just, and how to apply them in shaping their own lives and careers of purpose. The first half of the course features lectures and discussion sections that explore foundational theories behind peace, justice, and social innovation, where they overlap, and where they are in tension. The second half of the course explores specific fields of inquiry and practice in a more intimate setting, with an emphasis on comparing diverse approaches to common problems. Throughout the course, students will be challenged not simply to learn a spectrum of ideas and practices, but to understand how they fit together, where and how to learn more, and how to craft their own educational and professional trajectories so that they can part of the change they want to see in the world. This process has four essential elements: 1) building an inclusive, resilient, and productive culture; 2) getting everyone up to speed on the defining aspects of our field; 3) introducing the unique expertise and experience of Kroc School faculty and staff; and 4) helping you to turn your passion for positive social change into a career.

KROC 510 Leadership and Organizations (3 units)(Roche; Spring 2024)

Students in this course gain understanding about their personal purpose, goals and leadership style and begin to create their own plan to gain agency and grow as adaptive leaders. The course prepares students to become effective leaders in the peace and justice field by bringing core concepts and theories about leadership, organizations and change alive through experiential learning, case analysis, individual assessment, and self-reflection.

KROC 513 Program Design, Monitoring & Evaluation (3 units)(McDougal; Spring 2024, SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)

Starting with a solid understanding of the evolution of thinking and practice among key development and peacebuilding actors, this course is designed to prepare students to design, monitor and evaluate peacebuilding programs and project. Students will not only understand best practices in project design and management but also learn the skills and tools necessary to effectively carry out projects.

KROC 522 Impact Evaluation (3 units)(Cordeiro; Spring 2024)

Social innovation must be translated into actionable initiatives to achieve their intended goals. This course is designed to prepare students to design, monitor and evaluate social innovation initiatives. It provides essential knowledge for program design and management, including logical frameworks for monitoring and evaluation. Through this course students learn the skills and tools needed to implement basic methods used in impact evaluation, think critically about the issues involved with evaluating programs and apply various types of tools to systematize the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects throughout the project cycle. This course will include an applied project conducted for a community organization.

KROC 530 Conflict Analysis & Resolution (3 units)(Gamaghelyan; Spring 2024, 2 sections, IN-PERSON and HYBRID)

In all human societies, conflict is an integral part of daily life at interpersonal, intra-group, inter-group, and inter-national levels. Conflict can be constructive, focusing attention on neglected voices or social injustice and driving cultural and political change. It can also be destructive, damaging relationships, polarizing societies, or escalating into violence and war. In our increasingly interconnected world, it is crucial to develop effective methods to understand the sources and dynamics of conflicts and to deal with conflict productively.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the interdisciplinary fields of peace and conflict studies, providing an overview of core concepts of contemporary theory and practice, as well as of the recent critical turn. We examine frameworks for analyzing the origins and processes of social conflict and violence and leading practical approaches to the conduct and evaluation of conflict resolution interventions.

The course employs diverse methods and media, including lectures, discussions, interactive exercises, film, written assignments, and a conceptualization of an intervention. The course features experiential learning activities that provide opportunities for practical application of course concepts. Active participation in every class is essential; readings are always necessary but not sufficient for learning the material.

KROC 532 Negotiations (3 units)(Federman; Spring 2024, HYBRID)

Negotiation is the most widely used means of conflict management. The aim of this course is to develop your understanding of the principles, strategies, and tactics of effective negotiation in emotionally charged conflict situations. The role of identity – culture, gender, religion, nationality, class – will be mainstreamed throughout the course. Case studies and hands-on simulations will cover a variety of multi-issue, multi-party negotiations involving territorial and ethnic conflict, environmental justice, and post-conflict reconciliation. Each case involves both material concerns and underlying social-psychological interests. This course emphasizes the power of symbols, rules and norms, and regime and relationship building for cooperative ventures, governance and conflict prevention.

