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"Hope Comes to Watts"
An Educational Experience in
Los Angeles, California
May 8-27, 2017


EDUC 488 (4 credits)

"Hope Comes to Watts" meets requirements for students in the Education Program, as well as students who have a heart for working with children and youth in an urban school setting, who are majoring or minoring in:

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Ethnic Studies
    • Others upon approval

"Hope Comes to Watts"

  • A 3-week May Term in 2017, in Los Angeles, California
  • At the Watts Learning Center, an award-winning charter school
  • Daily classroom experiences
  • Assignments focus on reading, writing and project-based learning
  • Cultural experiences in the greater Los Angeles area
Click here for an informational brochure.


What is The Watts Learning Center?

  • An award-winning, charter school in Watts, Los Angeles with elementary, middle, and high school campuses;
  • A world-class, child centered school with strong ties to families and the community;
  • Producers of high academic achievers who are self-confident, ethical and motivated to be lifelong learners.

Here’s what some of the past participants have to say about their dancersexperiences in Los Angeles:

From a Special Education K-12 major:  “This was hands down a life-changing experience for me!  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”

“This May Term has been one of the greatest experiences I've ever had! Working with inner city kids has been such a wonderful experience! I am convinced that this is what I want do for the rest of my life.” (Social Work major)

From a Spanish K-12 Education major:  “This experience has enriched my life personally and professionally.  I know I will be a better teacher because of the experiences I had at the Watts Learning Center.”

“My experience at Watts Learning Center Charter Middle School has been phenomenal!  While at WLCCMS, I was challenged to go beyond the typical shadowing that I was normally assigned. It was the best experience!”  (Psychology major)

“As a person, I have learned that embracing the things I may have been afraid of will guide me to the most success.” (Special Education K-12 major)


Participants will: dancers

  • Gain an understanding and awareness of varying cultures
  • Explore issues affecting the African-American and Latino communities in the Watts area
  • Discuss issues affecting urban schools nationally and in Watts
  • Confront issues of personal bias and assumptions and their impact on student learning
  • Develop personal respect and responsibility for diversity and the rights of each individual
  • Identify ways that the local culture affects the learning processes in children and youth
  • Gain an understanding of the learning styles of African-American and Latino-American children and youth and complimentary teaching methods in the school
  • Apply knowledge and skills from coursework in an urban schoolsetting
  • Exhibit professional skills such as lesson planning and classroom/behavior management in the school setting
  • Display professional dispositions and decision making in the school setting
  • Practice professional communication skills in the school setting
  • Engage in various cultural experiences
  • Participate in an immersion experience in an award-winning urban school
  • Explore the day-to-day opportunities & challenges of teaching
  • Identify/discover one’s Christian calling as well as explore issues of social justice


The Course:

  • 4 credits
  • May 2017
  • Meets 5 times during Spring 2017; 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Mondays, January 30, February 20, March 13, April 10 and April 24
  • Reading, writing and related presentations
  • Meets Domestic Global Learning flag
  • Substitutions for General Education requirements are possible

Dates & Deadlines

  • Information sessions:
    • Monday, Sept. 19, 2016
      VanZoeren Hall Rm. 247,
      7:00-8:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016
      VanZoeren Hall, Rm. 247,
      7:00-8:00 p.m.
    • Off-Campus Study Fair
      Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2016
      Maas Auditorium
      4:00-7:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016
      VanZoeren Hall Rm. 247,
      7:00-8:00 p.m.
    • Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016
      VanZoeren Hall, Rm. 247, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 11, 2016 - Scholarship applications due
  • Friday, November 18, 2016 - Application and $100 deposit due

Note: The deposit should be submitted directly to Business Services (Anderson/Werkman Building)

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - Scholarship decisions announced
  • Friday, December 16, 2016 - Final commitment (no refund of deposit after this date)
  • Spring 2017 - 5-6 Class sessions
  • Monday, May 8, 2017 - Travel to California
  • Saturday, May 27, 2017 - Return to campus


  • Tuition for 4-credit course
  • Approximately $3,150 additionally to cover:
  • Additional cost for weekend meals, travel and spending money (e.g. souvenirs)
  • Scholarships are available

    Scholarships are available for students based on proof of financial aid need, a strong essay explaining why you want to participate in the "Hope Comes to Watts" program, and (if relevant to your situation) an explanation of any special circumstances you may be facing in seeking to participate in the program. See application below.



Required Paperwork

"Hope Comes to Watts" Application

Scholarship Application