** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Community Engagement, Internship (with credit transfer)
Examine the growing gap between rich and poor in the United States.
Gain concrete change-making skills through internships and discussion with effective activists.
In America today, the top 1% earn nearly 25% of the nation’s income and own 40% of its wealth. Wealth and income gaps have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression and are ampli?ed by race. The median household wealth for a white family is $144,000; for Latinxs $13,700, and for African Americans $11,200.
This program delves into the complex causes and impacts of the growing gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. Students learn about those most impacted by increases in poverty and inequality in recent decades, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students examine the roles that racism, classism, trans- and homophobia, and sexism play in American social and political life, with particular emphasis on how current movements for racial and social justice are working to address these challenges.
All students complete an internship. Recent sites include Take Action MN, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, and African Career, Education, and Resource (ACER). Students meet local organizers, build professional networks, and gain skills working for organizations dedicated to social transformation. Students leaves the program with increased con?dence in their abilities to effect change.Read more about Inequality in America on HECUA's website.
HECUA programs are highly experiential, interdisciplinary and integrated. We go beyond the classroom. By combining theory and praxis, you will apply classroom knowledge to real-world work in an internship with a local organization that is working to advance movements for justice and equity. Students and faculty are seen as co-teachers and co-learners. Through HECUA, you will gain hands-on experience, develop new skills, make connections, build your resume, and develop your own capacity to make change.
Why Study in the Twin Cities?
There are many reasons to consider study away in the Twin Cities. Here are just a few of HECUA’s top reasons, why you should consider this location as a great space to go beyond the classroom. Click here to read more.
Credits & Courses
Courses are taken as an integrated whole and provide a semester’s worth of credit (i.e. 16 semester credits). HECUA’s courses provide upper level credits, and nearly all students obtain significant major and minor credits for participating in this program. HECUA staff are available to assist students in negotiating credit transfers.
This program consists of two courses, plus an internship.
Inequality in America: A Political Economy Approach (4 credits)
Political Sociology of Building Power, Change, and Equity (4 credits)
Internship and Integration Seminar (8 credits)
Through an internship with a local organization, students begin to test and implement their own change-making skills. Past internship sites have included the Southside Family Charter School, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, and Take Action Minnesota. Students meet local organizers, build professional networks, and spend 12-15 hours/week hours in their internship, working for organizations dedicated to social transformation. Students leave the classroom with increased capacity in their own abilities to effect change in their communities, and a deep understanding of the local nonprofit landscape.
I have never felt so empowered to make change in my community. - Julia, University of Minnesota. Click here to read about more student experiences in Inequality in America.
Click here to view current fees. These fees include include tuition, nearly all reading materials, some field visits (including meals while traveling), and tickets to events and opportunities associated with the program. Tuition, internship placement and supervision and all course-related field visits.
Health and Safety
HECUA has been vigilantly and constantly monitoring the evolving conditions of COVID-19, including tracking updates from the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the US Department of State and other credible sources. Click here to view HECUA's most recent COVID-19 updates.
This program is open to any undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university who have completed their first year of college and maintain a 2.5 GPA. Prospective students are encouraged to contact email@example.com with any other eligibility questions.
HECUA offers multiple scholarships to students each term. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Visit our website to learn more.
HECUA. Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.
Application process. Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.
Advising at Gustavus. If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page for more information.