KROC 533 Mediation (3 units) (Thomas; Spring 2024, HYBRID)

This course will focus on skill-building in mediation. Students will learn and practice a variety of tools and methods of mediating conflicts and disputes. Our experiential class will be divided between learning the traditional mediation skills, practice, and theory, including the benefits and limitations of mediation as a dispute resolution method on the one hand, and alternative approaches to mediation on the other. The alternative models will include the needs analysis-based Problem-Solving Workshop, the narrative analysis-based Mediation of History, and the Evolving Designs model aimed at work in multi-party environments.

After taking this course, students will be able to: differentiate among various mediation processes; distinguish between interest-based and needs-based approaches; differentiate between the traditional and alternative mediation practices; demonstrate awareness in regard to ethical dilemmas of mediation practices; possess the skills to serve as a mediator; design and lead context-appropriate mediation processes.

KROC 574 Human Rights Advocacy (3 units)(Sharp; Spring 2024)

In a relatively short span of history, human rights advocates have become central to global efforts to stop atrocities and promote accountability. This course examines the actors and organizations behind this remarkable development as well as the vast challenges faced by advocates today. Topics of study will cover the ethical and strategic dilemmas faced by of modern-day human rights advocates; techniques and strategies central to human rights practice, including fact-finding, interviewing, monitoring, litigation, report writing, and media work; and the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in transnational legal and policy processes. We will also look at the various forms of “unruly,” progressive social justice, and social movement-based advocacy that have come to greater prominence in the last 15 years. The course will contain a substantial critical and academic component, but will also seek to engage students in “real-world” skill building exercises like press release writing, media interviews, and qualitative interviews with victims of and witnesses to human rights violations.

KROC 590-01 Intercultural Competency (2 units)(Roche; Spring 2024)

Based on the extensive research in anthropology, cross-cultural psychology, leadership, and organizational behavior, the course reviews the impact of culture on leaders and their followers at the national, group, and organizational levels.  It provides a thorough review of relevant theories and applies them to helping students develop the cultural mindset that is essential to effective peace leadership in today’s global and interconnected world. This course will focus on building an awareness of cultural differences, cultural biases, and cultural adaptation.  Students will develop cultural sensitivity that encompasses verbal, physical, and emotional differences in cultural expression.

KROC 590-04 Criminal Justice Practicum (2 units)(Deaton; Spring 2024)

Following the Fall Criminal Justice course, this practicum will provide a practice-based overview of the American criminal justice system from arrest through post-conviction from the perspective of justice system operators. The students will apply their theoretical knowledge as they observe court proceedings, visit crime laboratories, and hear from justice system operators including investigators, probation and pretrial officers, judicial officers and attorneys.

This will be a practice-based course with site visits to jails and detention facilities, pre-trial and probation offices and laboratories, and federal and state courts where the students will observe court proceedings and meet one or more judges.

KROC 592-01 WKSH: Stress Resilience: Science and Practice (1 unit) (Hanessian; Spring 2024, SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)

Working with populations exposed to potentially traumatic events, stress is not only unavoidable, but highly transferable. This interactive, experiential workshop, delivered in four modules over four weeks, will explore the science and practice of stress resilience. Developing foundational knowledge about the role of stress and its impact on the brain, body, cognition, and behavior helps practitioners strengthen capacities of critical awareness and flexibility for perspective and agency, and avoid burnout and secondary trauma in the field. A basic understanding of the science of stress processes and protective factors, integrated with individual and group practice of core skill-sets, will provide a framework for developing stress resilience and cultivating personal and professional sustainability.

KROC 592-02 WKSH: Social Media Marketing (1 unit) (Campbell; Spring 2024)

This course introduces the student to the complexities, challenges, and opportunities that social media creates for marketers. The course covers topics including the role of social media in marketing, conducting a social media audit, creating and managing brand presences on social media, creating unpaid and paid social content, native advertising and influencers, and differences with online video. There is a dual focus on strategic understanding and tactical campaign development.

