Community Action and Social Change (CASC)

The Community Action and Social Change (CASC) minor tackles some of our most pressing issues today. 

community action students working on a group project

The Community Action and Social Change minor prepares students to participate in collective efforts to create a more equitable and just society. While reflecting on our own social identities, sense of belonging, and civic responsibilities we critically analyze structural injustice to understand how larger social forces impact people’s opportunities and lived experiences. Students engage with schools, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Working alongside community leaders, students learn through practice and the wisdom of our local communities.

Program Highlights

The minor consists of 16 units or four classes. Half of these units are completed by taking any two designated Service-Learning classes. Many classes double-dip with major requirements.

To complete the minor requirements students take the following courses:

  • Theory and Practice for Community Action and Social Change
  • Community Engaged Research Methodology and Project Design
  • Two Service-Learning designated courses

Career Paths

The CASC minor enhances any major and provides the opportunity for students to gain valuable experience that inspire career paths while building networks, stronger resumés, and stronger graduate school applications.

CASC minors have the experience, knowledge and skills which are very desirable for non-profit organizations, government agencies, think tanks, human rights and peace organizations, legislative advocacy education, law/criminal justice, healthcare and many other fields.

Alumni have gone on to do work for non-profit and government organizations such as Canal Alliance, Bridge the Gap, Novato Teen Clinic and the Peace Corps.

Pursuing the CASC minor at Dominican gave me the opportunity to expand my worldview and diversify my knowledge and approach towards community engagement.
–  Kate Lagera '22

Degrees Offered


Course Catalog

Minor Requirements

Office Hours

Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admissions and Aid

A degree from a top-ranked, private University like Dominican is deliberately affordable and accessible! More than 99 percent of our first-year incoming students receive significant financial aid through merit- and need-based scholarships as well as state and federal aid. Additionally, for most students, there is no application fee, and we don't ask for test scores. Get in touch with a counselor to learn more about your path to an exceptional college experience at Dominican!

Learn More About Admissions and Aid
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Alumni Spotlight: Karla Hernandez '20

"Students are taught tools to create a meaningful impact in their community beyond Dominican. This education continues opening my eyes and ears so that I can truly see you and our community."

Learn More About Community Engagement
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Alumni Spotlight: Ayanna Berg '22

"I was able to create interpersonal connections with community members, learn about their lived experiences, and apply what I was learning through the course material into my service work."

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Alumni Spotlight: Bella Ray '20

"This minor fuels my passion to change the flawed healthcare system. Being cared for is a universal need, and no one should fear that they might not be able to have supportive care."

Faculty and Staff

Julia van der Ryn headshot

Julia van der Ryn, MA

Executive Director Center for Community Engagement and Partnerships Associate Professor, Philosophy and Social Justice
Jennifer Lucko headshots

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Professor and Co-Chair of Education Department
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George Faithful, PhD

Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy
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Lucia León, PhD

Assistant Professor, Latino Studies and Social Justice
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Lynn Sondag

Professor of Art Honors Program Director
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Laura Stivers, PhD

Professor, Philosophy, Religion, Social Justice Co-Chair Division of Public Affairs
Emily Wu headshot

Emily S. Wu

Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Project Development, Service-Learning Program Social Justice Faculty
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Natalie Babler

Administrative Manager

Social Justice in the News

Three students walking together on the Dominican campus.

La Vida Dominican

La Vida Dominican is a program for all students, increasing educational access and connection to support services, enabling degree completion and post-graduation success. Particularly, La Vida is centering experiences of students from Latinx and other historically underserved backgrounds.

Learn More About La Vida Dominican