KROC 593 San Diego Practicum (3 units)(Deaton; Spring 2024)

In this field-based practicum, the students will use different advocacy approaches to work on grassroots issues in the San Diego/Tijuana region. The location of the Kroc School at the U.S.-Mexico border provides a plethora of issues uniquely related to the international border.  During the course, the students will be engaged with three hands-on projects that will be student-driven with the supervision of the professor.

KROC 593 Field-based Practicum: Peacebuilding Practices in San Diego & Washington, D.C. (3 units)(Gamaghelyan; May 2024)

The course allows Kroc students to test the knowledge acquired through academic studies in networking with policy makers and scholars and practitioners active in domestic and international conflict contexts. The students conduct a series of meetings and interviews, starting with KROC IPJ and followed by a number of Washington, DC-based federal and non-profit organizations and academic institutions regarding strategies and challenges of peacebuilding on an array of domestic and international peacebuilding initiatives, ranging from efforts led by the U.S. government to NGOs and academia.

KROC 593 Crossing the Divide (3 units)(Federman; May 2024)

Students will cross the USA via rail stopping in various locations to learn about various challenges and solutions faced by communities across the country. Stops include Tucson (AZ), Houston (TX), New Orleans (LA), and Birmingham (AL), ending in Washington DC.  On travel days, we will read local news and gaze out the window to ponder this country which is as diverse topographically as it is demographically.   By talking to strangers everywhere we go we will expand our exposure to and understanding of the variety of people who call themselves “Americans.”

KROC 594-01 Reimagining Capitalism: Business as a Force for Good (3 units) (Roche, Spring 2024)

Is the capitalist system the evil of our time or the savior of our future? Are businesses the cause of society’s most pressing problems or could they be instead part of the solution? How can business and entrepreneurial ingenuity contribute to reduce poverty and wealth inequality, protect the environment and natural resources, create community and social values, provide education and health services, reduce gender inequality and migration issues? Can the capitalist system, which is powered by individualism, ambition and a competitive spirit, evolve to be more humane and conscious of social problems? In a nutshell, what paradigms need to change in the business world and in society to make the market system a pillar for lasting positive peace in the world?

Working with real-life business cases, students in this course will be able to examine and critically analyze the above questions. From big businesses to small entrepreneurial examples, the course will provide tools to tackle social issues using proven and innovative business techniques and models. In short, this course focuses on the recently explored intersection between business and social innovation. Phills et al. define social innovation as “a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals.”  Social innovation is about generating transformative ideas and initiatives that meet unmet needs and attempt to create a “new equilibrium” that is socially superior to the status quo.

By the end of the course, students work in teams to develop a sustainability project for an existing company or a new entrepreneurial venture. The business initiative must create social value for all relevant stakeholders and society at large and show how it contributes to positive peace. All of the projects must be cross-functional in nature, so that students use the full spectrum of knowledge and skills that they have acquired during this course.

KROC 594-02 Community Advocacy, Organization, and Development (3 units)(Farid; Spring 2024)

Communities are groups of people with shared norms, religion, values, or identity. They may or may not share the same geographical place. In general, community development is the process of discovering and activating individual capacities and assets, organizing them to build power and resources, and connecting them with larger institutions to devise solutions for community identified problems. Community development includes a wide range of issues that include housing, education, employment, business development, health, recreation, transportation, and other related issues. This course will focus on how organizers, advocates, and practitioners can help mobilize people and influence policy decisions to enhance community well-being.

Using the City of San Diego, California as a case study, this course will provide an overview of historical and contemporary urban policies and systems that shape the urban spaces and the people that live, work, and play in them.

KROC 594-03 Values, Principles, and Practices of Restorative Justice (3 units)(Horrigan; Spring 2024)

Restorative justice is not a list of specific programs or a clear blueprint for systemic change. It is a theory, social movement, and set of practices that requires a radically different way of understanding and responding to individual and community needs. In this course, we will explore restorative justice and the ideas that form its foundation, question its strengths and shortcomings, examine restorative practices, and investigate opportunities to put theory into practice. We will learn together about the Indigenous origins of restorative justice and how it has been shaped by modern systems. We will think about a framework for conflict resolution that asks first who was harmed and thinks broadly about whose responsibility it is to right the wrong. We will then consider this framework as it applies to some of the most pressing social problems in contemporary society, namely racial inequality and gender-based violence. Students will conclude the course by facilitating a learning experience for peers on an area of interest in the restorative justice field.

KROC 594-04 Funders, Philanthropy, and Effective Grantwriting (3 units)(Blum; Spring 2024)

At the core of virtually all nonprofit and social impact work is a project designed to create positive social change. Projects cannot create change, however, if they do not get funded. Obtaining funding requires both a deep understanding of the funding landscape and the ability to create hiqh-quality grant proposals. Therefore, this course will contain two key components: First, we will review the landscape of philanthropy, including the current trends and debates that are shaping how and what funders fund. Second, we will learn how to design effective projects that create impact and then how to turn that project design into successful grant proposals. During the course, students will work through the entire funding process, from choosing a funder, to designing their project, to developing their proposal and budget to submit.

KROC 594-05 Qualitative Research Methods for Social Change (1 unit)(Niezen; Spring 2024, SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)

This course will prepare students to conduct field research, interviews, and use other methods aimed at peacebuilding practices and policy making. We do not draw a sharp distinction between the practices of research and writing, but approach them as closely related aspects of literary and professional practice. Nor do we move unidirectionally from research to writing. We will be attentive to style, including the possibilities inherent in “creative non-fiction” as aspects of ethnographic, journalistic, and policymaking practice. All the while, we will read each other’s work and encourage one another toward our investigative and professional goals.

KROC 594-06 Social Movements (3 units)(Choi-Fitzpatrick; Spring 2024, SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)

The world we want to live in is often very different from the world we find ourselves in. While the goals of peace and justice are laudable, the process of getting from here to there often involves creative struggle. It’s the job of people, prophets, poets, artists, and academics to describe the world we want to live in. It’s the job of social movements to help get us there. It’s the job of formal politics and established institutions to make these changes part of the permanent status quo. This class will introduce you to the Big Five ingredients for every major movement you’ve ever heard of, those you’ve never heard of, and those that failed altogether. The result will be an ability to think about particular movements in their broader perspective, to understand movements’ underlying principles, and to gain a clearer grasp on where you fit in the changemaking process.

KROC 597 Professional Portfolio (1 unit) (Cordeiro & Choi-Fitzpatrick; Spring 2024, 2 sections, IN-PERSON and SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE)

The Kroc School equips changemakers. This course will help you to link the concepts, skills, and work-products developed during your time here with the professional requirements of the sector you wish to enter or return to upon graduation. In particular, this course will provide the time and support required to compile a professional portfolio composed of the items specified by your degree program.

Central to the Portfolio is a Curriculum Vitae highlighting your accomplishments to date. The Portfolio will also include a Reflective Essay, which serves as a coherent framework for drawing together lessons learned from your graduate studies at the Kroc School, and articulate your professional goals and trajectory. It should build upon your CV and draw upon a body of coursework and critical reflection. The essay should explain why the projects and documents completed in core courses and electives and/or practicum were selected for inclusion in the portfolio and how they are illustrative of the student’s learning.

The rest of the Portfolio consists of work products specified as eligible to include in guidelines for the MA in Peace and Justice, MA in Social Innovation, and MS in Conflict Management and Resolution. These can include policy memos, strategy memos, blogs, newspaper or magazine articles, grant applications, or book reviews.

Over the course of your class meetings, we will work to identify and refine these work products, such that they showcase your best work for a professional audience. Upon completion, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate a clear narrative about their time at USD, and its connection to their professional objectives.
  2. Highlight their accomplishments through a polished resume.
  3. Showcase professionally valuable skills and abilities